adventures of bwp - 5/3

Today was interesting. And rather eventful. I have quite a bit to tell about today, and while I usually only tell the highlights and the happy/fun/cute parts of the park trips, I feel there is just so much more to tell than that today. You all know your dogs and their quirks, right? For whatever reason, quirks were out in full force. To start out, I brought Bailey in my morning group (she usually goes in the afternoons, but hasn't been going much lately due to a sore hip/back). She took charge of the huge blue ball and her way of letting me know she wanted to throw it was to try and trip me with it - shoving the ball in front of my ankle with every step. Then when we were at the water, she would bring it out the water and do her obsessive lab "I don't want to drop it" thing which poured the water filled ball all over my pants. Oh Bailey-Boo, how I love you....

Oliver was playing with a big squeaky tennis ball we found the day before. As we were leaving the water, walking back by the bench on the pathway, he decided to jump over the fence and hide his ball somewhere in the wetland bushes. Well, Mr. Cooper, who idolizes his older Viszla brothers, made his first attempt at jumping the fence. He made it, but barely. You see, Miles and Oliver can clear that fence like an Olympic high jumper - never touching the fence, sail right over it. Cooper has a bit to learn (ideally he just wouldn't jump fences, but if he is going to do it, he may as well do it right and not hurt himself!)

The afternoon trip is where things really got exciting. To start, Milkshake learned a new trick. For the past year, I have been trying to train him not to bark at me when he wants me to throw his ball. It has been an on-going battle and I have tried many difference tactics. He gets it, he just doesn't like it. Well today he tried a new tactic that I really don't know how to respond to.... With the ball in his mouth, he walks up behind me as I am walking and essentially sticks the ball right between my legs (Ok, it's more like my butt) - he gooses me!!! It definitely gets my attention! He did it several times, I know I have to not reward him with attention for behaviors I don't want, but how can I not pay attention to that! We will definitely have to come up with a strategy for that one....

While at the water, Oliver stole another dog walkers pink squeaky ball and played keep away while residing on his throne of a rock. I took a video that didn't come out very well, but Miles and Oliver are both standing on rocks in the water, and Cooper is on a third rock, desperately trying to climb on top, but kind of looking like a baby turtle.

Ok, I'm going to say it, you can get mad at me if you want, but if you are going to bring young children to the park, please don't equip them with toys, food, and/or sticks. The dogs are already attracted to kids because they are at their level, and adding these fun things (in a dogs mind) makes them irresistible. Kids don't always react to dogs the same way - the fact that they are the same size is scary to kids, as opposed to fun for dogs. Today is a perfect example why.... we were walking along just fine, totally under control, and a young girl and her mom walk by us. The girl is waving a plush squeaky toy in the air, what I assume is her special security blanket kind of toy. Well, to two puppies, it seemed like she was waving a toy for them, so Stella and Bonita ran and grabbed the toy. They were actually really really good and came back to me the second I called them, but the girl had already been knocked to the ground and was in tears, and the mom was giving me the look of death. Moral of the story - it's a dog park. There are hundreds times more kid parks than dog parks in the city, so let the dogs play at the dog park and let the kids play at the kid park! I totally understand the need and importance to bring kids to the dog park at a young age so they are comfortable with it and understand the dogs, but please, just be mindful of the situation. The dogs don't know the difference between a dog toy and a kid toy... especially when it is waving in the air and squeaking!

Ok, if that wasn't bad enough, get ready for this. We were walking down the path to the water, and we passed a blind woman with a walking cane. First of all, one of the dogs, in passing by, decided to make an abrupt course change and tripped over the cane. This obviously threw off the woman, but luckily she wasn't too phased and has a friend with her to avoid a total disaster. After this incident, Cooper followed the woman for a good 20ft... He was absolutely fascinated that this woman got to walk with a stick! He was so curious - ducking and darting his head and body as he walked along. He does the same thing with kids - he is a very curious pup.

We walked by our favorite picture taking bench - the Viszlas were on it right away - but this time they were accompanied by Miss Pepper. The bench pics aren't just for the Viszlas anymore! They used to be the only ones that would hop up there, but now that Pepper knows there is the possibility of food, she's all about it! It took Cooper a couple tries to figure out how to get on the bench today.... climbing over the back didn't work out so well.

Does anyone else see the resemblance here or do I just have a thing for yellow labs? Chesa is a baby Bailey in the making :) Hopefully Chesa doesn't pick up on that little trip-Kelley-with-the-blue-ball trick Bailey has mastered.

Summary of today: The dog park is a bit like animal planet and it's a great example of why we have leash laws. My dogs are all well behaved, non-aggressive, sweet dogs, but they are dogs and dogs have a mind of their own...