Off leash dog parks are great, but they would be even better if there were no people in them!! Dogs don't need humans micro managing their play time, however some humans have the embarassing habit of doing so.
Scout plays rough, there is no question about that. She is half boxer, so she "boxes" and wrestles all the time. She has been to the park enough to know how to pick suitable play mates and how to walk away from dogs who bark when they play (she finds that scary), dogs that are too small, (they are too slow,) and dogs that are too big. She chases dogs that like to be chased, she gets chased by dogs who like to chase and she boxes and wrestles with those will wrestle and box back and she licks everyone in between!
Today, Mom, Nic and I took Scout down to the park at 8am. Mom and Nic had come to help me pack, they are the best ever!!! Anyway, on the way down to the park, I explained to them about how the people at the park can be crazy protective about their dogs. I explained that I have been yelled at more than once by irrational, crazy dog owners who, clearly should never have taken their dogs out of the bubble wrap they came in! I retold the story about getting yelled at by a random stranger for using a transit stop garbage can as a disposal for my full doggy bag. Nic and I talked about how I wished I'd a had a snappy come back, how I wished I would have just pulled the poop bag out of the garbage and dropped it on the ground. I told her that in my head, I just kept thinking, how can someone be sooo grumpy at 6:30am????
Nic, Mom, Scout and I were having a really nice walk when Scout found a fun playmate. She took off running with the little collie looking pup. They chased and ran circle after circle around, clearly having the time of their lives. Nic ended up kicking up a ball that another dog must have lost. She bent over, picked up the ball and, because we were in an off leash dog park, with MY dog, she threw the ball. Scout chased the ball down, she loves balls, and the other dog took off after her. The two of them continued to run and chase eachother around. Mom, Nic and I were getting a kick out of watching the pups play. We were so engrossed in watching the happy dogs that it wasn't until she was right behind us that we heard a skinny older woman mutter insults under her breath. She was calling us "stupid people." That's right, a complete stranger in a dog park walked up to 3 very happy ladies and called them stupid, loud enough for them to hear her! Like what??? One of us said, "pardon me?" She replied with, "the dogs were having such a good time playing and then you went and threw the ball, then it all became about the ball. You ruined their play time." She was furious and once again, I found myself without words. I was stunned. Here I thought the dogs were having fun, they were playing, they were at an off leash dog park at 8am! Nic, on the other hand, didn't hesitate. She simply looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry your so grouchy at 8'0clock in the morning." And then we all walked away from one another.
Like I said before, off leash dog parks are great, but they would be even better if there were no people in them!!