Wednesday, October 22, 2008


My nemesis - finding a Suitable Park nearby to play in!

We have found a small neighborhood park about two blocks away that is perfect for our early morning (pre-Animal Control Patrol) play, but as it's not a dog park, I wouldn't take my dogs there to run in the afternoons or anything. It's perfect for pre-work romps though. Every morning we are joined by Connor the Cattle Dog, who shrieks like a banshee and usually gets the ball first.

After work, there's just nowhere to go. Hole Digging Park has now been renamed POOPY PARK. I will spare you the gory details but let's just say that Canada Geese + puddles + thirsty dogs = The Food Lady spending a lot of time scrubbing liquid poo off her brand new area rugs. So Poopy Park is OUT!

Yesterday we tried Monkey Tree Park again. There were lots of dogs there, which was a good sign. However, within 45 seconds of arriving Mr. Woo got pounced on by what was, without a doubt, the absolute *worst* behaved dog I have ever seen, owned by the most ineffectual woman I have ever had the displeasure of not meeting (for fear I would verbally slug her). Her dog invited Woo to play and then pinned all 25lbs of him down with her 60+ lb body and ripped out chunks of his hair. I had to haul the dog off him bodily as his screams were blissfully ignored. He was soaking wet everywhere when I freed him ... and he was MAD!

The dog then stole Tweed's ball and proceeded to play a long and complicated game of keep-away with it, which I (not the owner, mind) finally thwarted by pretending to have an invisible cookie.

I lay all my dogs down on the grass and pointedly stood very still, and after a good 4 minutes of calling the dog's name over and over and over and over and over and over again, the woman finally began walking away and after eating the contents ... wait for it ... of our poopy bag (GAG) the dog finally, reluctantly, followed her owner away. Good grief! Older, timid ladies of the world ... please, adopt small elderly dogs. Not large, gross, hard headed labshepherdpitmutt puppies!

Which left us with the second worst behaved dog in the world, the Malinois. For at least 10 minutes, and I'm not exaggerating, the Malinois trotted in a big neurotic circle with the clear intention of beating any of my dogs to the ball if I were stupid enough to throw it. I tried the lay-my-dogs-down hint again, and the owner just stood there, speaking softly to the Mal in a language I don't understand. At first I thought he was incredibly obtuse, but after a while I realized he was just another owner whose dog has no recall command, and it wasn't that he was ignoring his dog - rather, his dog was ignoring him. He could not call him, nor could he catch him.

People please - if your dog does not have some semblance of a recall, keep him on a leash until he does!

I finally stomped off in a huff and found a corner of the park where there were no ball stealing Malinois or poop eating mutts, but by then our outing had kinda been soured ... I drove all the way to Queen Elizabeth Park for this?

So today, we went back to Doggie Death Park.

The super tall grasses are mostly gone. I don't think they've been mowed, they have just died off as Autumn has progressed. So it's not quite the poopy landmine it was the last time we were there, but still tall enough to get some advert-esque dogs-bounding-through-tall-grass shots.

So it was good for everyone. Piper and Mr. Woo got to play Fifa (tm):

and Tweed got to play with a regular ball (which we didn't lose).

There weren't too many other dogs there, although we did run into this extremely happy coffee table ... errr, Lab.

He wanted to be friends with Wootie, but after Monkey Tree Park, Woo was skeptical:

He just wanted to play some ball

While Tweed kept watch

The Fifa (tm) Faces of Woo:

Are you going to kick that?

Don't look at Piper, look at me. I'm cuter, and oranger.

What do you mean by "the game is over, stop staring at me, we're going home Mr. Woo," exactly?

If he wasn't so cute, he might be considered a real bossy boots pain in the rear!

But you have to admit, he's really cute.


MaskedMan said...

There's a reason I avoid dog parks like the plague... And it isn't the dogs, per se.

I'm fortunate to have large parks neary by, and very limited competition for use of them. Here's hoping you can find a proper play mecca for your crew!

Lizzie said...

Argh. I hate rude dogs.

Have you tried Fraser River Park? It might be out of your way, but the people and dogs are nice! And there's water for swimming in and grass for running in. And only one resident squirrel.

