Dog Blog

Friday, August 21, 2009

Peaches has become a dog park dog.  I never thought I'd have one of those.  Daisy was too snarly and aggressive, and Bubba sometimes got grumpy with other dogs, and I feared both might instigate a fight.  Peaches is a different dog than she was five months ago.  She has really come out of her shell and evolved from her regression after Bubba's death to the fearful dog she was when I first adopted her to a confident and even sassy girl who is comfortable hanging with the packs in the park.  She still tucks her tail sometimes when large dogs or too many dogs approach her, but she's mostly fine at the park now.  

I am careful about taking her in when there are very large, boisterous dogs present because I don't want one landing on her back or injuring her in some way, and owners are consistently stupid about the sociability of their dogs and whether that dog is a good dog park citizen.  For instance, one owner with an over-exuberant full-grown standard Poodle excused its jumping up on me and snapping at my hands because it was a "puppy."  Pretty large puppy you have there, folks, and maybe some training classes are in order.  I observed it bowling over a toy breed and worried it might hurt my dog.  When I asked if their dog was likely to jump on my much smaller dog, which would be a concern with a long-spined dog like a basset, they gave me a look like I was nuts.  It's because of people like them that I'm still not sold on the whole dog park thing.  I always scope out how many dogs and the size and breed before I take Peaches inside. Most of the dogs at the park are fine, but I heard that someone brought two unaltered male pits to the park recently.  I'm sure there are pit bulls that are gentle and friendly, but Peaches won't be sharing dog park time with them.  I've just heard too many horror stories, plus a basset was viciously attacked recently by a pit bull not far from where we live.  Better safe than sorry.          

Unfortunately, when the City of Sacramento designed our new dog park, they did not consult with their target users, the dog owners themselves, for advice, so the park is too small to accommodate a separate space for smaller or more timid dogs.  They didn't provide a poop bag dispenser, so dog walkers hung baggies on the fence for those who don't bring their own.  At first they kept the gate at the back of the park locked, but now it has been left open so there's an escape hatch, if needed.  None of Sacramento's dog parks are larger than two acres, and that's a space that can quickly fill up with dogs...and poop, if owners don't scoop, and many don't.  But we're glad just to have one so close to home.  Another one is planned in the next year in the nearby neighborhood where we lived when Butterscotch was alive.  I wish there had been dog parks back then.  She would have been the best dog park dog of all.  Butter never met a dog or person she didn't like or who didn't like her.  Such a wonderful, beautiful girl.  She was the first and the best.



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