Several times a week as Roxy and I head off to the dog park, Warner – my sweet, amazing boyfriend – sends me out the door with these words . . . “please don’t get into a fight with anyone, and don’t talk to strangers”. He is only half-joking. There are several “fight” stories which I’ll save for another time.
I often tell people when our dogs are playing together “feel free to ‘yell’ at Roxy if you think she’s getting too herder-like”. This means if she is trying to “herd” her playmate like a cow or sheep, nipping at their heels, or underneath them, to bring them down.
Kid With A Stick
Roxy also really loves to play and if I tell her to kiss another dog, she responds immediately, but she is a herder. And, early on I discovered that she barks at children (I call them the little people) as well as older humans (anyone over the age of 65). She just stands there and barks. I think she is telling them to get back in the herd.
Often, too often, people will bring their “little people” and even babies to the dog park. Now here’s the thing, if you explain to your child that you shouldn’t be running around screaming – it’s okay. There is a little boy that comes often, and Roxy has made friends with him and even gives him the dog nod (which is a kind of smell and run thing she does).
One day though, there was a child using a giant stick to bang hard on a boulder. The dogs hated it, and I was like WTF? Then Roxy decided to play police dog of the dog park and bark at him. He told her to stop barking and went back to his banging. His father came over and I thought, great – this kid is going to be told that is not the best behavior in a small area with a bunch of dogs. But instead, wait for it . . . the father took the stick and started banging on the rock too. WTDF? (the D here stand for double). And, you guessed it, Roxy started barking away. The father pointed a finger at Roxy and was telling her to “stop it” and “no”.
Dangly Bits Are Food
I immediately called for her, as I do every time she starts barking at the young and the old. I saw that look in her eyes when she came over . . . please Mom, just a little bite, you know it’s not nice to point. This brings me back to the babies. People bring babies to the park. Sweet, cute little babies with their tasty little baby feet dangling down from their little baby slings.
I have seen dogs jump for those tasty morsels of baby, and the parent always looks shocked. One parent was walking their barely toddling, less than one-year-old around the park. Wobbly, petite baby steps being taken as a pack of 10 dogs were running around at top speed.
Common Sense Expansion
Most human beings don’t tune into their common sense. That little voice inside that tells us: “no, wait, this is a very bad idea”, or we simply overrule that voice of reason. If we just paused, took a breath and a moment longer to decide, we might hear a whole bunch of useful information from our Soul.
Back to the day with the boy, his father and the stick . . . I had this deep feeling that it wasn’t the best time to go to the dog park, but I thought I knew better because a slot in my day opened up. Luckily it wasn’t a disaster – no fingers lost, no baby feet eaten or blood spilled.
Now, each time we are considering going to the dog park, I check in and ask if it is in the greatest good of all to go now, and then I listen to that voice inside and heed its direction.
Tuning into your Soul is an every moment thing and not just for when you are making those big decisions.