Vacationing With Fear

“Don’t eat our dogs!!”

“You hit my dog!!”

“Our dog lives with babies”

She managed to yell out in between grandma’s shouts of outrage against a freely roaming dog in a public space. ( we did not hit her dog! Nor did we intend to eat it)

A little dog approached my daughter recently. Trump was president, people running over other people with cars in an act of terror around the globe is still a fresh memory from days prior) the dog kind of knocked her on her back on this beach. She was scared, the dog kept on advancing at her torso and head, Perhaps just a couple of feet away.

After some many arms waving at the dog and yelling, the owner finally called the dog away from us from about an eighth of a mile away.

I raise my iphone, in the now universal gesture of insult: I have taken a picture of you, your rude acts are recorded for ever.

She responds in kind, raising her camera and records back at us and continue to barrage us with insults and demanding insinuations. (Man! Apple/google/smartphone-makers makes this society so much more civil… these could have been middle fingers or guns being raised into air)

I raise my phone to report her to the police: “she is approaching me now” I say into the mic, “I feel threatened and she is shouting at us”

I walk away hastily retreating towards the Pacific Ocean… hoping she wouldn’t follow. She follows for another 10 feet or so approaching me. (Her dog still off leash btw, she is now between me and my daughter, grandma between daughter and dog)

She backs off a bit on hearing this conversation with the police.

After a few more rounds of raising phone to take picture. They drive off in their Toyota.

Where are they driving off to? Could their gang drive up next and shoot us right on the Del Mar beach? Maybe they’ll suddenly drive their car into the beach and just wipe these dog eating chinks out!! Maybe they called for backup in way of local police who will surely love to talk these hippy sf Bay Area Asians down about how dogs are part of the family here and are treated as equals when it comes to right to use the beach.

Let’s go! I said with a grim biting tone (think Clint Eastwood)

“But why!???!!” My daughter flashed me the biggest surprise face of a broad grin (she’s on her sand toys which we have been wanting to exercise on real sand for half an age), grandma says “no, let’s stay here, let the kids play!”

“But I don’t feel safe anymore. We had a shouting fight with locals… we don’t know the rules here, this is wild wild west terra infirma, let’s get out of here” still thinking of that determined, biting authoritative tone of Eastwood, but obviously the words don’t fit the tone no more… and nobody followed me. So much for Eastwood of the family…

Well actually their backup came in way of four unspayed and unleashed German Sheppard catching balls.

We, the whole family this time, made ourselves very scare very quickly. This no country for dog fearing people.

We retrieve to the safety of a Starbucks 10 minutes from the beach in our minivan. Driving very carefully to avoid attention, checking for tails or police sirens. It seemed a distant but not nonexistent possibility that she called the cops on us, based on her accusations on the beach. One can’t be too careful.

The daughter catches the wifi two blocks away and starts watching kids show on Amazon streaming… I’m thinking she has recovered fully from that traumatic encounter… grandma is silent, deep in thought… reviewing her long and laborious journeys to America and then to California, no doubt trying to find anything similar to this kind of encounter (where she didn’t win a fight against a bully by KO)

Inside Starbucks that familiar and reassuringly familiar coffee roast smell fills my nostrils… mommy snacking with her daughter, an elderly man in his 50’s or 60’s is working on his partial differential equations homework(erf?!), gamer gaming, kid listening to music… safety at last!

I use my gold card to buy a coffee for the long journey home.

Phewwww… one disastrous situation averted…

Seriously if I actually called the cops, I do not know if the result will be favorable to us. All parks and beeches requiring leash on dogs where we live means nothing here. Dogs are “us” and dog eating Asians are not “us” as far as I can imagine in this little vacationing town. It wouldn’t be the first time we hear that from a person of officer or a public person of government either…

I did not feel the safety and comfort of an American citizen during this vacation on American soil… and I don’t blame dogs or their owners… really, I feel a strong urge to figure this relationship problem with dogs if we’re to do well in America.

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