Yesterday, we took a trip to the Twin Cities to visit our youngest son and his girlfriend who live in St. Paul. We took our dog, Molly, a yellow (almost white) labrador. They recently rescued a dog who is tiny compared to Molly, a mix of Lhasa Apso, Australian Shephard, Shitzu, Terrier, and Chihuahua according to his embark genetic testing. Molly is a pure-bred Labrador, certified by the AKC. She is three years old and Stewart is 4 months old. So, aside from the size and breed difference, there is an age difference as well.
Molly has mostly grown out of her puppy enthusiasm and energy. She still loves people – any people – she sees. She wants to lick and kiss and jump – all things we have tried, with some success to curb. Stewart, on the other hand, is full of puppy energy and zest, which was fully on exhibit at the dog park yesterday! For a small dog, he has a lot of chutzpah!
Stewart is used to the dog park. Being a city dog, his owners take him to the dog park at least a couple times a week. Molly has never been to a dog park. She has, however, been to daycare. We took her for training as a puppy and used to take her at least once a week to play with others at a local doggie business where we lived previously. She’ll get to go there again when we move our oldest son at the beginning of August. At that time, she’ll have an extended stay for three days. I’m sure she’ll be pooped out by the time we travel back to the cabin.
Back to the dog park…
The park we went to is in St. Paul and is called the High Bridge Dog park. It is a long, lean, grassy area just outside the concrete of the city. There is a place for all dogs and then a place just for little dogs. Since Molly was with us, we went into the all-dog part. There were a good amount of dogs at the park – of different breeds. We visited with a Schnauzer a lab- Australian mix – also four months who took a liking to Stewie, and a few other dogs for which we did not know their breed.
All were well behaved, there was minimal barking, a lot of playing, sniffing, and general fun. The humans were all nice too! The park was clean; I didn’t see any poop left on the ground. My husband said he saw a couple left unpicked up from the ground. Everyone seemed to have water for the dogs in community bowls.
Molly, having been socialized at daycare, seemed right at home in the dog park. I was the one who needed a pat on the back. Previously not being a “dog person” I would have been terrified to be in this open park of off-leash dogs. But, since having Molly, I’ve become more comfortable with dogs of all kinds. I don’t have fear anymore, and thus, they don’t smell my fear anymore.
I really enjoyed seeing all the different breeds, rescues, and personalities in the dog park. Our son and his girlfriend are doing well with getting their dog out to the park. He is being socialized well by them doing this and has already learned to hold his own! They tell us that the Twin Cities has lots of dog parks and we were glad to see that they do! The dogs were all happy to see others like them, as well as a lot of kind humans who thought of their needs.
Dog Park? Yeah, I’ll go back to this one anytime!
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