Max turns 8 years old today! Happy Birthday Max! In dog years, that makes him the oldest in our family. To celebrate, we will be giving him a special treat – he doesn’t have to know it’s also good for cleaning his teeth. We’ll also be taking him to one of his new favorite places in the entire world: THE DOG PARK!
The dog park opened in late May and we’ve gone numerous times. I actually overheard someone say, “What happens at the dog park, stays at the dog park.” I found out later that it’s a slogan on a t-shirt and I provided the link here.
We’d never experienced too much “off leash time” with other dogs, so I was a little hesitant at first and wasn’t sure what to expect. Would we encounter that’d attack my gentle and loving Max, who thinks everyone is his best friend? What if a dog fight breaks out and he gets swept up in it? -like dogs
Poop bags and water on hand, we braved it one sunny afternoon. The second we arrived, Max’s nose went into full sniff mode. It was like me in a fudge store, inhaling all the wonderful smells that make me want to devour ten pounds of fudge.
Of course, Max left his “mark” every couple of feet, and we weren’t even at the gate of the fenced off area yet. There were only a couple of other dogs in the “small dog” section and of course, they greeted each other in their up-close and personal way. Again, think fudge store! Soon, Max ran off with one of the dogs and it was pretty sweet to see his little personality shine. I also found it to be a great social time for us owners, and it reminded me a lot of when my teenagers were toddlers and I made tons of mommy friends.
I was so pleased with our first visit that I go several times a week, which is more times than I go to the gym! Hmmm…funny how that happens.
We’ve gone at times when there were 20 or more dogs running around and, happily, haven’t had any Cujo incidents or aggressiveness. But there was one incident with growling and ironically, it came from Max!
Now that Max is in his “golden years”, he likes to take a little break now and then and not run around non-stop. The other dog was a puppy that never stopped running or jumping and he hadn’t quite learned the fine art of giving another dog his space. He’d race around with another dog and bulldoze his way into and over Max, who was minding his own little business on the soft grass. The first time, Max gave him a warning “look”. The second time, he put that puppy in his place with a vicious growl that surprised the heck out of me. My Max? He knows how to growl? He doesn’t hardly even bark! The puppy left him alone after that.
I highly recommend our dog park. It truly is a great place where dogs can run off leash to exercise and socialize. There’s also the added benefit of seeing all the different breeds, mixed or pure, and laughing at their individual antics.
In honor of Max’s birthday, here is some doggie etiquette for the dog park:
v Do run off and socialize
v Do not run off and socialize until you’re off leash
v Do greet other dogs in the usual sniffing the privates ritual
v Do not lick said privates, regardless of the enticing smells
v Do smell every square inch of the 5 acres
v Do not lick any of those inches, regardless of the enticing smells
v Do relieve yourself of that full bladder
v Do not relieve it all over a curious onlooker, human nor canine
v Do empty your bowels if the urge arises
v Do not empty them in small increments, every few feet