No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
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21 July 2004
We found dogs.
The new (temporary) dog park opened this week and it finally has people. And dogs.
The first two times we went there, I made the mistake of going during the day, when the sun was out. We were all alone on this big empty field, with no bushes to check out, nothing really to do, and Sheila looked at me as if to say--"Ok? Now what?"
I threw the ball for her, but the park is all dirt and the slimy ball got covered in mud very quickly and was no fun either to throw or to retrieve, I suspect.
I was remembering Jeri in the first weeks when we moved here to Davis. She would confidently set out from the house each day, roaming the neighborhood "looking for a friend," and come back each time, disappointed that she had found nobody. Sheila's been "looking for a friend" ever since she arrived at our house.
Sunday night I decided to take her over to the dog park after the sun went down and the temperatures were cool. We finally found dogs! Lots of dogs. (Well, about five of them.)
At first we were like a flock of parents taking our toddlers to the playground for the first time. We stood around in a little clump and our dogs stood around hiding behind our legs. It was beginning to look like nobody was ever going to move. Then one dog did and that's all the invitation Sheila needed. She got into her "come play with me" stance and the whole group took off.
Sheila was in her element, racing back and forth at top speed, chasing all the dogs. At one point I noticed that her back was covered with Boxer-slobber. She got such a good workout that when it was time to leave, she willingly let me put her leash on her, panted heavily all the way home, and collapsed in a heap on the cool kitchen floor when we got home. She slept all night.
Monday, we went back again after dinner and again there were dogs. There was the Ridgeback (Midas), who had been there the night before (they greeted each other like old friends); Merle, the German Shorthair Pointer; and a part border collie dog who didn't really like to play with other dogs, but who "caught" water when his owner tossed handfuls of it up in the air.
The dogs took off at top speed again kicking up huge clouds of dirt behind them, running through the clump of people and nearly knocking us over, all stopping to pee on one pathetic plant that didn't get torn up when they cleared the lot. They were all panting happily.
Sheila took it upon herself to be the park "greeter." As new dogs would arrive, she would leave the group she was playing with, run to the fence to sniff noses, then run to where the gate opens to greet them as they entered. No need to worry about her getting out--it was IN where she wanted to be. When a minor skirmish broke out, it was Sheila who grabbed the tail of the instigator and tried to pull him away from the other dog.
She ran herself so ragged again that when it came time to go home, she didn't complain at all about being put on a leash and she panted nonstop all the way home.
It was so much fun watching her race around the dog park with her new friends that it almost made me forget that she's torn up more of the couch and started on another chair.
In truth, I don't really mind that this furniture is getting torn up. It was old when we acquired it many, many years ago and it's very uncomfortable (especially the couch). I've been hinting that we need new furniture (we may buy Walt's mother's, when she moves to Santa Barbara soon). So if I'm not apoplectic about Sheila's destruction of the furniture, that's why...but I need to find a way to prevent it before we get newer, better stuff in there!
In the meantime, I'll just try to keep her at the dog park as much as possible so she's too tired to think about tearing up the furniture.
Sheila is sooooooo happy!!!