Nappy at the doggie park

Many dog owners have told me in the past, to take my dog to the doggie park so that he can get used to other dogs. I kept putting it off; most likely babying him than “manning him up” as my daughters would tell me. I always found an excuse for not taking him. Sometimes it would either be too much work and other times it was just pure laziness. In the meantime, Nappy, my little shih tzu, would become more and more scared of the other dogs in the neighborhood. While the other dogs would come to him to play, he would hide behind my legs, or run into the front door of the house, trying to get inside.

So one October day, I decided to take him to the doggie park. Both my husband and I got in the car with Nappy in the back seat. He was so excited going out, he didn’t know what was coming.

We arrived at the doggie park and saw an abundance of dogs running around and playing with each other. The owners let them off the leash and the dogs ran and drooled and roughed it with the other dogs. There were not that many dogs Nappy’s size. Most of them were labs, great Danes and a couple of medium sized dogs. There was one particular bulldog, a bit larger than Nappy, who wouldn’t leave Nappy alone. It was a cute bulldog named Bubbles that suited him just fine. We kept Nappy on a leash, afraid that the dogs will come after him and he will run and hide in some bushes. We just didn’t want to lose him. Even though the park was fenced, there were trees and high bushes, that you couldn’t get through if your dog went there.

We walked the whole park area with Nappy along with us. We let the other dogs come and sniff him, and Nappy, of course, would try to run away from them. We petted the other dogs trying to show him that we liked them, so that he will get acquainted with them. Alas, no luck. Especially, when Bubbles, the bulldog, tried to play with him, Nappy tried to hide behind my legs, wrapping the length of the leash around them. I have to admit, though that Bubbles was the cutest bulldog I had ever seen. He was not too big, but not too small either. He was solid and definitely not a lap dog like Nappy.

We didn’t stay at the park too long. We noticed that Nappy was getting anxious to leave (if you can believe that). Yes, as soon as we began walking towards the exit of the park, he walked, practically ran as far as the leash would take him, to the exit. We knew that he had enough and since it was his first time at the park, we didn’t want to push it. We wanted to be able to bring him back.

I am not sure if that park though, was the right park for Nappy. A few days later, while I was having lunch with one of my friends, I mentioned to her about the doggie park and she agreed with me that the dogs there are too big to take a dog like Nappy. So I think I will settle in taking him at other parks where there are not any dogs, and let him run around without his leash. This way he feels free and he can get his exercise.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your dog is adorable. I'm a mommy to a Shih Tzu also. I adopted him when he was 8 yrs. Buddy was not socialized as a puppy and now is terrified of other dogs. I encourage you to continue taking Nappy to the dog park or just play with other dogs. Socialization is so important. When younger, a dog can gradually get used to other dogs, even if they are scared at first. But when they are older, it is unlikely they can become properly socialized, and it's heartbreaking to see a dog uncomfortable with his own species. Please don't give up yet!