The “Dog Park Diane” Affair

This ridiculous story has apparently “gone viral” in some corners of social media, I suppose because it involves race (sort of), dogs, and sex.  I was blissfully unaware of the whole foofaraw until a friend sent me a link.

Here we go!

In Attleboro, Massachusetts, a dog identified as a pitbill mix belonging to African-American Franklin Baxley began doing what frisky dogs sometimes do to other dogs, human legs, and pillows, to a dog belonging to Grace Sandland, who apparently freaked out.  She demanded that he and his dog leave the park, and when Baxley refused, she called the police on her cell phone.

“Why are you calling the cops right now? Because I told you I wasn’t leaving the park?,” Baxley, 42, asks the unnamed woman in the video posted online. “Because my dog humped your dog?” Another women, identified as park staffer Carol Cobb, according to the Daily Mail. Cobb, took the side of the sexually assaulted dog;s owner, and is seen on the video telling Baxley that the pit bull’s  behavior was “inappropriate for the dog park.”

I swear, I’m not making this up.

Sandland told police that Baxley had “verbally assaulted” her, and that Baxley’s dog wouldn’t stop humping and assaulting her dog. Baxley said that he immediately pulled his dog off of hers, but Cobb said that his dog was breaking the rules: no humping permitted. Eventually an Attleboro police sergeant arrived to the scene. No charges were filed, but Baxley has been banned from the dog park.

But wait! There’s more!

Baxley claims that the incident was sparked by racial prejudice, and took to the news media and his Facebook page to make sure everybody knew it. “If I were not black, she would not have felt threatened by me talking to her and defying her orders for me to leave the park,” Baxley told the Daily Mail. “I am a responsible dog owner, and my dog is super friendly. Anyone who goes to that park regularly knows me and will attest to that fact. The dogs were living their best lives the whole time.” The news media quickly dubbed Sandland “Dog Park Diane,” emulating “BBQ Becky,” the sobriquet affixed to a white woman who called the police on a black family grilling ribs in a public park in California. Meanwhile, Baxley began a relentless attack on Sandland on Facebook, whipping the social media mob into a frenzy. The confrontation occurred five days ago, and Baxley is still writing about it, giving interviews, and doing everything he can to ensure that Sandland is labelled a racist for life.

What’s going on here?

Oh, lots of stuff, none of it good. The episode sounds like a scene cut out of “Crash,” with Sandra Bullock playing “Diane” and Don Cheadle playing Baxley. In addition to racial hypersensitivity and race-baiting, there are also elements of social media-bullying, anti-pit pull hysteria, and malfunctioning ethics alarms all around. I was also reminded of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin tragedy, which arose out of two people behaving like assholes toward each other. In that case, one of them had a gun. Luckily, that was not the case in Attleboro.

Ethics Verdicts:

1. The dog park’s rules are ridiculous, if it really “forbids” humping. Dog owners are supposed to control their dogs, but the boys will hump, and as long as an owner separates the dogs, which it sounds as if Baxley did, there should be no repercussions. Leave the park because a male humped another male? I would have refused to leave too, and Rugby has been both an offender and a “victim.”

2. It seems as if Sandland is a dog breed bigot, and panicked because her little whatever it was was being molested by one of those evil pit bulls. But who can tell what she was thinking, or if she was thinking. Calling the police under these circumstances is signature significance for an asshole; the only question is what kind of asshole and what made her that way.

3. Assuming, however, as Baxley does, that Sandland was motivated by racism is unfair, and blatant race-baiting. He’s assuming she’s a racist because she’s white and blonde, and apparently because he has been conditioned to see every slight, every example of bad behavior, as based on race prejudice if his adversary is white. How did he get that way? It’s sad, but he is socially crippled by whatever it was. Here’s Baxley on Facebook last night:

“I am always amazed whenever a racist person accuses me of being a racist (which I have no power to be, by the way) by saying some racist ass shit. Like, huh??? You just inadvertently screamed White Power, but you’re calling me a racist.”

