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Obviously this photo doesn’t really correspond to the title of this post. It was not taken at the dog park, it’s from our backyard. But I simply don’t have a photo of my little guy at the dog park and I think him squatting while he pees is a little funny. Isn’t he just adorable?
On the topic of the dog park, I’ve taken Ruger probably four times now, with some ups and downs. The first time I took him, it was actually a little sad. He was totally like that awkward new kid in school who doesn’t know where he belongs and has no friends. I let him loose in the big dog area first, where he was bullied and trampled by two huge German Shepherds. Since he’s still petite, I figured we could give the small dog area a try. He ended up being a little too excited for the little dogs and I could tell one owner was a little protective of his precious little one. So I put Ruger back in with the big dogs for an unsuccessful last attempt for him to make friends.
The following weekend, I took him back and he had a great time! He found a friend who was the perfect sized playmate. They rolled and tumbled for half an hour and loved every second. I felt like a parent, so proud and happy that her little boy had made a friend.
The next time we went, he also had fun and was able to find a few dogs his size. But again, there were a few that followed him around a little too closely and literally would not leave him alone; nipping at his legs and trying to play too roughly. But all in all, not a bad experience!
Fast forward to last weekend, I took him back hoping for a good experience and all was going well until about thirty minutes in. There were a few bigger dogs that seemed to be ganging up on him. Not that he is small by any means, because there are a lot of dogs in the big dog area that are actually small, but I think they know he’s just a baby. I let him feel it out on his own a little, you know, letting him learn the ropes and toughen up. Well just a few minutes later I see him on his back on the ground being attacked by a huge boxer. I run over just as the poor guy got away and was whimpering as he ran to my side. My heart dropped. Luckily he only got a cut above his eye, a loose baby tooth and a small scratch on his belly. Suffice it to say, we headed home soon after.
Ruger’s got a little growing to do. He’s in that middle stage where he doesn’t quite fit in just yet. But he’ll get there.
On a much more positive note, he and the kitties are doing better together and he has also started following directions more often. Hooray for progress!
What’s been your experience socializing puppies at the dog park?