We’ve started incorporating the smaller, fenced-in dog park into our weekday schedule again. We were near-daily visitors last year, and we’d been regulars since we came to town. But for a while, coincidentally after we got Bowpi, things started to get really bad for Bowdu, culminating in a pretty bad bite incident from someone else’s dog in which I took the brunt of the blow. Bowdu was injured too, which was a great setback to his behavior — something we’d been working on for so long.
Truth told, he’s not the most popular dog at the park. His arrogance wins him few friends. But he can behave the majority of the time, plenty of other frequent visitors would back me up on this claim, and I was loathe to give up our status as regulars given all the people and dogs I’d grown so fond of.
The day that I decided we really needed a break (a few weeks after the bite incident), Bowdu had gotten ganged up on by six dogs while he was leashed up right next to me. There are many details to the incident that I don’t have time to go into right now. Suffice to say, Bowdu’s reaction didn’t help matters, and neither did my tightening of his collar because I was in flight mode while he was in fight mode against the marauding pack. Luckily, nobody was hurt, and so it didn’t really sink in until later that afternoon just how wrong that whole situation was.
We stuck to the larger, less claustrophobic parks after that, as Bowdu has always been far more behaved when he has space. It was more time and energy out of my day, but I did not want his behavior to regress any further.
Months later, he was diagnosed as hypothyroid, which may very well have contributed to some of the intense behaviors leading up to that August.
Anyway, Bowdu’s been really good lately (Bowpi’s interactions with other dogs have never been a concern), so we’ve been revisiting the little park during less congested AM hours.
And who did we bump into last time but my favorite Shiba-Beagle mix, Naya!
She’s five years old, extremely calm, quite aloof (though she’ll respond to her name and might approach if she feels like it), and has this royal, icy stare that lets you know in no uncertain terms how self-possessed she is. She usually doesn’t stay very long because she can’t be bothered by such pedestrian activities like playing with other dogs. She and Bowdu seem to have a mutual understanding, and they get along by virtue of being on the same wavelength.