He is, of course, a bigot himself.

4. The social media bullying is a Golden Rule breach, and unethical per se. Baxley is trying to destroy someone. She was ridiculously wrong, it appears, but an ethical person would let it go. OK, she’s a jerk. Let her be a jerk: she’ll suffer enough without tarring her as a racist in public.

Thanks to social media, this stupid incident, which once would have stayed in Attleboro and evaporated over night, is adding to racial distrust and anger. It’s a blessing that “Dog Park Diane” wasn’t wearing a MAGA cap.


Pointer: Jolie

Sources: NBC, Atlanta Black Star, turtleboy

35 thoughts on “The “Dog Park Diane” Affair

  1. Wait. This happened in the enlightened, woke, Liz Warren electing Commonwealth of Massachusetts? I’m shocked.

    Bunch of jerks. They deserve each other and their piling on facebook friends.

  2. One group of entitled progressives attacking another group of entitled progressives. Did anyone doubt they will eventually dissolve and eat their own? (the dog didn’t know any better)

  3. Dogs was founded by a woman who was bitten. Her remarks on the time she was bitten give a window into her outlook-

    “I had no negative experiences with pit bulls or any dog prior to the attack. That a dog was capable of this just wasn’t part of my world,” Lynn said. Four months later, she launched Originally intended as a website to educate the public about dangerous dog breeds, has evolved into a national organization that also advocates for dog-bite victims and for preventing serious attacks. The organization’s website includes victim testimonies, a tally of U.S. dog-bite fatalities, and an overview of breed-specific legislation throughout the country”

    I’ve never understood people’s surprise when a dog bites. They’re not stuffed toys, they are animals. With training, ideally, they will never bite anyone, but in some situations instinct kicks in. Her remark that the possibility of a dog bite ‘ just not being part of my world” really points to someone with little to no experience with dogs, and no realization of them as living animals. The founding of her website was a reaction to her having been bitten. If she had been dragged by a poodle, would her cause have been getting poodles banned? The dog that bit her-

    ‘Police and animal control reports identify the dog that attacked Lynn as a sexually intact, adult male pit bull named Bull. Records show that in April 2006, Bull escaped his owner’s yard and chased a man walking with his dog. The man and dog fled to a nearby porch, where the resident reportedly informed the man that Bull had recently cornered her in her own backyard. Bull’s owner was cited for not having a dog license and received a verbal warning for the leash law violation.

    To avoid criminal charges for the attack on Lynn, Bull’s owner consented to having the dog euthanized.”

    In reaction to being bitten by a poorly-trained dog with a history of incidents, with an irresponsible uncaring owner who would rather euthanize the dog than take responsibility, Lynn’s reaction is to slam an entire breed.

  4. In the first chapter of this hero-less story, two women played the Grrrl Power card against the overly macho, mansplaining, manspreading toxic masculinity-having man and his toxically masculine dog. (Claiming to have been “verbally assaulted” when a big scary man argues with you is the tell.) Of course, the ladies won Round One in the standard feminist way: by calling down the power of the State to banish the male oppressor.

    The male oppressor then did exactly what any progressive in his situation would do– he whipped out the Race Card, which trumps the White Woman card (but would have been powerless against the Woman of Color Card.) He also publicly played the Democrat of Color Card, also known as the Racism Immunity Card (holder is immune to accusations of racism regardless of behavior, as long as he remains a liberal.)

    At that point, if one or both women had had an LGBT card in their possession, they could have played it for a tie and split the pot. Alas, they didn’t have one, and got taken to the cleaners.

      • Yup (as AOC would say), it’s a canine proxy war between MeToo and BLM. Looks as if it’s a stalemate at this point.

    • Isaac, would you consider collaborating with me in the writing of a play?

      I admit to seeing a West Side Story sort of thing with uppity darkies and their dark frisky black dogs that invade a White park and force their pooches to mate the ladies’ white dogs.

