Silas and I got to the park in the afternoon, except in peak summer. Around 2:00, I wake him up from his nap, put on his harness, and off we go. We do this three or four times a week, depending. On Tuesday, I took him for a very long walk, which usually means he doesn’t want anything besides a few games around the house the next day.
My husband runs with his work buddies on Wednesday evenings. He’s a very good runner, unlike me, and finds their usual pace and distance to not be much of a challenge. This week, he decided to run to the park, meet the guys, and then run with them. Even for him, it’s too far to run back again, so I agreed to drive over and pick him up. (This timing bypasses a nasty traffic jam, even though it’s the same number of trips.) The plan was not to take Silas, because we had a busy evening, but it was in our minds that this could be a thing for future Wednesday evenings.
Silas had other plans. Three minutes before I needed to leave for the park, he sprang off the sofa, raced to his tennis ball, and insisted that we play fetch. “Well, I can’t leave him like this. He’ll get into trouble,” I thought. “I’d better take him with me.”
Excited Silas only barely noticed that I put on his harness, which usually destroys his soul. He jumped right in the car and let me clip him to his car attachment.
The park we were going to is one of the scary parks. Year before last the city removed considerable deadfall from this park, leaving a too-clear view of the road. I haven’t been able to get Silas back, except on the weekends when we can drive further in. “Alright,” I said to my husband, “We’ll go over for just a minute. He won’t go very far here anyway, and then he’ll sleep while we finish our To-Do list.” I wasn’t wearing park shoes or clothes, and my husband had just run eight miles.
So I was, of course, wrong again. Silas, his whole little body vibrating with joy, sprinted my poor husband all the way across the park at top speed. Then, because I was afraid he was getting too close to the edge of the park, where he freezes, I called for him. To my surprise and my husband’s dismay, he sprinted all the way back. Then we played tug with a toy. Then he ran around some more. Then we played tug with a stick. I’m still not sure he was ready to go when we left after half an hour, although he seemed pretty tired once we got back. This is the dog who will pull me back to the car after 20 minutes if he can.
This has me really wondering about timing our park visits. Is he better off if I wait for a time he is naturally energetic? Or is that just going to make him too much for me to handle? It may become new policy to wait for “peak times” to go to the scarier places.