My terrific daughter Elisabeth set up the play date by text.
She wanted her wonderful significant George Three’s pooch, Eenie, to meet Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle at Good Dog Park, the fenced-in roaming space with the optimistic title in Onondaga Lake Park.
Tell her she has to be good because it’s in the name, said my daughter, who knows our dog well.
My dear wife Karen and I agreed despite knowing Ellie B’s Dog Park pedigree from bringing her there as a pup.
We wanted to meet Eenie, too. Hey, the 3-year-old goes by the nickname Any, Ellisabeth says. Cool beans.
Our dogs met in the parking lot with no incident, then sniffed their leashed ways into the major pen. There were a handful of other mutts already congregated. The owners stood in a circle.
I got Ellie B off and running for some exercise, and she was good by herself. She took a big drink from the communal bowl, and barked at a small dog who was the only visitor to the less expansive pen set up for that set next door.
Eenie showed us how she can run over the balance beam. Very impressive!
Then Ellie B decided to trot over to circle of strange dogs. She sniffed. She barked. Woofed. They reacted. There was growling. The other owners said they were all just playing. I knew better and began worrying and planning my intervention. Our dog mounted a bigger Husky. Yes, our spayed female. The Husky pinned Ellie B to the ground. More growls and squealing and dog hustle-bustle until I could chase Ellie B to the water area and get her leash on.
We had, oh, 10 incident-free minutes.
Karen and I apologized to the other dog owners.
The four of us walked Ellie B and Eenie around the rest of the park for about a half-hour. We watered the dogs from a hose at Syracuse University’s Rowing Boat House.
Ellie B and Eenie’s play dates will have to be walks by themselves from now on.
Do you think my worrisome hovering over my dog cues her behavior in a group? Would you still bring your dog to the dog park with previous behavior such as this? Do you bring your dog on play dates, and if so, how does it go?