      I am trying to work in here a musical number (sung by the dogs themselves? now that would be cool!) based on West Side Story’s ‘America’.

      I’m a wee dog in my own park
      White as lace in my fine ark…
      Comes a black dog with his mean bark
      My owner shows gun and they embark…

      You’ve got to admit there are possibilities here. (And if someone from SNL is here reading: don’t forget this is my idea!).

  5. From the story we can attest that the dog is very friendly! The lady was out of bounds from the outset as the gentlemen broke up the bonding session so to speak. It does not sound if the other dog was tramatisd by the exchange. The park employees reaction and claim obviously was short sighted and wrong for someone in charge of a dog park. As such she should ar least be reprimanded by some one of higher authority. She obviously does not have the brains to have her lofty position. If we take Mr. Baxley’s racial aurguments aside he is still the wronged party. As such dog park privileges should be restored. Jack as you may know two of my nieces are in interracial relationships was three but that niece recently died. My African American and Hispanic nephews by Marriage have dealt with major assumptions and judgements when they go places with the family. I have been shocked that this still goes on. But they also had occasion to witness me get accused of racially targeting a black women they actually caught shoplifting at Halloween my last year in business. They reported it to me. They also made it clear to the cops race was not the issue. Problem is until we move beyond these incidents happening either way, race unfortunately is an issue. I have a nephew, a grand nephew, and two grand nieces that are mixed race but look African American. I want this stupidity to end for them. We should have left it behind years ago!

    • Problem is until we move beyond these incidents happening either way, race unfortunately is an issue. I have a nephew, a grand nephew, and two grand nieces that are mixed race but look African American. I want this stupidity to end for them. We should have left it behind years ago!

      There is a term: ‘reality check’ which I had not heard until recently, or had read but not understood. Meaning: “an occasion on which one is reminded of the state of things in the real world”.

      How odd it is that, when we were supposed to have entered ‘the end of history’ (Fukuyama) and to have been hard on the threshold of the (forgive me for saying so) Brave New American-Administered World, that ‘reality’ has something very different in store.

      Was it the Obama presidency as Jack sees it that brought the racialist demons out of their underground hiding place? Or, is the ‘attack on whiteness’ an inevitable result of ideas and movements that were put in motion long, long ago? (A psychological self-punishment for the horrors and stupidity of two European wars?) Yet a Marxian assault comes out into the open and presages huge social struggles taking shape. Indeed, provoking them, instigating them. There is a battle taking shape, but it is one mired in the twists & strange turns of postmodern chaos. Part psychological, part ‘real’, swelled with confused sentiments, but tending to confrontation.

      But here is what I think *Reality* has to say to us today: what is developing and taking shape will overturn our sweet dreams and our benign desires; our Left hand mocks the Right hand and our own *better angels*. Alexandre Dugan writes about a ‘new aeon’ ‘that will be cruel and paradoxical’, involving many of the thought-to-be-eradicated categories, one being ‘the renewal of archaic sacredness’ in larger, strange, cultural conflicts, all in a world-in-tumult not in one leveling off into social bliss & harmony.

      The writing is on the wall, isn’t it? And noticing this does not mean that I advocate for it nor even desire it.

      It is as if the televised, produced-for-television, fairy-version of ‘what-should-be’ is being challenged and mocked by ‘what is actually taking shape’ . . . but why is this? I wonder if people are simply bored! Life is meant to be passed in High Drama perhaps . . .

      But here is the prediction from one who speaks as Priestess of Cassandra on a tripod set over a sulfurous fissure in the earth: it is going to get much, much hotter and much stranger. We are just at the beginning!

    • I go to a wonderful dog park in Arlington, VA. It is not unusual to have 50-70 dogs of all kinds, owned by people of all kinds, running free, playing, tussling, and, yes, occasionally humping. I cannot imagine this scenario occurring.

          • I loved that play (and movie). No dogs in it though.

