Categorized | Features, Laurie's Scribbles

Learning Good Manners At The Dog Park

dog park

Libby is an introvert who often keeps to herself at the dog park, but when she decides to run with the pack the dogs are happy to have her join them.

By Laurie Stone

It’s easy to get discouraged by humans these days. So much fighting, turmoil and hate. But there’s one place I go where I see great comradery. Over at the dog park, different breeds get along fine, no matter color, age, shape or size. Good manners abound, with one notable exception.

Fervent Greetings For Everyone

Nothing is more exciting than a new arrival. All dogs gather and stare out the metal fence while the new attendee is brought out of his or her car. A few excited yips sound when the newcomer is led through the double gates to the excited, welcoming throng. (Some dogs like this group greeting more than others. I sense my 11-pound Yorkie Libby could do without the welcoming committee.)

Acceptance Without Hesitation

No dog is ever shunned, ignored or bullied. Anyone who misbehaves must leave. “Let’s play!” seems to be the rallying cry and everyone’s invited. If a dog doesn’t want to play, like Libby who I’m learning is a huge introvert, no problem. The other dogs do their own thing. If Libby changes her mind to go run with the pack, which sometimes happens, they’re more than happy to have her join them. Everything is chill. A hippie commune is more uptight.

Everyone Shares

motherhood, guilty pleasures, meals, mother, worrying, hopeful, boys, asleep, pedometerA few decrepit looking tennis balls are always lying around, but the dogs don’t mind their condition. In fact, the slimier and dirtier the better. Water bowls are also scattered about and the humans take turns filling them. It doesn’t matter how many gross tongues have slurped that water, so it starts looking like the day after a drunken frat party. Sharing is fun.

Letting Each Other Be

Some dogs, mostly young ones, want to just scamper, run and fetch. Other, more enterprising types, like to dig holes. In fact, there are always a few craters here and there that I try not to fall into. Still others like to keep their noses to the ground, having one giant sniff-a-thon. Libby especially loves to investigate the park’s edges, looking for that one Yorkie-size hole to escape. Yes, I know my girl and watch her carefully.

But Then There’s …

Everyone gets to know each other, ahem, intimately. Sigh. Dogs will be dogs. Let’s face it, they’re disgusting. They love to sniff each other in shocking places. Even Libby, who I think believes she’s above the fray, can’t resist a good backside inspection. To me, she’s my dainty little white puffball, but occasionally, I’m reminded, ick, she’s a gross canine. I also know dogs can get publicly “amorous,” but thank God, haven’t seen any of that behavior.

Could Government Be Run Like The Dog Park?

What if Congress acted like canines, in terms of acceptance, sharing and respect? Not that other stuff, of course. After all, if you don’t play nice at the dog park, you’re not allowed in anymore. Wouldn’t that be nice in the House and Senate? What if everyone was chill, friendly and allowed to just “be?”

Alas. Something to ponder as I walk around, trying not to step on soggy tennis balls.

Laurie Stone writes from the woods of Easton, Conn. Her blog, “Musings, Rants &Scribbles,” shares thoughts on growing up, older and (hopefully) wiser. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.


4 Responses to “Learning Good Manners At The Dog Park”

  1. Alas, my dogs do not go to the dog park, as reactive dogs should not. Even my late Riley didn’t enjoy them.

  2. Rena says:

    I agree dogs are so much smarter than humans. We could learn a lesson from it.

  3. Diane says:

    We can definitely take a page out of our doggins’ books!

  4. Dogs can teach us so much about loyalty and kindness 🙂


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