I photographed a wedding a few weeks ago that led me to discover a dog park. Since then, Josh and I have been taking our furry children over there 2+ times a week. Upon just our second arrival Haley clearly recognized what we were pulling into and started shrieking in a voice that can only be described as the blend of a hyena laugh and a squeaky toy.
Yesterday was one such celebrated dog park day. It struck me while I was there, rooting for my furry babies to make friends with the other nice dogs, that these dogs have provided yet another experience that may come in handy if Josh and I ever conjure up children that are within our own species.
Our Haley has always been particular with who she is friends with. At the start it was due to a fear of other dogs – I suppose she was bullied in the shelter we rescued her from. And now I suppose it’s a blend of pride and wariness – funny that a dog can have so much pride. Anyway, she seems particularly hesitant with oversized puppies. In her defense, puppies have yet to learn boundaries or proper dog etiquette so put that unrestraint in a horse-sized puppy and I have a nervous and persnickety dog on my hands. There was one such puppy there yesterday and even after Haley snipped at him a few times he still seemed bent on winning her over. Good for him.
Eventually my furry babies started warming up and started the slow process of learning how to play with dogs bigger than themselves. I have confidence that they will soon frolic merrily along with all the dogs. There is one such dog that frequents the park. She is a husky and she will play with anyone. I turned to Josh after observing this and wished aloud that any children of ours, and maybe even Haley, can be this way some day.
Despite my desire though I am also fully aware that I am no more in control of the way my dog interacts with other dogs than I will be in control of some child. At the end of the day, all I can do is teach Haley kindness and how to relax and hope that she’ll forget her pride and wariness and play with that over-sized puppy.