I’ve started taking Petey to one of the dog parks in Park Hayarkon. Although he’s gotten much better, he’s still a little stubborn during our walks sometime. While he no longer makes me drag him the whole length of our street (until getting excited when he sees the park), he still will randomly dig in his heels and try and stop us for no reason at all. (All I have to do is stare at him a bit and then give him a little nudge, and he’s totes excited about continuing; it’s really weird. He’s high-maintenance like that.) And he particularly won’t walk on the main paved path in Hayarkon. He’s all about the giant lawns (better smells than the bricks and pavement, I guess). But I’m sick of stepping in piles of other dogs’ non-cleaned up poo, so I’ve decided to veto the lawns. And so I’ve settled on a basic walk around the block, coming parallel to the park at one point, but not going inside anymore.
But my boy deserves the best, and so we started going there in the evenings, when I take a break from work. The dog park is fenced in and divided into two parts. The older and smaller part is like a big dirt sandbox, and has all these wooden structures that dogs can climb (plus, benches for we parents owners). But now, there’s this newer part, which is a much larger fenced in grassy open area. It’s really cute – to see the pack go back and forth between the “rooms” – you know, ’cause sometimes you just needs a little change.
It was so cute last week, when we went in the afternoon, and no one was there except for us. I got up on one of the structures and encouraged Pete to climb up an join me. He jumped up and put his front legs where I was standing, but was kinda helpless to get up there that way. I wound up getting off the structure, placing Pete on the ramp, and just slowly pushing him up, enough so that his legs started to move and he was walking up. Then we were up there together looking down from the top. Then, I got off and did the same thing, pushing/walking him down. Well, imagine my surprise when right after that he just ran right up all by himself !!! I didn’t have to try and entice him up or anything. He was brave enough to do it on his own after having only been shown the way one time !!! Ditto, going back down! Such a genius, my boy.
We paid a visit midday today, when the entire Hayarkon was in full swing so I could get the pics for this post. The dog park was packed; maybe 30 dogs in there. Petey went nuts. Right away he found nicole, another 4 month old (female) pup he’d met before outside Super Baba. They played very nicely for a while.
Then, Petey went over to these Gramps + Mrs. Gramps, who we’re so uptight, they had their chihuahua mix on his leash as they sat on a bench. Pete and him really got into it but good. Pete’s pretty submissive, and so I didn’t interrupt if I saw him on his back with the other dog on top, not unless I heard him cry or yelp, which I didn’t. But after a while, I heard a sound I didn’t recognize, sort of a growl but not, and I didn’t know if it was Pete or the other stinking mutt dog. Turns out the other dog’s retractible death trap leash was around Pete’s neck and, like, choking him. Maybe, not really – I mean, I don’t Pete was in any danger. But I picked him up nonetheless, spoke to the old farts couple in English and said I’m taking this off him and unclasped the other dog’s leash so I could get it from around Pete’s neck. This freed the other dog, but I didn’t care. Let the medicare recipients them deal with that after the bastards nearly let my dog choke to death.
Newly freed, I plopped Petey down in the other area, where he joined a huge crowd of like 10 dogs. A pretty huge bulldog took a liking to Pete, and for the next 15 minutes he just chased him everywhere. I kept a close eye on them. If I would have heard Pete cry or yelp of look unhappy in anyway, I would have stepped in. But, you know, both dogs were smiling the whole time. Although to me, it looked like the bulldog was, well, bullying Pete, because Pete would periodically take cover under a picnic table where it was harder for the bulldog to get him. Twice, Pete even dive-bombed into a big hole and just kinda “holed up” (sorry) in there instead of running (maybe he was tired). I didn’t get a picture of her, but – swear to God – bulldog’s owner was this big bull dyke (I swear, not making this up). She set off my gaydar with her Western-style swagger whenever she walked a bit around the yard. I really didn’t wanna be a baby by going up to her and saying Um, excuse me, Miss Bull Dyke? Your dog is bullying my dog. Can you please go over there and get him so my dog can play with some other dogs? Nah, that was not high on my list of Things I Wanted To Do. So, my barometer was Pete and “bully”: as long as they looked like they were both having fun, I stayed out of it.
Anyway, after a while, Petey ran for his life snuck past some idiot guy opening the gate to the outside, and I sprang into action and ran after him. We didn’t go back inside the dog park.
Pete was filthy! Bulldogs slobber a lot. Bulldog slobber + dirt = one dirty pup! I wasn’t about to put Petey through the hell experience of another shower so soon after his last one, so I just held him steady while I ran a soaped up rag over his dirty parts. He cleaned up fine and zonked out in his crate.
Yoda says it’s a good idea to play a bit with Petey in the apartment after we come back from a walk before I put him back in his crate. So, he doesn’t get the idea that being in the apartment = only being in the crate = a punishment.
So, sometimes we’ll play tug-of-war with his rope toy, and sometimes we’ll roughhouse, and sometimes I just lay on my back and let him lick the hell out of my face as much as I can stand it.
Well, sometimes Petey gets a little carried away and uses his teeth along with his tongue. He’s bitten my lip once or twice, and my nose, as you can see in this picture. It really hurt, and I reflexively cried out Ouch! (Samadar says crying a fake Ouch! sound is a good way to teach him not to jump up on people. Like, just like how he’d yelp if I stepped on his tail or hurt him, a dog can understand you crying out as meaning that you’re feeling pain. So if you make an Ouch! sound when he jumps up, he’ll begin to understand it hurts people when he jumps up on them. Even if it doesn’t really hurt, in theory it can get him to stop the behavior. We’re trying it.)
What do you think, Marcia?
Anyway, it was really hurting, so I stuck my finger in there to dig for gold to check and see if I was bleeding, and yep, I was! Petey had totes broke the skin. Good thing he’s had that rabies shot, or else…