I will be completely honest – we are not dog park people. We don’t have anything against dog parks; we actually think they are great resources for exercising and socializing dogs. That being said, dog parks are not for everyone and every dog.
I’d like to share our not-so-wonderful experience we had the last time we attended (back in 2009) one of the largest dog parks located in Norfolk, Virginia. Despite the fact that there were only three dogs outside that day, they were all extremely aggressive and would NOT leave Luna alone. Dog number #1 was a swatter, dog number #2 was an aggressive humper, and dog number #3 was a biter.
Here we are with the swatter. This boxer (friendly and all) kept chasing Luna while trying to swat at her face. I wanted to leave Luna alone and have her play and mingle with the dog, but I was getting concerned that I would be going home with a dog that had no eyes, ears, and nose intact.
This is a picture of Luna and the humper. After the third mount by otherwise cute yet aggressive ‘humper’, Luna finally looked up at me with those telling help-me eyes and I managed to grab humper off of her so she could catch her breath. Humper’s owner finally came over and took him away.
After being rolled over in the dirt several times at the\npark, it was only appropriate that Luna should get a driveway hose-down. She didn't seem to mind and actually enjoyed\ninteracting with the water more than she did with the other dogs.","engine":"visual"}" data-block-type="2" id="block-3c0c8c21fa1ea84f7ad7">
We didn't bother taking pictures of the biter because we got fed up after biter’s second mouthful of Luna’s cheek, and decided to go home. I was clearly annoyed and frustrated that Luna was constantly – and let me emphasize constantly – being swatted at, mounted, and bitten by the only dogs there. She wasn't given the chance to check the place out and run around before she had to constantly defend herself from these dogs.
After being rolled over in the dirt several times at the park, it was only appropriate that Luna should get a driveway hose-down. She didn't seem to mind and actually enjoyed interacting with the water more than she did with the other dogs.
We are participating in Gizmo\u2019s Park Day co-hosted with Finn\nwhere we share our experience of visiting a park with our dogs.","engine":"visual"}" data-block-type="2" id="block-a95faf356c18824752d2">
The more I think about it the more I realize that back then Luna was probably not ready to enter into the dog park scene. At eleven months of age she was naturally shy and easily overwhelmed around rough playing dogs. We stopped going (once I figured this out) as I didn't want to worsen her shyness by exposing her to the hectic environment of the park. Even to this day (and at 4+ years of age) I prefer to take her to scheduled play dates with friends we know, or I attend small meet up events supervised at places like the Zoom Room. These types of environments just seem to work better with Luna’s sweet personality.
We are participating in Gizmo’s Park Day co-hosted with Finn where we share our experience of visiting a park with our dogs.