Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Fun At The Doggie Park by N. Vincent

     My daughter Tam and I don't get to spend much time together. Thus we planned a shared time together with our new members of the family, acquired this summer of 2014: two German Shepherd puppies, Bravo, a male eight months old, and Rio, his cuzzin', six months old.
       I ferried across to Seattle for this excursion with my Mom, who then stayed with the rest of the family while I and Tam set out after lunch. We puffed (I did, at least....) up one of the steep hills of the Seattle Magnolia district with our rambunctious pups. Mine, in spite of my good intentions, did not listen to the Don Sullivan training I hadn't given him. (Need more work on that.....).
       I had to rest a hundred times. It was a hot day and Tam kept saying, "No need to hurry, Mom." (I always try to walk fast, but this was tough, my being so out of shape and more of me than I wanted). I never thought that maybe she was tired too....).
       We finally got to the top of the hill wherein lay the Dog Park, already being enjoyed by a lot of dogs and their people. Tam let us through the precautionary double gate (so as to avoid Escapes). We used the far end where nobody was. Way at the other end was One Bench, occupied by a young couple, totally, although there was room for two more people. Their Backpack was on one end and Her Purse on the other. Thus, the only place for an old woman to sit was one of two huge logs or one of two Hillbilly Chairs--upturned log rounds. I'm a hillbilly, so that would have fit me, but I can't get up and down as easily as I uster.......Not once while we were there did this rude couple offer to move over and make room for an old lady to sit.
      Rio leapt right in to play, as this was her second time. There were mix poodles, bulldog, little and medium dogs of all kinds, about ten or so, more or less (as good a figure as any, as I don't remember....) plus a couple of bigger dogs and one coon hound. But Bravo just clung to "Mom's leg" and didn't really know what to do or how he was supposed to behave, even though he has two big yards in which to play. Tam said most of the dogs act that way their first time. Some of the littler dogs had toy balls to run after, and one "kid" really got into it. We didn't think to bring a ball.
     Watching the Dog People's People was interesting. One woman seemed scared to death and disapproving of our Shepherds. I smiled and told her they were just pups and not mean, but Her Look said she didn't believe me, and Disapproved. How dare we bring German Shepherds to a dog park with their precious little ones.......
     Interestingly enough, the two dogs that got in a fight were LITTLE dogs, a poodle and a shaggy something. I was the first over to break them up and then their owners were hot on my heels. Bravo rushed over to investigate but he heeded the call to No, for which I was proud of him. They are both such handsome dogs, a pair, alright. Quite frankly, I have discovered that most little-bitty dogs are much meaner than any of my own big dogs have ever thought of being.
     There were watering stations and it was roomy enough, with trees, laid out in a big oval with gravel floor and the big logs. Bravo was raised with two little dogs meaner than blue blazes, and he always came out on the short end of the stick because he was the youngest. Even when he got to be the biggest, he still thinks of those two as his superiors. He behaved admirably, and of course, so did Rio.
      Most of the people left after the dogfight, about a half hour into the social hour, including the two Bench Hoggers and their Bags. On the way down the hill we discussed events. We thought the little poodle was coming in heat, which was why the two dogs fussed, as the others more or less seemed unusually interested in investigating her.
     I remarked to Tam, "I thought that one lady was rude," and she said, "There were more than one who was rude." I had to agree, in retrospect.
     Stereotypes never get far around the bend when people have prejudices about certain breeds of dogs.
     But altogether we had a great time, and  I was impressed, as always, how great my daughter is with people and animals, and how folks stop to talk to her all along the way (a good excuse to stop the huffin' and puffin' for a moment). A real treasure, this girl God gave me.
     Back at the ranch there was only time for punkin pie and ice cream, then the rush to catch the ferry back home, as the people in Seattle are maniacs when it comes to The Great Outdoors, down on the waterfront. They are out in droves, rain or shine, and the law says You Must Stop For Them. There is no such thing as "Rushing To Catch The Ferry" down along the waterfront....
      I got detoured on Western avenue but turned down when the street looked right, thus we made it with minutes to spare. Although I'm sure I broke a few traffic laws. The light turned red just as I got into one  intersection. No choice but to zip on through and hope I didn't see what I hoped I didn't see in the rear view mirror. Grace and mercy were with me all the way.......
    ending a grand, adventurous Family day of blessings as Bravo's first day at the Doggie Park closed a great success for all of us,   

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