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Ridgebacks and Vizsla are slightly similar in appearance, especially when blowing by in a rust-colored blur, but very different in terms of build, movement, and temperament. Watching this pair at play crystallized what I’ve come to think about the two breeds. The Vizsla was constantly airborne as if propelled by nervous electricity, whereas the Ridgeback seemed more elemental, sweeping the field like brush fire.

Roll of 28, Day Twenty-six: Red and agile

This Ridgeback is one of the dog park regulars that has me crushing on this breed. Perhaps someday when I, too, am more anchored and earth-bound…

Alternate picture of the day: A moron (completely unrelated to either of the pictured dogs) who sullied the otherwise beautiful late afternoon aura with his child, his feisty dog of much-maligned type, and his own bullying behavior. For some reason, this man thought his kid riding what he called a “tricycle,” or rather, a bicycle with training wheels was exempt from the “No Bikes” signs prominently displayed at every entrance to the dog park. Not only could he not count nor understand the rule was actually in place for the safety of his own child, he tried to shift responsibility onto another dog owner when his Baby Knievel activated her dogs’ prey drives, and his own dog leapt into the fray — fortunately, leaving the child untouched. It took a lot of bellowing and eventually, physical intervention for him to get his unneutered dog under check; the dog’s audible yelp when forced repeatedly into a down position (he would not stay) carried halfway across the park, from where I watched with both Bows safely at my side. Mr. Caveman then lit into the woman with a barrage of obscene and gender-specific insults that far exceeded the sonic boundaries of a civil conversation or any other limits of propriety. That’s when my inner paparazzi compelled me to snap a few distant pictures, for fear of the situation escalating to blows. Instead, she took the high road and led her leashed dogs away, even as he continued to hurl abuse in a last ditch attempt to appear mighty and right.

So I thought about using one of the pictures of this incident for today’s Roll of 28. Such an exhibit in public shaming wouldn’t have violated my personal rule of saying only good things when sharing pictures of other people’s dogs because my contempt is directed at the dog’s owner. But ultimately, I decided that I prefer to preserve more pleasant photomemories with my Roll of 28 project. Anecdote and image remain separate here. I am recording this incident to vent my frustration that such jerks dare to invade my idyllic canine community and must also inhabit my world. However, when I page back through this specific picture gallery in the future, what will be more immediate to eye and memory will be the image of these two happy, beautiful, sociable dogs, and not the asshole who threatened to ruin it all.

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