Rule: an accepted principle or instruction that states the way things are or should be done, and tells you what you are allowed or are not allowed to do (Cambridge Dictionary)
A pretty simple concept. Yet one people seem to struggle to grasp.
This weekend we camped at a beautiful campsite in Penzance which had some pretty simple rules to follow:
All sounds pretty straightforward. One of the rules was further solidified on another blackboard:
So I really don’t think that there could be any misunderstanding at all that dogs must be on leads – “no exceptions“.
We opted for a pitch on the campsite in a corner at the far end of the field as we know we have a sometimes-nervous dog. It has been almost a year since he last went camping. With some of his behaviours recently we were unsure how he would find it. We have an 8 metre plastic coated wire lead (so he can’t chew through it!) which allows Kubo to get around the whole van and have some freedom without being able to go too far or be a nuisance to anyone. He could not stray any further than our pitch. We also had a wind break up for some privacy.
We were alerted to our new neighbours opposite by Kubo barking and letting out a series of low growls. They had a dog. Who was off the lead. The dog was trotting around near them whilst they were setting up camp. I was a little frustrated however the dog was causing no real issue so we calmed Kubo and went back to our business.
Cue more growling. The dog was approaching our area. I got up to calm our dog and the owner called their dog back. Fine.
One of the campsite owners came cycling over and had a word. Good, I thought, that will be the end of it. Maybe they hadn’t seen the huge blackboard with the rules. It is possible.
Not half an hour later Kubo was back to barking his head off and this dog was nearby again. I’d had enough by this stage but I must admit, I remained very calm. I went over to woman and nicely let her know that my dog was nervous and would she mind please keeping her dog on the lead. “That’s the campsite’s rules anyway,” she said, “the kids have the lead though.” OK, so she did know and would keep her dog on the lead as soon as the boys came back. Good.
However this didn’t happen. The dog was on the lead for a little bit but generally was off. Wandering around, sniffing around other people’s camps and generally upsetting Kubo who would growl and bark as this dog came near.
I don’t know why he was so fussed with this dog since actually he is generally fine with other dogs. Maybe it was because he was tied up and this one wasn’t? Maybe because he felt our little area was his territory and this was an intruder? What ever the reason, I had told them that he was nervous which could have meant any manner of things, and they did not keep their dog away.
Yes, their dog may have been fine, I appreciate that. I’m sure it wasn’t aggressive. But it was not well enough behaved to stay exactly with them and how do you know what trouble your dog may get in to if it is not with you? Maybe it is not a vicious dog, but what if mine was? What if it scared a child? What if it stole from my BBQ?
Our dog is in training and we chose to stay somewhere where dogs should be on leads at all times “no exceptions” as this should have been a safe space for him to continue our training and not allow issues to worsen.
The rules are not just there to annoy you. They are for everyone’s safety and comfort. It is not fair on other people (or dogs) to be left frightened or nervous because one person cannot follow rules.
I spent several days with this; worrying about our Kubo’s comfort, hoping it did not escalate – I don’t know what he is actually capable of! and generally being irritated by this group’s total lack of consideration for the rules or people around them.
It will forever out stand me how ignorant and selfish people can be.