At a specific hour everyday, my dog interrupts whatever I’m doing with a tap of her paw and an expectant look. It’s time to go to the dog park and she’s making sure I haven’t forgotten.
The dog park is the high point of her day. Better than a walk or a car ride. Some days there are only a couple of other dogs. Sometimes upwards of 20. Doesn’t matter to her. It’s the canine version of “Happy Hour”.
A few weeks ago, a new member dropped by. She was a rescue from one of those notorious Whistler Mountain sled dog outfits. Terrified in every sense of the word.
She immediately found a corner in the furthest reach of the fenced area in which we unleash our animals, getting as far from all of us possible.
Her “foster parent” did her best to let the animal know this was a safe place. And one by one, the other dogs (and dog owners) made it clear they were approachable and no threat.
Over the next couple of weeks we all watched her come out of her shell, tentative at first, observing the play and the chases, carefully coming closer and slowly turning back into a real dog.
Now she initiates play, even comfortable enough to steal somebody else’s ball in order to be chased. She doesn’t cower when people approach, allowing all of us to offer a kind word or a stroke.
A little while longer and she’ll move on, free of whatever terrors made her the way she was, ready for a fulltime family of her own.
It’s a nice feeling to have been a small part of the process, also making you wonder if the same could be done for people.
Apparently it can.
Enjoy Your Sunday.