Kathleen said...

We have no dog parks in Lima and almost no one seems to know about leashes or obedience training of any kind. They're so amazed when Celeste sits on command. Or comes to her name. And they're amused when I carry the poopy bag to a trash can. And I think that Celeste is the only dog that has been fixed and never leaves the house without a leash in our entire neighborhood.

*sigh* Wish I had a dog park nearby.

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

Hi there!

I'm Scottie..nice to meet you! Boy, your parks sure look wonderful to play in! I wish there were parks like these where I'm at...=( Anyways, I think your human takes great photos! I love the photos of you running through the tall grass...=)

Will check back soon!


Tristan - I'm a Heavenly King said...

Poor Mr Woo! I hope the experience hasn't scarred him. What's wrong with these people anyways? We need a "Morons keep out" sign. You think that would be obvious enough?

Anonymous said...

I understand your plight. I live in Portland, OR with a mildly reactive border collie (think Tweed with a flamboyance). I live a mile away from the best dog park in town, but we can't go there anymore due to experiences with scary dogs. My bc can't handle the crowds anymore. However, I can't move b/c I have a morning rompie park and a former dairy, dog-welcoming (thank God), but mostly deserted of people and dogs. Otherwise, I have to schedule weekly playdates with my dog's buddies. Keep searching!

Black Jack's Carol said...

One of those laugh-out-loud posts again. Your words zero in on where it's at about as precisely as your photos. No wonder so many people enjoy your blog. Great that you have a morning option for your crew, and can see from the happy faces, that the afternoon run, while giving you more headaches, is still fun in dog terms. (lizzie's last sentence would not be a plus for Black Jack, unless that one resident had lots of visitors.)

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

Oh I am missing my dogpark mornings ... I only went at the crack of dawn, when the "doggie" people are there -- odd hours on weekdays seem to attract people with problem dogs or problem people with dogs, hahahaha ... and the weekend hours are duly deemed "neophyte time." Enjoying a brisk with with other dogs and savvy dog owners is truly a pleasure, as talk is usually of training, breed characteristics and complaining about the afore-mentioned neophytes. Funny how everyone knows the DOG'S names and struggles with the human's names!

Diamond Girl said...

"I finally stomped off in a huff" - My mother likes to say that I stormed off in a Huff. A 1963 powder blue Huff, to be exact. What make and model is your Huff?

Carol said...

Will there be a Big Air/3WAAW 2009 calendar? The tall grass photo of Woo is a natural for October! Of course, 9 of the months should be Tweed, but I guess Woo, Piper, and Donut can each have one month each ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking a "Morons Keep Out" sign wouldn't work at all: these people don't THINK they are morons. Rather, they don't think at all.

I just love the "Oh, my dog is just playing" when their monster has all hackles up, is growling and has pinned one of my dogs down. If I did that to someone, I bet no one else would think I was "playing." Although I am tempted at times...

riosmom said...

Ok, I have to ask - does Woo's Fifa stand for his soccer ball? If so, how can it be a (tm) since FIFA stands for
.Fédération Internationale de Football Association? Nitpicking aside, yes, Woo is cute enough to be illegal.

I had to stop going to a 9 acre dog park because people pulled up, let their dogs out, and sat in their cars. Not only were they not watching their dogs but, of course, they weren't picking up after them either. One day I decided I had stepped in my last pile of dog s*** and switched to going to a private beach where I am happy to pay a parking fee ($100/year) to have a sane place for Gracie to run with her two Aussie friends. Is your new apartment too far from the beach where you used to go? That must hurt.

Anonymous said...

Ah, how annoying! Are the dog parks by your old stomping ground far away from your new place? Maybe you could haul the crew out that way again if it's not too far...

dp said...

We think BCs in the wrong hands are a pain in the ass. A malinois in the wrong hands is just plain scary. Have I mentioned how much I like living in the country? The only disadvantage is that the dogs are turning into total yokels. Urban dog parks mess with their heads now...Watson especially.

Arings said...

I am speechless to see your shots! Great pics! I just dropped by your blog by chance and found it to be really interesting. I am a dog lover too and run two dog blogs. you might find them interesting!