Our Triumphant Return to the Dog Park

Cali and I do not have a good history at the dog park. There are two main incidents that come to mind when I think about this place where dogs are supposed to enjoy themselves, run free and burn off steam…

The first is my own personal near death experience when the male owner of a chocolate lab kicked Cali to keep her away from his wimp-of-a-dog that he claimed did not like it when Cali barked in his face. I was more than a little pissed and screamed at the guy. He got up in my face and said that he would kick my dog as much as he wanted. I threatened to call the cops, but he was so much bigger than me that when he dared me to do it, I truly believe he was going to hit me, so I took Cali and left. I was afraid to go back to the park alone after that encounter for fear of seeing the guy and his lab again. But we continued to go and before entering the park, I would scan the grounds to make sure neither of them were there. To this day, I have not run into either of them.

The second incident is Cali’s near death experience when a nasty, over-heated mutt bit her on the nose multiple times when she got too close to the watering hole one hot, summer day. I did not notice the blood dripping down her face for a few minutes, but when I did, it was like my world had come to an end and I was in a full-on panic. I scooped Cali up and ran out of the park, driving like a bat out of hell to get to my house so that Ryan could assess the damages himself. I called the vet’s emergency line while driving home and explained the cuts, the scratches and the blood, which she had licked off by this point and I was reassured that as long as the cuts were superficial and her mood did not change throughout the day, she would be fine. And she was. 

But after that day, Cali and I never returned to the dog park. At some level I feared for my own life and on another, even scarier level, I feared for Cali’s. She loves to wrestle, growl and bark when playing with other dogs, but some dogs just are not into that rough-house play and neither are their owners. But last night, I wanted to surprise Cali with a trip to the dog park in the morning. I talked to Ryan about it and he agreed it would be a fun thing to do as a family. The next day, as Cali slowly crawled up between us to give wake-up smooches, Ryan and I smiled at each other because she had no idea what was in store for her. We threw on sweats and hats and took the two mile drive to the dog park. As we sat at the left turn only light, Cali started to cry and pace the back seat, which means she knows where she is going and is excited to be going there.

We stayed for about an hour watching Cali run and jump, bark and play, chasing dogs and balls. I felt at ease having Ryan there, knowing he would protect me if I got into another fight, but that did not happen. Cali did bark a bit more than some of the owners would have liked, but it was all in good fun. I do not know if this is the first of many future visits to the dog park, but we will see.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 19th, 2009 at 1:16 pm and is filed under Cali. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Our Triumphant Return to the Dog Park”

  1. Aunt Lisa says:

    I mostly worry when dogs sniff each other’s butts! It bothers me, but not my husband, and it doesn’t seem to bother the other dog’s owners. I’m guessing butt-sniffing is a dog and dog-lover’s thing??? So long as they don’t go around sniffing MY BUTT. If they do, I keep moving/running away from the dog.

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