This past weekend was so beautiful that we had to take advantage and get out some. Morgan has been a little nutty lately and we knew that taking her to the dog park for a chance to really blow off some steam would help a lot. We opted to just take Morgan and Bunny, mainly because it’s easier. Blueberry usually doesn’t enjoy it for very long, and Morgan needs a lot more time there. Küster loves everybody and every dog, but because he’s a working dog, he isn’t neutered. Some people at the dog park can be funny about that, and sometimes there are other male dogs there that have issue with it. We don’t take him during times when it will be really high traffic now because of that.
I knew it would be busy when we went, but I was still surprised by the number of people and dogs there when we arrived. It seemed like a friendly, laid back mix of dogs, though, so we went in with Bunny and Mo. They both headed off with their own agendas. Bunny likes to leave her calling card all over the park and sniff every blade of grass while Morgan runs off to do a head check of all the other dogs and see who will play with her. Soon, both of the girls had found other dogs that they were interested in socializing with and we were done taking care of Bunny’s calling cards.
It was turning out to be a pretty normal day at the dog park. Bunny and Morgan were both enjoying just being dogs, sniffing the grass and running around. Bunny even did a few laps to amuse the crowd. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it, but this is down town for them. They both get to just do what interests them and follow their noses. I don’t call them to me or fuss at them not to do many things, aside from avoiding poop and digging holes. I let them be dogs. In our lives, we go out with them a lot and we have expectations of them, that they’ll behave in a certain way and do what we ask of them.
As Bunny was investigating the park, she caught the attention of a little girl who was probably around four years old. I’m not certain, but I suspect it was the pink jacket that did it. Whatever the reason, this girl was obsessed with my dog. The mother’s calls across the park were doing nothing to deter her, and she was too lazy to walk over and retrieve her child. Bunny’s body language told me when she’d had enough of the girl’s attention and I started making my way towards them. I know that Bunny wouldn’t snap at the girl, and that wasn’t my worry. My concern was the girl grabbing her around the neck and possibly hurting her. I began to notice Morgan circling nearby, too, and decided that my intervention would be better than Morgan’s. Morgan really likes young children, too, but my bet is that her loyalty lies with her pack mates.
As I was making my way over, Mr. Taleteller got to her first. He got her by the ring on her collar and began leading her across the park. I wasn’t sure what he was doing, but I was curious. I began following them, and when I got close enough to ask him quietly, I asked if he needed her leash. He told me no and I stood back, waiting to see what he was up to.
To my surprise, he led Bunny over to a young man who was sitting on the ground amongst the leaves. My husband began telling him a little about Bunny and the man began feeling her face, neck and legs. As I walked up, I realized that he was blind. He was obviously really enjoying meeting Bunny, and she was patiently allowing him to touch her and get to know her. He introduced himself to both of us, along with his friend. Thomas was there with his guide dog, Gilley. He recently moved to our area and his friend knew about the park. Gilley was there for some down time of his own, but he dutifully returned every few minutes when Thomas called him.
It was pretty obvious that Thomas loved dogs. He smiled broadly when any of them would stop beside him for a few minutes. Morgan stood for a brief minute and let him pet her, although she stood there for a much longer time while Thomas was inspecting Bunny. He asked his companion often what the different dogs were doing, and he asked about them by name. He also was very keen to know what Gilley was doing.
Most of the other dogs didn’t have the patience to stand and let him get to know them for very long. I give Bunny a lot of credit for being so gracious, especially after being stalked by the little girl. She was much kinder and gentler than I would have been. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own world of wants and needs and forget that there are others out there who just need a minute or two of our time. Something that costs us so little can be a priceless treasure to someone else.