A Fascination with Dog Parks

I have a confession to make. I used to go to dog parks solely for Cabana's benefit, so she could romp and play with other dogs and get exercise. Now, though, I have to admit that I go to dog parks for myself, too. It's weird because I'm NOT extroverted. I eschew parties and other social functions. If I feel obligated to attend one, I am often the first to leave.

But there's a "social crapshoot" fascination that I've acquired about dog parks (must be my sociology background creeping back in). You just never know who's going to be there on a given day or time, what kind of dogs Cabana will get to play with, what crazy owners I'll come across, and on occasion, what nice people I will make friends with.

large fluffy white dog, part husky, part wolf maybe? missing left front leg, wearing a red harness type jacketLast week, Cabana and I met this 3-legged dog. He lost his leg to cancer two months ago, but he was still very spry and loved to play and run. His owner said it is a testament to how dogs live in the moment and that he doesn't really seem to miss his leg at all.

same white three-legged dog, standing next to a muscular pale brown pit bull with studded collarHe wanted to get frisky with this female pit bull. But who could blame him, since the female pit bull was in full-blown heat! Her owner knowingly brought her to the dog park anyway--talk about a boneheaded thing to do. As a couple other dogs started to arrive, Cabana and I made a hasty retreat, knowing that no good could come from the situation. We've been fortunate not to have any bad incidents at dog parks, but I've also learned that it helps to be proactive and leave when trouble seems to be unavoidable.

7 dogs of differing breeds in field of green grass, cabana is in the center, looking down at the grass, there are a couple golden retrievers, two pit bull mixes, a boston terrier, and a huge silvery colored giant of a dog in the foregroundWith the warmer weather (although this morning was a super chilly exception), more and more people are coming to our neighborhood dog park. There was a nice crowd there this morning. It has been a great change for Cabana, since we started going to dog parks in winter, when we were lucky if there was even one other dog there to play with.

the silvery colored big dog, running by himself in the grassTalk about fascinating--look at this big guy! I don't know what kind of dog he is, but his head looks like St. Bernard? No guesses about his body. When he runs, he looks like he's moving in slow motion.

cabana romping next to the big silver dog, cabana is half the height of the big dog who is in motion, one paw up in the air, looking at cabana, the photo is blurry and the flash has caught cabana's iris, making a large light reflection in her eyeHe doesn't run that often, preferring a slow "gentle giant" type gait. But Cabana got him romping a bit this morning. That must be why she has that huge "sparkle" in her eye!

Katrin  – (May 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM)  

he looks like a shaved great pyrenese. they brought a bitch in HEAT to the dog park??!!! Oi!! What a crazy person!

Heather and Ellie  – (May 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM)  

I'm fascinated by dog parks too--I love watching dogs playing with each other. But I never go to them because Ellie isn't allowed.

I think that big guy is a Great Pyrenees, though usually they have a longer coat. But his face looks just like a Pyr.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (May 16, 2010 at 12:40 PM)  

Yes! Katrin and Heather, I think you are right! Great Pyrenees. I'm going to ask the owner next time I see them (I think I have asked before, but now I can't remember what he said....)

JackDaddy  – (May 16, 2010 at 2:31 PM)  

I'm always amazed at the people who think (or don't think) that their dog would never be a problem at the park! Silly peoples!!

Sarah and the Pack.  – (May 16, 2010 at 4:47 PM)  

Defiently looks like a shaved Pyr with badger markings on his face. Dogs parks are a different world. You meet all types of people and dogs...though I have learned to spot the clueless/irresponsible owners and beat a hasty retreat. Nothing ruins a great afternoon like a dog fight. And a bitch in heat will most CERTAINLY cause that. What an idiot!

Maggie Mae  – (May 16, 2010 at 5:44 PM)  

My mom doesn't take me to our local dog park anymore because there are too many peoples there who would rather talk to each other than look after their puppies. :(

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Samantha  – (May 17, 2010 at 12:11 PM)  

Wow - the big dog on his own doesn't look that large, but put Cabana next to him and boom! She shrunk! And... I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE SOMEONE BROUGHT THEIR IN-HEAT BITCH TO THE DOG PARK!!!!!!! You made a smart move to beat feet! Stupidstupidstupid!!!! Hope we see you soon!
Hugs xoxoxo
Sammie

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