Day 69: Ryleigh & Me: A Day At The Dog Park

I know I was supposed to go to my hula hoop lesson today, but who wants to hula by themselves? No one. So that got pushed to next week when Deb can go also (I’m going to hold you to it, Deb!). Instead, I went to the Hellertown Dog Park- my first dog park experience.

I didn’t even know this park existed until today. My friend, Wes, had been there once before and told me it was quite an experience. My dog, Ryleigh, doesn’t get her usual morning workout with my mom on Sundays, so I figured today would be a perfect dog park day. I was told the place can get packed with dogs, and was hoping that the overcast weather wouldn’t keep all the dogs away.

Ryleigh was so excited to get in the car. She most likely thought she was going down to the Lehigh fields where she gets to run and play with her friend, Luca, Deb’s Rhodesian ridgeback. She was in for a big surprise.

Lost and confused, she was hesitant walking the trail to the dog park. Upon spotting this fenced-in field holding other dogs, she perked up and couldn’t wait to get inside. I think she just thought the fence was trying to keep her out, and being the brat she is, just had to get into where she wasn’t supposed to go. I took her off her leash and she froze as two other dogs came bounding up to her, welcoming her to play. She let them sniff her and did some sniffing of her own, but didn’t seem to enthusiastic about this. She turned pleading eyes to me, as if just figuring out what was happening. She was being forced to socialize with outsiders in a foreign land that was enclosed by a fence. I just gave her a look and said, “Go play! We’re not leaving!”

Ryleigh trying to escape Rocky

She started to strut around, checking out the place and acting like she had no intention of playing with Tiffany and Cheyenne. She soon discovered a yellow lab that was in the bigger field, adjacent to ours, and the two ran back and forth, their noses as close to the fence as they could get. I took the hint, and opened the gate between the two fields, letting her go make friends with the lab, who we soon found out was named Rocky, and was also a first-timer at this park. It took about 10 seconds for Rocky to realize he had found his new BFF, and 15 seconds for Ryleigh to realize she didn’t want to have anything to do with this mutt. Unfortunately for her, I had the keys to the car and she wasn’t going anywhere.

Tiffany and Cheyenne soon joined Ryleigh and Rocky in the big field and the real fun started. The three other dogs tried to include Ryleigh in their play. In fact, they desperately wanted to play with her.  However, whenever they started to bat at her or even so much as sniff her, she would just walk away, as if she was too cool for school.

Ryleigh trying to dig her way out under the fence.

You would think she would have loved this. It was a DOG MECCA! A wide, open field filled with other playful dogs! But as you can see in the pictures, she could care less.

I lost sight of my dog in the sea of dogs... then I realized she wasn't with them.

I personally think dog parks are a cute idea. It’s a great way to socialize your dog while letting them run off all their energy. The only thing I suggest is having a friend with you. I would love to have just sat on one of the many benches and talked with people I knew, but instead I was forced to make small-dog-talk with the other dog owners. It was a joke. I mean, who are we kidding? We would never care to talk, but seeing as how our dogs are all up in each others’ business and are best friends, we feel the need to do the same.

Well, you know how they say dogs are like their owners? Well, if that’s true then I’m either a snob or I’m just restless, because Ryleigh was running towards the gate the minute I got her leash back out. She was so ready to get out of there.

If only she knew- I’m bringing her back. Just because she’s bratty, and because I can.

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