Annie and I took our first trip to the dog park this morning. I knew Saturday morning probably wouldn’t be the quietest time to go, but I woke up early and the temp was still in the low 70s, so I decided to take a chance.
The park is maybe an acre of fenced field, mostly bare dirt and low-mowed weeds. Occasional benches dot the area, and a patch of aspens in the middle promises shade in a few more years.There’s a water fountain at the front gate with a high spigot for people and a low spigot and bowl arrangement for the dogs. You enter through two different gates, with a bit of an entry area between. That’s where the poop bags and trash cans are located.
By the time you take your dog through the inner gate, his or her leash must be off. I wasn’t at all sure what to expect when I unleashed Annie. There were about 20 dogs in the park, and I didn’t know if she’d go dashing off to meet them or stay near me. There were big dogs, little dogs, wet dogs, and muddy dogs. A tall white poodle, a squatty white bulldog, a lab, a golden, a husky, and lots of mixes. The pit mixes made me a bit nervous, but I worked hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.
As it turned out, Annie was as uncertain as I was about what to do and what to expect, and for the most part she stayed close by. She tried a few hesitant greetings with other dogs, her tail between her legs the whole time. Several times she got wrapped up in a swirl of three or four dogs and got bowled over. Scared, she got a little snippy once or twice, yelped once, and decided that under my bench was probably the best place to be. Aside from that, she seemed quite interested in everything — especially the smells. O, the smells she smelled!
She didn’t go tearing around the field with the other dogs, as I’d hoped. But she probably burned a lot of nervous energy. Thankfully, she did stay out of the mudhole — hog wallow — that some of the other dogs found irresistible, so I didn’t need to use the hose and tub in the corner to clean her off.
We got home about an hour later, with the temp pushing 80. Annie cameled up and crashed in a cool corner, while I poured a cold drink and crashed on the sofa.
All in all, not too bad for a young dog who hasn’t had any others to play with (entirely my fault). We’ll go again when it’s not as busy, and maybe she’ll have more fun. If not, we’ll be quite content with each other’s company, leaving the crowds behind.
3 thoughts on “Day One at the dog park”
Awww! Sounds like she might just need to get used to the experience. She sure sounds like a sweet pooch, though.
I’m going to try again some weekday morning when I’m hoping there will just be one or two other dogs there. Maybe even no other dogs, so she can thoroughly explore the area without being bothered.
Your dog is so pretty! Sounds like a great time regardless. You got her out of the house and onto something new and bigger! Good for you both. I was terrified the first time I brought Cozmo to the dog park. I have to be honest, not long ago, Bella was attacked by a big dog at the dog park and it really frazzled me. Zach tried to rescue her but this big dog had her back paw in his mouth and was trying to pull her from his arms by her paw 🙁
My brother has two big dogs like yours and he thinks I’m a spaz. I guess if that makes me a spaz, than I’m guilty!
I’ve discovered that at the smaller parks, the owners do not watch their dogs so much, which can be very dangerous especially if they are aggressive. But at the bigger parks where you have to stick with your dog or they’d get lost, those seem to work out best for us because there is always an owner with their dog along the way.
I hope Annie gets more and more use to it as time goes on !!! xoxxoxo
Both of us need to get used to it, I think. I’m sure she picked up on my concern — always worrying about fights breaking out and my dog getting hurt. “Park” is a misnomer though; it’s just a big fenced field. Nothing as beautiful as the one you’ve posted pics of. I’d kill for a park like that!