Ya'll know that Payton's at my parents. To see what he's been up to, see my dad's blog. (Feel free to comment there.) He's been having a great time. Matt had military in Toledo, OH this weekend and he took Maxwell there to see his parents. So I've been virtually alone this weekend, sans our newest family member, Missy.
She's doing pretty good around here. She has had a few potty accidents, but for the most part, is pretty well potty trained. She LOVES people and even the boys. They climb and play all over her. She loves to be run, but I just can't run her as fast as she likes to go, so we take long walks almost everyday.
Today, I decided to be brave. I took her to Mt. Clemens Dog Park. I was a bit hesitant and it probably showed. I just wasn't sure she'd ever been around other dogs or how she would react.
We stood outside the fence and watched the fifteen or so other dogs for about five minutes. It was a bit intimidating. She sniffed at a few dogs through the fence and seemed ok. Maybe she could do this. Maybe I could do this. "Be assertive calm. Act like this is your yard." I can hear Cesar Millan in my head. I led her in on her leash. "Calm. Assertive. This is your yard. Be the pack leader."
Missy seemed to be doing fine. A lil' pup came up and sniffed her and she was fine with that. Then a larger dog. Ok. She seems cool with this whole thing. I take the leash off. It's like the other dogs could smell fresh meat. Within five minutes she was being barked at and chased down. Kind of scary to see eight large dogs chasing your dog around in circles.
The novelty wore of after a few minutes. I could tell she didn't like being the chase-ee. We took a walk around the fence while she calmed down. I got her a bowl of water and she rested a bit. Her lil' pup friend, who I learned is "Peanut", came back to see how she was. The two sniffed awhile and Missy decided she was alright enough.
That didn't last long. Soon it wasn't just "Peanut". No, it became "Jack", "Sam", "Betty", "Brutus", "Mark" and "Snowcone". That was too much for my Missy. Turns out that the brute of the bunch really is Brutus. He takes a snap at her and before I know it Missy's pinned to the ground and can't get up because there are too many dogs around her. They smell her fear.
Luckily, a few other owners and I all stepped in at the same time and saved poor Missy from certain demise. I took her back to our corner and got her calmed down again. I could tell she wanted to stay and play, but she was really scared of Brutus. Brutus' owner was embarrassed by his snapping and behaviour, apologized and left the park.
Maybe this would work after all. A very kind lady came and introduced her dogs to us and we made friends with Lucky and Maggie. Both were very large dogs, but had calm demeanors and Missy seemed ok with them. It started to rain and we headed into the shelter.
The park cleared out in the rain and only a few of us remained. It was nice to talk and get to know the other pet owners a bit. I realize now that I don't know their names, only those of their pets. And they knew each other, but only their pets' names. Very odd. But the owners of "Lucky", "Maggie", "Missy", "Sash", "Blondie", "Spirit", "Sam" and "Rusty" sat and talked about our pets, about "Bark at the Park" and about other dog owners who had left. Turns out, Missy hasn't been Brutus' only victim.
While we owners talked, the pups formed a nice bond. They chased each other, balls and climbed on picnic tables and HUGE tires. I think she really likes "Rusty", "Blondie" and "Maggie" the best.
The park was great. Lots of places to run and play. Tons of toys there. VERY clean and everyone picks up after their pups. And very nice people. And some pretty cool dogs too. I think we'll go back very soon.