Long Awaited Dog Park

At long last, with no danger of Cabana going into season and fully recovered from her spay, we went to the public dog park this morning. It was cold, foggy, and still early--all welcome factors for us first-timers. I didn't want uncontrollable masses of dogs to contend with. Before going to the dog park, Cabana and I also had a 2-mile walk/jog, to help Cabana burn some energy beforehand.
cabana standing in middle of big grassy field, dotted by plastic chairs and a few tires and tunnels
Much to my initial disappointment, though, there was only ONE other dog when we arrived. He was an old little fellow, obediently trotting along after his owner. Cabana was still happy to play with him, following them all around, completely ignoring me, and sniffing the dog smells everywhere.

small black and white dog with his tongue sticking out
But after about 10 minutes, woo hoo! Lots of big dogs arrived, and Cabana got to romp romp romp! I talked briefly to the other dog owners, and they said they hadn't heard of any bad experiences at this dog park. According to them, owners here seem to be very conscientious, and the dogs are all friendly and non-aggressive. The dogs this morning certainly seemed to be, and the owners were very attentive, making sure no one was getting out of hand.
group of big dogs including a black lab, viszla, and boxer, with Cabana in the middle of the huddle
This dog park is very large and has an uneven elevation. Cabana followed some of the other dogs over a hill, where I couldn't see her. So I strolled over there to keep an eye on her, slogging my wet sneakers through the muddy grass. But by the time I got to the other side of the hill, Cabana had come back around to the front...where she had found a HUGELY GINORMOUS puddle.
cabana standing in the middle of a big puddle
Before I could get to her, not only was Cabana knee-deep in the muddy water, she was actually trying to swim in it! She got down low and stuck her muzzle in the water, trying to grab something underneath. Blecch! I silently congratulated myself for having had the foresight to throw a few old towels in the car before coming.
cabana hunkered down in the muddy water
I took the opportunity while Cabana was in the water to grab her collar and put on her leash. I knew there was ZERO hope of her coming for a recall, even with the tasty chicken jerky bits in my pocket. She wasn't even acknowledging me when I said her name, so I knew nothing would be more futile than saying "come".

The short ride in the car was enough to make the back seat terrifically dirty (even though Cabana sits on the floorboard, not the seat). And although I cleaned her paws off quite well so that Cabana could walk upstairs without leaving a footprint trail, on our way to the bathroom for a much-needed bath, Cabana accidentally brushed up against my white bedspread, leaving a nice brown splotch.

Nothing like 40 minutes at the dog park to require 3 loads of laundry and hours of cleaning! I think we'll wait until drier weather to go back to that dog park again. After some high-powered recall training sessions, too!

OSU 98  – (December 29, 2009 at 11:24 AM)  

WHAT??? Wait until its dry?? Come on mom!!! The best part was getting all wet!!!! I am a lab! A bird dog...water dog...I LIVE FOR THAT MOM!!!

I am so glad that she FINALLY got to go to the dog park! Hopefully she is a napping camper for you. Never go to the dog park without multiple dog towels and multiple clean up bags...when I used to walk Truth and Chelsie together, no less than 8 clean up bags went with us!!!

Also, do you have a set cover for the back of your car? Actually, I bet you are talented enough to make one - I could offer some suggestions about my UTOPIAN seat cover. :) I had one before Chelsie started riding in the crate, and it was a life saver. I found that tossing it in the dryer pulled off all the dog hair without having to wash it (which I still obviously did occassionally). You should consider it. I do have to say since I started making Chel ride in the crate...my car is significantly cleaner!!! But as I type, she is on the way to grammie's house, in the backsear of the car...not in a crate.

Once you get the proper supplies in place and become a little more efficient at clean up, you will whip in and out of the dog park no problem, no matter what she gets into. Remember when you thought you would never be comfortable prying her mouth open? Now you are a champ...and soon, you will conquer...THE DOG PARK!!

Alphini's Puppy Raiser  – (December 29, 2009 at 11:39 AM)  

Muddy dog parks...been there, done that! :-) So glad Cabana had fun though. I'm sure you'll have lots more good times there!!

Sierra Rose  – (December 29, 2009 at 12:29 PM)  

Oh yea Cabana!! Love that mud!
Looked like a really nice park there.
We're still engulfed in THAT dense fog!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Kelsey, Keno, and Chappelle  – (December 29, 2009 at 12:44 PM)  

Ahh sounds/looks like Cabana had an amazing time at the dog park! I love the pictures of her in the mud puddle! Haha

Sarah and the Pack.  – (December 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM)  

I second the seat cover and/or crate idea. I used to FREAK OUT when my big dogs would get in my car and be all dirty. Nothing like spending two hours shampooing the seats to make you not want to take them out again. Now I always have a crate in my car (Rav4) and use that for really dirty days, or if dogs need to be seperated.

Otherwise a heavy duty water resistant seat cover (I like the hammok style ones) are the way to go. I will even throw a fleece blanket or towel underneath to make sure their are no drips. It has been such a lifesaver for my car!

Glad you finally made it to a dog park, and glad it was a good one! There are some days/some people I avoid at ours because they just do not watch their dogs.

Have fun with future dog park adventures!

smilinshell11  – (December 29, 2009 at 1:27 PM)  

Spas charge a lot for those mud baths! :)

Toby- The dog with a blog  – (December 29, 2009 at 2:01 PM)  

Mud is PAWSOME!!
Looks like Cabana enjoyed it greatly!

L^2  – (December 29, 2009 at 5:34 PM)  

Looks like Cabana enjoyed herself very much.
Stella always seems to go straight for the water/mud too.

Becky  – (December 29, 2009 at 10:13 PM)  

Oh ... love the comment of 40 min dog park fun = 3 hours of laundry, etc. Sounds like she had a great time.

Poppy The Puppy  – (December 29, 2009 at 10:27 PM)  

I LOVE that mud puddle!! It looks like so much fun! Bummer about all the laundry though! Hope she has tons of fun exploring dog parks!

Ro  – (December 30, 2009 at 9:48 AM)  

Haha!!! Picturing her trying to swim in the mud puddle was toooo funny! Glad you two had so much fun!!

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