In all of my years of dog companionship, I have never once taken a dog to a dog park by myself.
In some ways, it’s been a valid fear. Dog parks are filled with uncertainty, from the untrained dogs who like to provoke the other pups to the distracted humans more focused on their phones than on their dogs. I’m strong, but I’m small and I would have little success attempting to physically break up a scuffle. And one especially horrific dog attack that I witnessed (in my neighborhood, not a dog park, but still…) is forever imprinted in my memory.
In addition, there is my concern about accidental injury. It’s only been a few months since Kazh had a serious broken leg at the dog park (the incident had everything to do with a tennis ball and nothing at all to do with the location, but still…).
But in most ways, it’s been an irrational worry. I’ve been to dog parks hundreds of times with my husband. In those visits, I’ve had the opportunity to watch and learn the specific energy that leads to potential trouble. I’ve corrected dogs that were causing trouble and reminded mine to stay out of the drama. My daily walks with Kazh have been instrumental with his training and helped me to establish trust with him. Kazh has been amazing with every situation that he’s been in and even helped to train (with my husband’s help) a friend’s excited and undisciplined dog.
In other words, I’m ready and Kazh has been ready.
Today I finally took that leap. I loaded the pup in the car, made the short drive and walked into that park with a mixture of false confidence and familiarity.
And it went off without a hitch.
One of my absolutely favorite feelings in the world is being afraid of something and doing it anyways.