I think Mia has been in a funk. For those who don’ t know, Mia is my 1 year old, lovely black Lab.
I brought my other two dogs, the old ladies, Katelin (the Min Pin) and Scully (the Lab, Cocker, Aussie, Mastif….according to the DNA test…mix) in to board at work on Friday. We then left to goto our place in Galveston. Mia comes with us, as you know because she is an excellent traveller and loves, loves, loves the beach.
The old ladies, well, Scully barfs and Katelin runs away, so neither is well suited for the beach trip. Plus they love to come to AMCOP and spend the weekend barking at all the other dogs.
Mia was happy as a clam when I got out her beach collar, thus heralding the onset of the vacation. We had a great weekend, the weather was perfect. Mia has become the guardian of the children, when they are in the water. She stays out there, swimming near by, keeping an eye on them the whole time. The rest of the time she spends trotting around, introducing herself to all the other beach patrons, which is good and bad, as some people get a little nervous when a big black dog comes sauntering over.
So anyhow, we got back Sunday night and I noticed she seemed a little clingy. Monday, still a little “off”. I gave her a rawhide and she just laid down with it, looking mournfully at me, instead of her usual…grab and dash. I’m pretty sure she’s missing Katelin and Scully, but don’t have time to drive into Plano to pick them up, I was planning on just bringing them home with me next time I’m at work Tues.
So, since the weather was crisp, I decided to take her to the dog park at the Village at Allen. It’s a nice park, lots and lots of trees, shade, it’s clean and pretty large. Mia is always desperate to play with the dogs she encounters on her daily walk to take the kids to school and at the beach…so I thought she’d love the park.
Well, we get there and she is initially excited. Then she turns apprehensive, as a mob of German Shepherds comes trotting over to meet her. She’s got her tail down, she’s kind of cowering, and nipping at some of the bolder ones. Hmmm, I think…this doesn’t look good, but I’ll give her a little time to acclimate.
Mia wanders around, sniffing the smells. There are maybe 5 people and 8 dogs in the big dog section. Mia’s whole demeanor is slightly apprehensive. I think she was just overwhelmed by all the dogs in one spot.
There were maybe 5 German Shepherds, including a puppy about 4 months old, and a couple Blue Heelers. Both breeds I tend to be a little cautious with in a clinical environment because they can be unfriendly.
I think you know, behavior is not my forte’, but I couldn’t help but observe the scene clinically. One of the heelers was maniacally playing fetch with his owner, when the owner didn’t throw the ball, he’d sit there guarding it. Hmmm, thought I, the vet…potentially agressive dog, guarding something…potential for a fight there.
The Shepherds seemed to know each other fairly well, and were in sort of a pack. Shepherd clique if you will…vet thought: will they gang up on someone?
So, to me, the dog park didn’t seem like such a fun place. It just seemed like a ticking time bomb. One wrong look and all of a sudden, somebody would be facing a trip to the vet. Sure enough about 15 minutes into the trip, the Heeler attacked the Shepherd Puppy. He had it by the neck and was not about to back down. The poor pup was screaming its head off and poor Mia ran to me to avoid the melee and hid under the picnic table.
The Heeler guy got them apart then did the whole Caesar Milan’ Alpha Roll thing…which, while watching it, I came to the realization that that may not be the best way to train a dog. Granted, I’m no dog trainer, but here is an interesting, alternate point of view: http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/dominance/
So anyways, Mia and I decided it was a good time to leave, but not before a lady showed up with a big white, fluffy dog that immediately trotted over to Mia and proceeded to growl at her. Seriously? And this is considered fun?
Frankly, I’m not so much a fan of the dog park. I think I’ll just stick to the beach.
Mia will be happy soon, her buddies come home today.
What are your experiences with dog parks? Good/Bad/Indifferent?
I’m officially not a fan. Well, they do help bring with the laceration repair business on a professional level, but my babies won’t be going to them..