I am going to focus my 2nd "furry friday" on the unique experience of a dog park. Although we hate the area that we live in because it is south of Seattle and too far from everything, we love that it is surrounded by great little hidden dog parks!
The not-actually-a-dog park
This one is the best by far! It is 130 acres of trails, open patches, and beautiful wooded areas surrounding a cute little lake. There are 2 openings to the lake; 1 has an awesome dock for dogs to play around and the other is more secluded which is nice when Domino is being a bit too crazy for public.
This isn't supposed to be an off-leash park, there are signs clearly stating that. But, I have never been there without seeing much more people with dog than not. So, it's "unofficial" and until they start fining, Domino is running free!
The advertisement park
This park is a feed, tack, and pet supply store's attempt at drawing in customers...and it works. They have 2 fenced areas in front of their store for off-leash fun. This is great for socializing Domino (he really needs it) and for good tiring dog play time. The problem with this one; it is cliquey! There is an after work crew that stands in the middle of it regulating the activity. It feels like high school gym class when all I really want to do is watch my dog play like a big goon with other pups.
The new park
This one we just found yesterday. It is just a big fenced in rectangle out in the middle of a human park/trail area. It is huge so it is good for running and great for sitting on the opposite end if you just want some silence! It pretty far away though, it takes about 20 min to drive to while the others take 5.
For those of you who have never been to a dog park, I thought I would share a little bit of the personality types. It can be pretty interesting! Even if you don't have a dog, you should borrow someone's (mine is up for grabs!!) and just sit and observe...pretty funny!
The queen bee:
I say queen, because it usually is a woman...odd. She "owns" the park and she lets you know it by giving details of every dog there. "Oh that’s Buggy, he is really nice," "Scooter doesn’t like the water..oh look at him swimming, that’s weird." The advertisement park has one of these who makes me want to cover my ears with poop bags! Her commentary on the dogs could probably be heard from Oregon! This dog park personality is the reason I will drive the extra 15 minutes to be able to sit on the quiet end of the new park.
The oblivious owner:
This is the person who has a really aggressive, slobbery, humping, jumpy, or otherwise intrusive dog but has absolutely no idea. They say things like "he isn't mean, he is just saying hi" as their dog is lunging at your dog with teeth barred. The advertisement park has one of these people who actually leaves her dog in the park to hump everyone while she shops!
The overprotective owner:
This person is the opposite of the oblivious owner. They follow their dog around analyzing every move. "She has 1 hair up on her back, maybe you should grab your dog" or "do you have to poop yet fluffy, are you thirsty honey the water is over here...oh no! it’s dirty, let’s grab more." I have to say, I prefer this person over most other personalities, but if you are this concerned with every little movement maybe your back yard is a better place for you. Less chance of you getting an ulcer over the play patterns of your dog.
The wallflower owner:
This is the person who is quiet and stays on the sidelines while the dogs play. This is me! I sit on the bench and watch Domino play. Ill get up if he poops obviously or if he needs some encouragement to get in the mess and play with the other dogs. Otherwise, I sit and mind my own business. This is why I like the not-actually-a-dog park, it is open spaces and I can keep walking if I don’t want to join a clique that is forming. Call me antisocial or weird if you want but when I am at a dog park I just want to be with my dog. I like talking to people, but no, I do not want to band together against that owner that doesn’t like brown dogs or whatever you are recruiting for. I just want to walk with my dog!
Dog park inevitibles:
You will be asked what your dog is...even if you have told that person multiple times and they have said "oh my cousin has a dog like that, he likes to (insert quirky dog trait here)"
You will be told some funny story that makes that person's dog the best dog in the entire world! "Fudgie brings me my slippers in the bathroom, can you believe it?!"
You will be glared at by someone at some point in time for some "horrendous" thing your dog did. Domino once pooped at the advertisement park in the middle of a group of dogs who were sniffing him and one of the owners said "that dog is pooping" with great disdain in her voice. He is a dog and that is what they do! I was on my way over with poop bag in hand while she gave me a look of disgust.
You will get slobbered on, leg humped, ran over, and jumped on with muddy paws. But that is the best part! The dogs are the part of the dog park that I love, they make it fun....their owners make it interesting!