For the uninitiated, a dog park is not where one parks the dog, rather, it is park to take a dog to so he can play with other dogs who are also at the park looking for the opportunity to play.
Recently, my roommate took her dog to doggie day care for half a day in a nearby town. On the weekends the doggie day care is a dog park. Being as it was cold outside and this indoor one was quite a bit closer than the outside one I knew of I thought I’d give it a whirl, despite having to pay a $10 fee.
We zoomed over, and he was in doggie bliss – in the car with his favorite auntie, going somewhere. When we arrived, I took the little guy to the grassy area to do this thing before we went in and the second he stepped inside the place he was all for leaving.
We’re talking about attempting to scramble back out the door sort of “Let’s go!” Sort of reminded me of the time we went to the beach and despite the owner’s belief he loved the ocean, he acted like Jaws was out there waiting for him. —–>
I spent a bit of time working with him to get him over being panicked about being left behind. He was having none of it. He cringed from the folks who worked there despite having met them before. Finally I just stripped off his sweater and basically insisted he go play.
As soon as he got in he dumped a load, which I figured was a submission thing. Easy to clean up. He did run and play, but was never quite right with the whole thing. Every dog that left, he was right next to the inside dog park door, bolting for the exit.
Finally, it became more than clear that he was saying, “I want to go home! Now!” So, after an hour, we did.
The moral of that story is that if we go to a dog park we’ll take him to one where he’s not afraid of being left behind. He had a doggie asthma attack (stress bucket that he is) and he was always watching me to make sure I wasn’t leaving him. How can he have fun that way? Which makes me wonder about the efficacy of doggie day care for him.