Sunday, May 23, 2010


Panic. Pure undiluted panic. Straight from the bottle. What a way to start a morning at the dog park.

We had been there for 30 minutes or so, my girls running the fence with ‘the pack’. All was well with my heart rate until Jamie thoughtfully suggested that maybe it was time to bring one of her dogs into the area with my dogs. I was game, leerily might I add, but ready to try it.

I was on the side with their dogs, shooting photos and debated accompanying her over to greyhound land, but both Jamie and Deena felt all would be well. So Jamie took Brynda, forever more in my head nicknamed “the guinea pig”, and strolled right into the area with my girls. Who promptly went absolutely ballistic trying to say hi. Then they ratcheted it up a notch.

The guinea pig.

Did I mention the panic? That’s about when it really hit. Heart pounding, I decided it would be a teensy bit better if I was in the pen as an additional safeguard for Brynda and scootched on over there. I am rather proud I managed to do it without actually running so everyone didn’t see just how freaked out I was. You know, keeping up appearances. Though I do believe I broke a speed walking record.

By the time I got to the churning mass of dog flesh, claws and teeth, Willow and Dru were in the process of tag teaming Brynda, trying to roll her. It was like a bad martial art film where the fighters actually wait ‘til the other one is done before entering the fray. Breeze was behaving, only because she is still a little apprehensive around Jamie and wouldn’t get close.

I jumped in and tried to restore some order. “Relax, Suzanne, they are working it out.” Then I spent the next 5 minutes learning what I needed to do to get the girls to behave appropriately in that type of situation. This whole thing about remaining calm while your dogs behave horribly is damned near impossible. I was quite concerned one of the dogs was going to get hurt. And might I add, the whole time Jamie just calmly stood there, correcting gently but convincingly, being Brynda’s safe anchor point.

The thing of it is, my girls want to play and hang out, you know, party at the dog park, but are just clueless as to how and I don't know how to teach them. So that’s what we are learning and Brynda is the perfect dog to show them.

After a bit, the girls toned it down from ballistic to excited and tried playing appropriately. I only needed to ‘bite’ them with my claw-like hand every so often. Once Brynda was not harassed quite so much by Dru and Willow she was able to wander further off, so Breeze got to try this new playing thing. She was way better at it than Willow and Dru. My blood pressure started slowly returning to normal. And Jamie pronounced this experiment a success, with more work to be done in the future. Though, I still wasn’t able to fully relax until Brynda and Jamie were on their side of the fence. Whew.

I needed a nap when I got home.

Brynda and Micah playing. Role models for my girls.

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