Observations at the Dog Park

I’m not a “dog person.” But I like dogs. My family and I, we’ve always had cats. Still, one of the things I enjoy doing at our local park is taking a stroll down to the dog beach, where a motley crew of canines gathers to frolic along the shoreline and plunge into the lake’s dusky waters.

After the initial butt-sniff assessment, the doggies naturally form little packs. It’s real-time reality TV and it’s way better than just humans. The dogs’ owners are entertaining, too, but it’s the dogs who are the real stars.

“Wiener alert!” cries a young woman, who then giggles to herself. An adorable wiener dog joins up with a rottweiler, a cocker spaniel, a pug, and a golden retriever. They run together in one happy dog cloud toward the water. Further along down the shore, a French bulldog wildly humps a terrier of some kind. To my right, a boxer crouches, about to take a giant shit. I walk away, looking for a more favorable spot to continue my studies.

You can’t escape the faint stench of wet dog and poop. It comes and goes.  I overhear a couple owners arguing about their dogs. One of them hasn’t been watching her companion very closely and it keeps starting fights with other dogs. She snatches her dog and leaves in a huff after he has the last nasty word.

A dainty-looking poodle abandons all glamour and rolls in the mud along with some mangy mutts. There’s no social class here. All around, pups of all ages and breeds run after frisbees and squeaky toys. They splash around and shake like crazy to dry off. Barks, growls, and howls abound. New friends and enemies are made.

“Prada! Prada, come here!” a woman yells at her little pooch. I grimace. Poor thing, I wonder what else it has to endure – probably tutus, hideous designer dog sweaters and a real diamond collar.

I smile as I see another pack form – a massive, burly bullmastiff with a couple border collies and a teensy chihuahua. They stop and accept a German shepherd after his bootyscent is deemed worthy. Tails wag, romping commences. I decide it’s time to continue on my own hike. As I leave the scene, I can hear the distant voice of the “wiener alert” girl. “That’s a real nice wiener you got there!” She calls out to the owner. She laughs and laughs. I smirk. Muddy paw prints fade on the asphalt pathway and I eventually step off, crunching on leaves and twigs, entering the quiet sanctuary of the woods.

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17 thoughts on “Observations at the Dog Park

    • Hi Charlie, thanks for stopping by again! That’s kind of you to say. I really enjoy writing these little observation posts.

      • I’ve always loved people-watching. And animal-watching. 🙂 I think it’s a great way to form new characters. I do have various projects going on. Poetry, short stories, and a children’s book I’ve finished up so now I’m searching for a publisher.

  1. Never had a dog, but sometimes I think they have advantages over cats, who are notoriously weird in their comings and goings, have had 4 or 5 cats here over the last decade, each ousted by the next – now we have “super-cat” She is so dominant she runs this place like an oiled ship, (or whatever the blooming saying goes) Tightly screwed? I don’t know, I lost my mind there a bit – anyhow, yes, Dog owners, they at least are able to congregate and talk “Dog” with fellow Dogees, its quite the social scene! And then there’s the advantage of when you have visitors who are being slowly eaten alive, one can confidently state “Oh, don’t worry, he won’t bite, he just likes you!”

    • Cats are weird like me. We belong together. 😀 Super-cat sounds intense, though! She’s the big boss. Don’t fuck with Super-cat. I think dog owners are typically more outgoing. After all, when you’re out on a walk they tend to be people-magnets. People ask questions and want to pet them. The cat owners are inside, with their cats on their laps, reading a book and being reclusive. 🙂

      • I just got some new folder open for her, but she was uninterested – I waved it under her nose and she relented after a quick sniff, ate about a thimble full, then went out! That crazy cat! There’s only one cat round here she respects tho, a huge old male moggy, only seen it here a few times last yr, she communes with it it silence, its very odd!

        The big fat cat round the other side of the house makes me laugh, she won’t take that one on, stays inside while it batters its head on the cat-flap!

        There’s about 3 that visit round the other side, her distant siblings, as they all came from the same house originally, she won’t tolerate them, she looks out the window and when they come by she goes out and gives them hell!!! :O

      • I think you should write some blog posts about her. I’d love to read them. She’s got a real personality. I’d like to sit and watch her with old Gramps. Silent cat respect, now that’s special. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could translate what she’s really saying to them when she’s yelling out the window?

  2. WIENER ALERT! I now need to ask google how they look like just so I can compliment strangers on their wieners. This sounds like a fun day even though I am afraid of most dogs (bitten as a child, but already learned to not run from them and some of my friends have dogs that I even dare to pet) I don’t think there would be a dag park around here though…?

    • Oh yeah, I think their fancy name is Dachshund. You don’t have to worry about them biting – they’re so short! Little ankle-biters. That’s a shame – all it takes is one scary experience. It’s great you’re at a point where you can pet a few now, and gradually trust them again. Perhaps dog parks aren’t so common in Europe, then.

  3. Great post, Lauren! You have such an entertaining life. I don’t think I could keep a straight face with Weiner girl, humpster, and thumper dumper dawg. It would end up on YouTube to prove to everyone these things really happen. Thank you for the big smile you left me with. 😀

    • Aww, shucks. Most people would look at what I do on a daily basis and say it’s not too terribly exciting. Like Pee-wee Herman, I’m a loner. A rebel. Life is what you make it, though. That’s a good idea, I should have taken a little video footage while I was there. Maybe next time. Then Humpster can become a real YouTube star! I like making videos but I don’t have great editing software and there’s other priorities in life at the moment. As for the smiles, any time! If I can make at least one person smile every day, I’ve done a good job.

      • Great minds do think alike. Has to be that ISTJ connection. 🙂 You always make me smile. When my head elves realize we’re headed over for a visit, they get very noisy with all that Snoopy dancing.

  4. I haven’t met very many ISTJs. I was thinking I should make more posts about not only that topic but introverts in general. And smiling, because it makes the world a better place. When I played softball one of my nicknames was “Smiley” not only because I was always smiling but I also wore these clear sunglasses with smiley faces all over them. Talk about intense!

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