            I too used to visit great neighborhood parks with my dog and enjoyed similar experiences in the two cities we lived with him. Since his passing it seems that many of these parks have fenced off an off-leash area. It is a shadow of the former (happy) chaos but I guess it is a reasonable balance as running dogs are not everyone’s cup of tea and can be intimidating.

            I too can’t imagine the dog owners I met and know acting like Diane here or having a park person step up and support this behavior. Dogs will be dogs and provided the owner acts responsibly when an incident occurs, we move on.

            • OK, but Crella has clearly indicated that the Dachshund and the Chihuahua (I would never trust a Mexican dog myself) show innate tendencies to pro-fascist aggression. I don’t know if this extends to sexual impropriety as a marked tendency, I’ll have to rely on pet psychologists for that. Also what I am not sure is if the owners are influencing them in some way. Subtle hand signs? Or some kind of glimmer in the owner’s eye that dogs certainly register (though I speak as a cat-person). If that is so I cannot see how the next step is not some kind of action, or the possibility of action, against bad owners.

  6. This whole scenario seems like a new stereotype for women. These type of women get called out in the news when they do it to black people, but they do it to everyone. Here are two typical examples that don’t involve black men. Is there a name for this type of woman? It seems pathological.

    • …and did she call the cops as her personal bodyguard? There will always be hypocrites that tell people to toughen up and it isn’t about race when things never affect them. It isn’t about gender you’re just sensitive, of course, it wasn’t about class etc. Why is everyone always bent on trying to remove the race aspect instead of dealing with it?

      The worst people are those that see nothing or try to wish it away. No one is strong, you just haven’t had a situation to break you but there is still time!

      • The worst people…

        YOu have a point. However, those people are no worse than those who are using race to divide America, and thereby gain power. Racism exists, sure. But just because someone disagrees with a minority does not make them a racist, as the left have been openly doing for a decade.

  7. I lived in a very close-knit urban neighborhood for 25 years with a near 1:1 ratio of dogs to residents; several, like my landlady and her brother upstairs, had two (two large or three small!). Anybody who was “single” (dog-less and not a cat- or bird-person) could earn good money walking or boarding his neighbors’ canines. Having left my free-ranging work dogs behind in Colorado, I often walked my landlady’s gangly wolfhound pup. He had to be carried up and down the narrow, steep stairs to the old Victorian. She finally gave up and left her brother in charge of the house, moving to a beachside home in Santa Cruz so the dog could have the ground-level run of the property.)

    During that time, less than a dozen bites were reported. Fewer than one a year. And unless they bit their owners, who would have been too ashamed to admit it and went out of town to be treated, we would have known about it. There were other incidents of dog-bites-dog on the Romping Road (a dirt path that wandered up the hill behind one street side) where some macho types became territorially greedy or met stranger canines unexpectedly.

    Full obedience training (one couple were professionals and included locals in free) and formal introductions of both puppies and residents kept everybody friendly. In-progress or “graduation” certificates were in rental agreements. Visitors were well informed of or protected from “over”friendly overtures. The training, as I recall, included USPS and police uniforms and night-barking. For some reason, the same training never did work with the Good Humor man and his truck, though. He tried making a formal complaint but it never took.

    What’s more, this was before the day of the ubiquitous plastic bag, but people cleaned up after their animals anyway …. but you did sometimes have to watch your step on the way to your car because it was still the days of “curb”ing your dog.

    The “neighborhood” was part of the larger Castro section of San Francisco, a mix of gay and straight, generations, genders, income and education levels, of multiple races and national origins, spiritualities, and even politics. The latter, a lifetime resident of the area, a retired shoemaker, only survivor of a family had come over from Ireland, strictly Catholic, homophobic, patriarchal, antisemitic, xenophobic . . . and Republican to the core. He had three assorted mutts for company, and that was the tie-breaker.

    • Including Grace Sandland? Come to think of it, ‘Attleboro’ doesn’t sound like a real place either. Brattleboro, now: there’s a town to conjure with.

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