A Short List of People I'd Like to Neuter. Or Spay.

There are two kinds of pack animals at the dog park

The Princess: Only shows up on weekends, much to disdain of Poop Master, Dog Whisperer, other regulars. Senses out-of-place status, so often brings out-of-town guests and preaches about What Makes the Twin Cities Great—"the Walker, the Guthrie, the dog park." Spends most of time with other little-dog owners who similarly dress dogs in sweaters. Makes other owners feel bad because dog sweaters nicer than anything anyone else is wearing.

The Romeo: Extrovert. Fond of walking up to single women and asserting dog-lover repute. Constantly tries to prove that "dogs naturally trust me" (not-so-hidden message: Women, are you getting the hint?) Does the same thing with kids. The act must work. Year-round uniform consists of bulge-enhancing spandex shorts and "I Heart My Great Dane" fanny pack.

The Aristotelian: Has been known to come up with pseudo-deep inanities such as: "We're all like dogs—we just want to be chased, barked at, and have our ears chewed." "Ever notice how many dogs resemble their owners?" "We all want to live life off-leash, but we reign ourselves in. Imagine if we gave ourselves permission to live off-leash, even for just a little bit, each day."

Either I hump your leg or you talk to the lady with the plastic bag. Your choice.
Tony Nelson
Either I hump your leg or you talk to the lady with the plastic bag. Your choice.

The Misanthrope: Arrives at park alone, works hard to avoid eye contact—or any other kind, even with dogs. Accompanied by well-thumbed copy of Anneli Rufu's Party of One: The Loner's Manifesto and iPod filled with various versions of the Jam's "Away from the Numbers." Takes up stony residence on bench to be alone with little black cloud, camera, pen, notebook, and amusing-only-to-him scribblings about other dog-parkers. Potential school shooter, future poop master, or generic alt-weekly columnist.

Jim Walsh can be reached at 612.372.3775 or jwalsh@citypages.com

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