I've been taking Sally to the same dog park since she was about 4 months old, so that's about 3 1/2 years. We know a lot of the dogs and owners there, and she usually stays close to me, unless she's chasing the ball. She's never been one to start any skirmishes, but she doesn't roll over and be submissive either. If the going gets tough, she goes to a human, and will thread herself between the person's legs and stay there.
Today, we had just gotten to the dog park when another dog, a smaller dog, came up to her and started "playing" kind of aggressively. "She's just playing" her owner called, yet she kept going at Sally's face, and Sal would turn away, and try to move away from this dog. It was clear to me she did not want to play with this dog. The dog didn't back down so I started tapping it with the chuck-it (the thing that launches the tennis ball), and yelling at it to knock it off. Finally the owner came over, and said, "She's just playing. I don't want you to hurt my dog". OK, fine.
A minute or two later, I look at Sally, and see this:
The other dog has somehow chewed/abraded/scraped off the skin of my dog's snout, and left this raw, oozing bumpy skin behind.
Wait, it gets better. I start to get a little bent out of shape at this, and walk toward the owner of the dog that did this, saying, "my dog is bleeding now". He says something to the effect of if my dog can't handle herself at the dog park, I shouldn't bring her there. What?! I sputter something ineffectual, and turn to see another dog owner coming up to me. I've seen this guy before, know the names of his dogs, and he lays into me about how he "saw everything" and that he agreed that if my dog can't defend herself, I've got no business bringing her there. Instead of telling him to f*** off (like I really wanted to), I didn't say much of anything useful, and walked away.
I'm still incensed over this. Is this really how people think? That she deserved it because she wouldn't defend herself? That thought is so ridiculous, but there it is.
If my dog was a jerk and got into little fights or challenged other dogs occasionally, I could see this happening every now and then. However, my dog doesn't really interact that much with other dogs. She wants to run after the ball, visit with people, sniff a few dog butts, and she's good. I hate thinking that this is human nature. Instead of shifting the blame, I really wish the person would have just said, I'm sorry my dog hurt your dog. That's it.