Saturday, January 24, 2009

There are no bad dogs, only stupid owners or Dougal goes to the dog park

So, we went to the Dachshund meetup last Saturday. Overall, a fun event. There were tons of people and doxies there, the sun was shining and warm. The dark cloud was the numerous moronic dog owners with big pit bull type dogs, who were not under control and were allowed to run around off lead. No wonder Dougal is a neurotic mess. Actually, he wasn't involved in any of the dust ups, because he spent most of the time glued to my side. Still, he met a lovely black and tan mini male smooth named Giotto (his owner Christie is an artist). He and Giotto seemed of one mind about all the commotion, and stayed out of it.

Here is a sampling of the many dogs that showed up. Notice that Dougal is introducing himself to a large wire-haired dog named Fritz. Fritz was there with 5 other relatives who looked identical. The owners breed and show these hairy beauties. Fritz was a particularly mellow guy who was calm with the adorable wire puppy, Ogi (you'll see them below).

This blonde wire is named Hank. The first time we met Hank he was shoulders deep digging after a gopher at Chrissy Field.

This is Jane, the owner of the adorable Max, who is 5 months old. He is a really sweet, friendly little dog.

Look at that face! Cesar Millan feels sorry for dogs like Dougal who don't enjoy the society of other dogs. We're working on that.

Here is Dougal getting to know Giotto. They were quite simpatico.

This is Fritz interacting with the adorable Ogi. Ogi is about 4 months old, and so cute. He seems to have boundless energy, and loves everyone. He also seems to be fearless.

Here are Dougal and Fritz. This is how it is done in the dog world. Dougal needs to spend more time around dogs like Fritz and Giotto.

I can't wait until next month to see how Dougal's socialization continues to develop. After reading Cesar Millan, I realize I have an obligation to the poor little dog. I'm trying to help him be "balanced" as Cesar stresses. I guess I may be undermining my own efforts when I do things like I did yesterday: put Dougal on the treadmill for a half hour (it was raining outside). It took him a while to figure out that he had to keep moving, or he would choke to death. Liberal treats were administered, and seemed to go a long way to get Dougal stepping lively. On the other hand, it might just be easier to dry him off after walking in the rain.