I took the boys to the dog park today. Murphy is 10 mths old, about 100 lbs, he's part great dane, part American bulldog. He's big, black, very strong, not graceful and not mean. Everywhere we go, people want to pet him, kids climb all over him, other dogs play well with him, my friends all want to keep him. He's a huge lap dog.
As many of you know, my christmas gift was not one, but two redbone coonhounds puppies.
I'd never owned a dog til Murph came along. So I read everything I could on dogs. I watched the Dog Whisper and other shows and talked to the vet, other dog owners and listened to everyone, didn't always agree, in my defense, some people have some pretty odd ideas.
This has been an especially bad winter, long, cold and we been buried in snow. The most snow ever, in recorded history. The longest , cruelest pre-spring cold snap, run on, and on, and on...
So, now I have three dogs. 3 Puppies. Seamus and Finnegan have been very hard to train. It's been so cold and they shake when they go near an opened door and well, there's two of them.
it's been very difficult. So, after months of being cooped up for days on end, I've been able to let them outside for longer periods of time, go for walks and take them to the dog park much more frequently.
The dogs have all had their shots. I'm not going to breed them, so Murph's been fixed, and the little ones will be in two months. They've all passed their first dog obedience lessons.
Today I took the boys to the off leash park again. In the summer it's a huge flat grass field, with small clumps of trees and bushes, groves of tightly bunched aspens and poplars. In the summer people walk in circles too, but many people let their dogs run and wrestle and chase each other, as the owners stand or walk and talk, socialise while the dogs play.
In the winter, the City plows a wide path , a huge mis-shapened oval, with a wide path intersecting it. It takes about 30 minutes of leisurely walking to round it. We normally do 3-4 circles or two hours of walking. You talk to people you meet, or know as you pass or catch up, the dogs smell, bark, chase, wrestle and you move on. It still cold out there, the temp is still hovering around zero and your walking on packed snow. The field is finally melting, it's deep, and soft and your boots fill up with snow when you flog through it to pick up the dog's refuse. It's tight quarters.
Anywho, to make a long story short..
I always carry leashes and treats.
The little guys are howlers, and barkers and they'll chase anything that moves, loudly.
Today a big dog put them in their place. It was a good thing. Dogs have to learn manners too. Eventually, they all ran together for one lap, with nary a bark. Murphy was rolled a few times as a pup too. He quickly learned the way of the road. There's only so much I can teach them.
Today's second lap, the dogs and I were alone. We came across a large pack. A pup saw the boys, bowed down and then ran towards them. My boys did the same thing and the chase was on. 3 or 4 other, bigger, younger dogs joined in. Finnegan chased the pup, barking, Seamus chased Finnegan, howling, as per the norm, and Murphy was, being Murph, the biggest dog, was barking too, just like all the other dogs... Then two older ladies with older dogs, decided it was getting too rough. All these stupid women freaked out,the owner of the puppy picked up her dog and all the dogs went crazy, and then the old bitch kicked my dog.
There were no dog bites on any human, no dogs were bitten, no one was knocked over, no one or animal was hurt in any way, it was just a lot of posturing on the dogs account. If people would just learn to relax.
Now Murph is lying in bed, he's not himself. There's no swelling, but he's a bit warm. I'm going to keep an eye on him for now.
I go during the afternoon, when the sun is the strongest, warmest. It gets too cold at night and I'm at school in the morning. My question is, what do I tomorrow. These same women seem to be there every time I go. I'm not really into confronting people. She told other people to beware of my dogs. She kicked my dog. Who should people beware of?
What would you do?