Why, you ask?
We've had some less-than-fortunate experiences while out at the city dog parks. Everyone has good and bad experiences, I know, but we're going with the "3 Strikes" and we're out. All the pictures from my post are from my first and second visits to the doggie park. :)
I was a wee puppy (probably 4-5 months old), and we were SO excited to go to a dog park to get some socialization! It was probably February or March when we went, so there was still snow on the ground, and it was a nice sunny day. I was pretty submissive when all the big dogs met me at the gate, but within 5-10 minutes, I was pretty accustomed to the dogs there and had a pretty good time. Bosses were pretty amused, and there were TONS of dogs there (probably 30-40). All Bosses and dogs were pretty friendly.
|Running with some of my new buddies last winter. This guy was pretty nice!|
We told my friend, Willie, and his Bosses, that this place was pretty cool. It had a nice open place to run, and agility equipment. They came with us, and we had a blast! I still was pretty submissive, but I learned to pick my playmates and have a pretty good time. The verdict? Success. Dog Park was awesome.
|Willie, one of my "besties" and I running like crazy puppies. Oh wait, we ARE crazy puppies.|
This time, however, was not as great. We were there on a weekend (pretty busy), probably 30-40 dogs again. I like to go to all the humans and say hi by leaning into them and sniffing their dogs, and I did so! I went over to a lady and her medium-sized dog, and she KICKED me. Really, really hard. Dad was infuriated. And I'm not exaggerating. Mom was in shock. Why in the world would you KICK a 5-month-old dog? Or any dog, for that matter? So, Dad went over to the lady, and asked why she kicked me. Her response? "I don't want your dog interacting with my dog". THEN WHY ARE YOU AT A DOG PARK? Come on. This has translated into my entire life: I now bark at strangers and raise my fur, because I'm a little scared of strangers at a distance. So thank you, Lady with dog, for giving me mixed signals.
|I still am a happy pup, even if we have "bad" days at the park.|
Another interesting experience. We gave the dog park another try, on a less-busy day (a Tuesday around 3:30pm). We were there, and Mom met some new people, I met some new dogs, and we had a blast! Another lady and her Australian Sheep Dog came into the park, and they were pretty nice! We chatted, Mom and the lady chatted, and it was fun. The lady walked over by the entrance of the park, and her dog was wandering around the open area, doing what us dogs do...play, run, etc. 10 minutes pass, and this dog bolted at Mom and BIT her leg- just about 3" up from the Achilles. She was wearing rubber rainboots; he latched on and wouldn't let go! She tried to get him off herself, knowing he was friendly, but he was stopping at nothing. She realized he had herding behaviors, so she tried moving away, but he didn't let go. He kept tightening his grip, puncturing through the rainboot and hitting her skin (she said it was hurting a lot).
|Look at me, Ma! I'm getting my zoomies out!|
This, was the third strike. We went on a weekend, and it wasn't as busy in the morning. There were maybe 15 dogs or so, and most seemed friendly. All owners were attentive, and watching their dogs, so we figured we'd give it a try. Now: since I've been kicked, I'm VERY submissive to other people and dogs. Within 15 feet of entering the field, I rolled on my back and submissively peed all over the place. Bosses were heart-broken, seeing a jubilant puppy turn into a hot mess. Mom & Dad helped me get used to the dogs in the park, and everything was fun- met some new people, dogs, etc. We were fetching tennis balls at the other end, getting some quality dog-chasing in, it was great! We were about 20-30 minutes into our adventure, when a big black dog came over and wanted to play. He looked a little more assertive than me, but he was being nice. I started running, though, and he dashed to get me, making me run a little faster. We both kept speeding up, and I was bolting away from the dog. He was running so fast, and wanted me so bad, he grabbed my back leg with his mouth and cut my leg open. Definite third strike. Mom and Dad were livid.
|I'm not so sure how I feel about this tunnel...but no worries, I learned that it was fun and skidded through it lots more!|
However, there IS hope- we found a different dog park that is a bit closer to our house, that is just short of being a dog sanctuary (it's so peaceful). We'll have to write another post about that one- we've never had a bad experience.
|Here I come, Ma!|
|What do you do at the dog park? I run around with one of my bff's, Willie! :)|