Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dog park adventure

For his birthday last week, I took Miro to the dog park and snapped just a few photos. The rest of the time, I was busy keeping an eye on my dog and chatting with people. As soon as we entered, a fellow fuzzy-face zeroed in on him. Unfortunately, Mr. Fuzz--part Golden Retriever and Airedale or Wirehaired Pointer--was not terribly wise in the ways of dog play. Like many dogs who want to play but don't quite know how, he kept trying to hump Miro. Miro would leap away, then turn and bounce on his front legs, inviting Mr. Fuzz to play with better manners. I was proud of my boy for reacting neither aggressively nor passively, but with confidence.

This park has the usual airlock type entry with a gate from the outside leading to an enclosed area where you can unleash your dog, then a gate into the park. Seeing a newcomer, dogs always run to the gate, and it's up to us owners to call our dogs away from mobbing and cornering the new dog.

I was talking to my friend Amy, Sheltie-person and a primary founder of the dog park, when Miro followed some other dogs to the south gate.

When I called to him, he stuffed his toes in his ears and sang, "I can't hear you," so I started toward him. Two women were fussing over their dogs in the airlock, one with a medium-sized dog and the other with a small dog she was hugging to her chest (good way to make the dog feel frightened). The one with the medium dog opened the gate into the park at the same time that the woman with the small dog opened the gate to the outer path.

Apparently neither woman could read the signs telling people NOT to do that. I ran.  Before I got to him, Miro slipped through both gates. Neither woman reacted when Miro walked past and started trotting up the hill, fortunately not toward the parking lot. 

I barreled past both women, clapping my hands and calling Miro to come, trying for the "happy voice" despite that heart-in-the-throat feeling. Miro turned around and would have charged right past me, but I was used to this trick and lunged for his collar, bringing him to my side. 

I shouted at small-dog woman loudly enough to make her cringe, "Never, EVER open both gates at the same time!"  I was very restrained. I did not tell her she was an idiot. I did not knock her down and jump on her. I did not throttle her or kick her fat behind. I just contented myself with fantasizing about doing those things and more while escorting a happily panting Miro back into the park.


  1. OMD! That is every dog owners worst nightmare! I can't imagine the sudden panic at the thought of a terrier in the wild!!!! BOL Oh, butts then again, that is how we usually get caught! We stop to sniff a good smell, or chase a sqirrel up a tree and stop to bark at it...much to the delight of our peeps.
    I'm so glad your Moms knows all your 'tricks' Miro...we don't want you learnin' the 'call of the wild' ya know?

  2. Momma would have been screaming
    Benny & Lily

  3. OMG, our mom would have been frantic! Your mom handled it like a pro, Miro! Thank doG for happy endings!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  4. Sure am glad everything turned out okay!

  5. Wow, that is scary! We have a dog park by our house, and that gate stuff is probably the most important of all!