So Saturday evening I was finally able to get to the dog park, and I have some bad and good things to report. I'll start with the bad, since it happened in the very beginning of the visit, so we'll just get it out of the way. Theo was attacked. He's fine, and it probably sounded worse than it was due to the fact that he's a total chicken sh*t. There were two dogs that looked to me like Min Pins. They were totally obese (their mid-section was about twice as wide as their head. I kid you not, it looked disgusting), which I should have taken as a sign of an over-indulgent owner. I was sitting on the bench while Theo explored the area around it (he never strayed far from me, what a good boy) when all of a sudden I heard dogs growling and my little Theo squealing like he was being murdered slowly. My poor baby! I ran over to see the two Min Pins, teeth bared, standing over Theo, who was fully in the submissive position, crying for the dogs to leave him alone. I was terrified for my little boy. I saw the owner come over too, but she made no moves to stop her dogs, she just called to them in a lazy, disappointed tone, as if they do this all the time, so of course they didn't listen and kept on snapping at Theo. Now I've never broken up a dog fight, and I wasn't sure what to do. I had my "chuck-it" stick, so I plowed it down in between them, trying to use it to pull the other dog off Theo without getting my hands in there. Luckily, there was a fearless woman who thought it was her dog being bullied, so she pulled one of them off right away. Looking back, that's just what I should have done, and next time I'll know to just get right in it and break it up. Ain't no bullies gonna bite up my little puppy!
After the dogs were off of him, Theo bolted to a distance he felt safe, then sat down and pouted. I scooped him up in my protective arms, gave him a bunch of reassuring kisses, and then inspected him for wounds. There were none, as I figured. They were just being bullies and Theo was just being a scaredy-cat. The owner of the fat bullies (can you tell I don't like them now?) at least had the decency to ask if Theo was ok, and then promptly left the park. Good riddance.
After that Theo stayed very close to me. He was scared for awhile, but luckily the other dogs there were all sweethearts, who left him alone, or politely sniffed him. After a few minutes he got over "the incident" and was himself again. There ended up being like four Pugs there at once, and they were all soooo cute! It was super hot, so they were grunting away. Most people seem to think Pugs are ugly and sound gross because of their breathing, but I think it's endearing and I think they're just the cutest! There were some other dogs, but only pugs seemed interested in Theo, and he let them sniff him very calmly, and even sniffed a few butts himself!
Now the way my dog park is sectioned off there is a small dogs area (under 30 pounds), a large dog area (over 30 pounds), and an all dogs area. The large dog area was empty. All the large dog-owning butt heads went into the all dog area! Sure, I can't really fault them for that, but they also happened to be playing very rough. Whenever a new dog would enter, a handful of huge dogs would come bounding up, barking. At one point there was blood on a bunch of the dogs, though they couldn't figure out who the bleeder was. With all that going on I stayed far away from that pen. But Mouth showed up with his three dogs (2 small and 1 large), and we wanted to all play together. So we took over the large dog pen. It was totally empty, so it was great. The 4 dogs got to play together without other psycho dogs picking on them. A few more dogs came in, but they ended up being very friendly (I kept Theo close until I was sure), so we had a wonderful time. Since it was mostly empty I was able to run around the pen without 20 dogs chasing after me, and Theo got to get some herding out of his system for the day.
And by the way, Theo was totally the star of the small dog pen! Almost every person who came in went straight to Theo and asked what breed he was, hold old he was, what his name was. They squatted down to his level and gave him lots of love. That was definitely the part he loved the most. That dog is definitely a charmer!
I think Jenna's advice and apprehension of dog parks came in handy (thanks Jenna!). I still want a place to run him around off-leash, and to interact with people, and a few nice dogs. I've decided that the dog park might be a nice thing once or twice a week, during non-peak hours. If I go early in the morning or late at night when not a lot of other people are there, I think that's when it'll be best. Saturday afternoon (actually it was early evening, but it was really hot, so I think people came after it cooled down) was just too crazy for us. But a time when we can run around and interact with a few others will be beneficial, I think.
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6 years ago