Wrestling at the Park

IMG_4594Arya and I finally went to the park again. It had been about three weeks since our last park adventure. I had been busy with school work and Arya had her surgery, so I had just been taking her to the softball field on OCU’s campus.

But this park visit was special, because Arya had a friend there to play with. That friend was Cabella, or Bella for short. She is my friend, Jen Davis’, dog. Bella is a two year old mixed dog. We do not know the breeds, but she looks very similar to Arya’s mother (Arya’s mother was an Australian Shepherd, but not pure bred).

At first, Arya was scared and nervous of Bella. When Bella would walk away, Arya would walk/run behind her, but as soon as Bella stopped walking, Arya would turn around and run away. This happened for almost five minutes. Then Arya slowly became more and more playful. It was adorable! Arya mimicked everything Bella did. If Bella ran, Arya ran. If Bella chased a ball, Arya chased a ball. If Bella chewed on a stick, Arya chewed on a stick (as shown in the picture). Arya just followed Bella everywhere she went.

If I called Arya over to me, she would run towards me. About half way, she would stop and look at Bella. If Bella was not following toward me, Arya would stand still until I called Bella to come as well. Arya behaved so well and I was very proud of her.

When it came time to leave, Arya and Bella ran to the cars. The only problem was when I opened my door, Arya would not jump in. She just sat down and kept staring at Bella. When Bella got into Jen’s car, Arya still did not get in. I had to pick her up. Once she was inside, Arya just stared out the window and whined. She was so sad and I felt bad for separating the two.

Arya has done so well with every dog she has met, but I think the next step is taking Arya to the dog park or doggie day care so she can be socialized with all different types of dogs. The real question is: where should I take her?

Bark at the Park

IMG_3602Arya, due to my fears, is sheltered puppy. I was told, by the vet, to keep her away from areas where stray dogs may roam– for they may carry parvo. Poor thing stays in the house all the time except when she has to go to the bathroom. I am a little paranoid after the heart break I experienced with Lola, but I finally decided to overcome that. So this week Arya and I went to the park for the first time.

Listening to what the vet said, I searched for an upscale community (with a park) so that strays would be practically nonexistent. Nichols Hills, in Oklahoma City, was the closest community that met all my needs. This community has a small, family friendly park called Kite Park.

While driving to the park I realized she had never been on a leash before. Would she be crazy and run everywhere? Would she pull the leash? Or would she be too overwhelmed with the idea of a leash and not walk with me? These are all things that were running through my head as I arrived.

I put the leash on her, and carried her out of the car (she is too small to jump out of the car on her own). That was when she blew my mind. She didn’t run away or stand still, she simply walked next to me the whole time. The only problem we encountered was her fear of other people. Any time she heard or saw a new person, she would bark, run to my feet and stare at them. It was the cutest thing.

After a few laps around the park, I decided to test her. We went into the middle of the grass area and I let go of her leash. She still stayed right by my side. I knew it was the perfect time to break out the treats. I gave her commands that she has already learned such as “sit”, “stay”, “come”, and “okay”. For every time she did something right, I gave her a piece of her chicken flavored milk bone. After she finished her 3 bones, I let her chase me. She ran me to death. I was doing circles and circles and circles. She just wouldn’t get tired. I was beginning to think she was the energizer bunny, but I couldn’t handle it anymore. We had been at the park for an hour and a half at this time, and I was done.

Despite the sad look on her face, I told her it was time to go. I was so proud of my baby girl because she did so good for her first time at the park. I rolled down her windows in the backseat as we drove away. She stuck her head out and stared at the park with her ears flopping in the wind.

After about 2 minutes in the car, I turned to see if her head was still sticking out of the window. But what I saw was much better. She was sprawled out on her back, in the backseat, sleeping. I never thought it would happen, but I had finally gotten her to fall asleep after a long day of playing at the park.