"I had the worst experience ever"
A woman from Hillingdon, London, said she was racially abused after confronting a dog walker, asking her to put her pet on a leash.
The incident happened at a park after the dog jumped on her.
Forty-year-old Minreet Kaur was using the outdoor gym equipment at Lake Farm Country Park with her mother when the dog jumped up at her.
She then confronted the owner, asking her to put the pet on a leash due to her fear of dogs.
However, the dog owner abused her and told her she should not be in the park if she has a fear of dogs.
Minreet said: “I had the worst experience ever and am still shaking and very upset.
“I stepped back as I am really scared and have fear of dogs since I was a child. It terrifies me when they run up to me.
“She then started shouting saying I should go and seek help from my doctor and get tablets, she stuck two fingers up at me.
“She called me an idiot, made me feel out of place because of the colour of my skin, saying you shouldn’t be here.
“Then she swore some more and I was scared and shaking. No one stopped to help.”
She has now called for dog owners to have better control of their pets.
Minreet told MyLondon: “I know so many who like me have a fear.
“Does that mean we shouldn’t be welcome in parks?
“Or do dog owners have a duty of care to have dogs on a lead if they are around others?
“I am really sick of racist and rude people as my parents have endured it and now, I am seeing it too.”
“And it’s people like this woman who make it worse for others.”
Minreet’s father is Rajinder Singh Harzall, also known as ‘The Skipping Sikh’.
He received an MBE for his NHS fundraising efforts and for encouraging elderly people to stay active during the lockdown.
Rajinder is set to skip the London Marathon on his 75th birthday in October 2021.
Since speaking about her ordeal, Minreet revealed she has heard from others who have a fear of dogs who can relate to her ordeal.
She added that over the past year we have all been encouraged to exercise outdoors and therefore we should make sure London’s parks are free to be enjoyed by all.