A Park, Revisited

The park closest to my house has been known to make me crazy. There’s a small dog park there, which does nothing more than encourage people to view the whole unfenced park as an off leash dog area. Combine that with a large apartment complex across the street, and you can get a lot of chaos. I’ve realized, though, that the down side of me being a control freak is that it can over-limit Silas’s exposure to things that he’s perfectly capable of handling.

For the last eight months, it’s been almost impossible to get to the “bad” park, thanks to some road construction, so it’s been a moot issue.

Sunday we finally tried again. I needed a place to test Silas around other dogs, you see. I’ve been worried that he’s getting a little reactive, but I haven’t had good evidence one way or another. I just worry. So, this morning before a big rain storm rolled in, we tried it out.

And it was fine.

As usual, there weren’t any dogs in the actual dog park, so we played some Frisbee and watched. On the way across the park, we spotted a big dog playing catch. No trouble. Once we were inside the dog area, a Labrador ran up to the fence. Silas ran along side of him for a few seconds, then dropped into a play bow. Two Shih-Tzus on the way back to the car weren’t a problem, either, although they weren’t very close.

I was a little sad that nobody actually came into the dog park with him, but also a little relieved. Baby steps, you know.

It’s a good option to have up our sleeve, anyway, even if I have to make sure I’m not there during peak hours. Silas’s favorite park is very much bound to Silas’s favorite walk, which is a little long for hot weather. That’s why I’ve been deliberately seeking out some alternatives for him–places where we can play a little fetch or just run around to get some exercise in a more summer-friendly time frame.

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9 thoughts on “A Park, Revisited

    1. Not really. The neighbor’s dog isn’t great with other dogs, and Silas really outgrew his buddy from puppy kindergarten. My husband has a work friend with extremely well socialized dogs; I’m hoping we can get together with them when they’ve finished remodeling their house (with a great yard).

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    1. I know! I could KICK myself for not getting an e-mail address from Silas’s border collie mix buddy. She was an older rescued female, and she not only accepted his puppy play style, she gave him a 100% appropriate correction that did him a world of good. (He started getting rowdy, and just as I was about to intervene, she wapped him on the nose with her paw.) But that was back when we went to the BIG dog park a few times.

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  1. That’s cool, a boring experience is better than a bad one, right? I was delighted to find out I had a dog park just a few minutes walk from my house. Unfortunately, it is frequented by the world’s worst dogs – or should I say owners? Even with just one or two dogs there, mine manage to get attacked every time and the owners always chuckle. So ya, we never go there anymore:/

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  2. Good for you for not giving up! I know what you mean about being careful about where you go. Our Callie doesn’t do well with others so I am always watchful (hyper vigilant?) when we’re out. I love the remote trails the best.

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