Sunday, May 23, 2010

Not a dog park dog... but not a loner, either!

I quit taking Maisy to the dog park long ago. There were a lot of reasons for this, but my main one was that she just didn't enjoy it. She didn't really play with the other dogs, and generally seemed kind of stressed while we were there, so I figured she was more of a loner.

Well, she's not.

My friend Elizabeth had me, Megan, and Jane over for supper last night, and of course we brought dogs. All told, there were five dogs: Maisy, Beckett the greyhound, Buzz the English springer spaniel, Boomer the lab, and Fritz who is probably a lab/shepherd mix.

I think we were all a bit worried about how it would go. I was worried because of Maisy's reactivity and spotty history at the dog park, Elizabeth was worried because Maisy sort of hops like a rabbit (and she has a greyhound), and Megan was worried because Fritz plays with his paws, and Maisy was, by far, the smallest of the group.

The beauty of hanging out with dog people, as opposed to the variable nature of the folks who go to the dog park, is that we were all very attentive to our dogs. In fact, I think Elizabeth and Megan were more protective of Maisy than I was! We were careful to introduce dogs one at a time. We allowed the big dogs to run around and blow off some steam before Maisy joined the group. Beckett wore a muzzle when he got too excited, and time outs were given when someone got too rambunctious.

In the end, everyone got along really well. Maisy does a really good job of communicating to the other dogs when she needs more space, but she does it appropriately. She also responded well when other dogs told her to back off just a bit, and again, they did it appropriately. I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to let Maisy play off leash, and know that the other owners aren't going to freak out, or stand by and do nothing.

Maisy still isn't a dog park dog- there are just too many variables that I can't control- but it's nice to know that she can play with other dogs from time to time.


Dawn said...

Sounds wonderful. Maisy is such a good girl.

Crystal said...

She is FABULOUS. She's come a long way in the last year.

M.T. said...

That was awesome reading :) I only ever have playdates with owners i know are attentive and responsible anymore, like you said, too many variables and too many things that could go wrong in a split second! Still, i really enjoy seeing the dogs having a good play and romp! Way to go Maisy!

Crysania said...

I don't even think Dahlia is a dog park dog, really. She LOVES other dogs, is good with them, but she doesn't like to be mobbed and she has a very particular play style (she cannot handle being jumped on and so many of the dogs at the park immediately jump on her).

I sometimes meet up with a small group of dog owners who are attentive, have well trained dogs, and find my girl is much happier.

I'm glad Maisy had a good romp! Looks like they were all having fun!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

that's awesome! It looks like everybody had a great time