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.