Monday, December 3, 2012

Dog Park Adventures

When I'm staying downtown, I occasionally use the downtown dog park. It's fully fenced with 6+ft chain link, and kept in good repair. In the summer, it has a water tap, and there are a couple benches and a couple trees. It's not huge, but more than enough space to run Reiker stupid, even with a chuckit. There are two entrances, so unless something really strange happens, I can always just squeak out the other entrance when someone comes in.

Reiker only attends the park when it's empty, or when people I know are the only ones there (ie: Gypsy). Today, Reiker and I were playing in the empty park after waiting for a small poodle to leave. A lady drove up, so we headed out. She put her dog in the park and returned to sit in her car (!!) while I put Reik away. As he was getting in the car, she asked if he wanted to play. I said no, but my other dog might. I went to get Arch and dawdled a bit (not planning to take him into a park with an unattended dog!) waiting for the cars to stop zooming past. She finally got out of her car, and I let her go by me to get into the park before I brought him in.

Arch was fine (I knew he would be, obviously) with the dog, and we chatted a bit. She wanted to know how Reiker and Arch got along, and wanted to know who could train her dog for protection. She was thrilled when I explained that she could just use her "speak" training and teach the dog to growl-bark on the cue "Guard". Her .. husband? came later and was also enthusiastic about it.

We stayed for about half an hour, some smaller dogs came and went, Archie mostly played ball.

Then, a man drove up and unloaded a catahoula cross. He had it on a choke collar and was using his hand to 'correct' the dog's face somehow. I wasn't close enough to see if he was hitting the dog or poking it or something else. I quickly determined the dog was on a metal collar and likely to be inhibited, so I leashed Archie and we zoomed out of the park. He only chased one car! I crated him in the car and discovered I didn't have any Five Star business cards, so I just wrote the website on a parking pass, and went back into the park to give it to Tara, the lady with the dog Arch was playing with. She seemed grateful, hopefully she'll contact us!

Overall a positive experience, but how do you explain why it's so risky to let a dog play with a metal-collared dog without offending anyone? I really wish I had an article..

A different trip to the same dog park...

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