Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Doggy Park etiquette

I have started to take Bodhi to the doggy park almost everyday. It gives him the opportunity to play and run off leash, to burn up some of the energy that puppies (and kids) seem to have in abundance and it allows him to socialize and get used to being around a lot of different dogs that are older and younger than him and bigger and smaller than him. He really loves going to the dog park and gets really excited to go in the car. There are even some regular dogs that we tend to see there more often, there is Odin the younger beagle, Max the older Beagle, and Bailey the fully intact, really pretty grey and white speckled dog (I am not sure what kind of dog he is). He also gets to play with any number of other random dogs that we see there that do not seem to be regulars, but whoever it is Bodhi chases them and they chase him and he loves it. And I love taking him, except... I get frustrated some times with the owners. There are these owners who show up at the dog park and stay for like 15 minutes and then tell their dog, "I hope you got all of your energy out because mommy/daddy needs to do chores around the house." "Or daddy/mommy needs to leave you at home for a long time today so I hope you are done playing for the day." Now I am no dog behaviorist or dog trainer, but letting a dog play for 15 minutes does not seem sufficient to me especially when the dog is still running and chasing other dogs and is not panting or seem to be tired in the least. It seems that 15 minutes is just when the dog is starting to get warmed up. It also seems to always be the owners with the bigger dogs, the Rottweilers, Huskies, or Labs that think 15 minutes is sufficient. Also, cleaning up after your dog is not optional, if they shit you need to clean it up. Now I understand if you are new to the park and do not realize that you may need to supply your own bags. There are supposed to be bags there for doo doo clean-up, but they run out sometimes and so having a back up set of bags with you is a good idea. But especially when there are bags at the doggy park, there is no excuse for why you cannot clean up after you dog. No one wants to step in your dog's shit that you didn't want to clean-up. That is part of going to a dog park, taking responsibility for your dog.

Today, Bodhi and I went to the park, but I didn't want to stay too long, it is really hot here and I did not want Bodhi to over heat. Also, he is afraid of the water fountain and wouldn't drink from it and I forgot to get a bowl to take with us for him to drink out of. (He also does not like hoses or really any water device other than his bowl of water.) So I intended to stay for about 30 minutes. There was no one else there for about 20 minutes and so Bodhi ran and frolicked in the grass and had fun by himself although he definitely prefers there to be other dogs there for him to play with. So then a van pulled up and this guy and his husky came into the park. The man seemed annoyed that there was anyone else at the park and was annoyed at Bodhi for coming over and saying hi to him and his dog. I kept telling Bodhi, "no" as he can be a bit exuberant when he ways hi to people and other dogs. But really he was fun and was just happy that there was another dog to play with. The Husky did not seem too interested in playing, but that didn't stop Bodhi and they kind of played chase for a bit. Then the Husky had to go to the bathroom. The man just ignored this fact. The dog shit in one spot than another and than another, he just kept moving and shitting. Finally, it was time for me and Bodhi to go home and as I went to get Bodhi, I heard the man say, "Finish up it is time to go home." He then took his dog back to the car and left. I was so annoyed, how dare you treat the dog park which is for everyone like your backyard. You bring your dog, he does nothing, but shit and then you leave and not clean it up. what an asshole. So if you take you dog to the doggie park and if you have a dog it is great fun for both human and dog, then please clean up after your dog and realize that 15 minutes may seem sufficient to you, but really your dog may need like 30 to 60 minutes of real playtime to be a calm and happy dog.

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