This morning a ranger gave me a $380 ticket for having Walter off the leash for 15 seconds so he could take a poop. He also gave me a ticket for $180 because I didn't want to tell him my real name. He said I was being detained, and I said no, we were going to finish our walk first. He said fine, then assured me he had nothing better to do and would stay all day just to cite me.
While we were walking, he called in two additional rangers. From where we sat in the shade, trying to calm down, I could see them driving the roads looking for us and radioing to each other. Can you imagine? And to make sure I understood I was a criminal, he recorded me on his body cam. A 10-year-old dog is taking a poop off the leash and it escalated to that.
This afternoon, I interviewed a doctor who does heart transplants in tiny babies. She told me about a little girl, only two months old, who received a heart the size of a strawberry. Everything about that, the doctor who trained for a decade to do this work, the sick baby and her frightened family, and the parents of the donor baby, in the midst of unimaginable grief already trying to help someone else, was humbling.
The afternoon erased the morning.