Sunday afternoon after my nap, I went exploring over at a nearby playground. There were people out shooting hoops, playing on the swings and slides and climbing trees (it was another freakishly warm January day here in Arkansas). It was a gorgeous day, with a teeny tiny hint of Spring in the air. It felt great.
What I didn’t expect to find was a dog park. I knew there was one around our neighborhood, I just didn’t realize it was on the other side of the playground and so close to our house. OR that it had a pond adjacent to it. Oh my, but there were some happy wet dogs playing in the late afternoon sunshine. There was a black lab puppy twice the size of our 7-year-old black lab who was getting his first swim of his life, and he was very enthusiastic about it.
The ducks and geese sure didn’t care for it too much, taking off in a flutter of feathers and indignant honking and quacking. It made all the humans gathered around watching the spectacle laugh and smile at the silly puppy’s antics. I resolved to take Langley the Lab over to swim and play on Monday afternoon as a little surprise.
She doesn’t get surprises very often. And she loved this surprise.
Oh my goodness, she was a happy camper. She ran like a maniac, swam like a fish, sniffed to her heart’s desire and blew so much energy that I had to make her stop and take little breaks every now and then. She did get her feelings hurt a bit when another lab puppy (this time a chocolate lab and again twice her size), ran over and stole the stick that I was throwing for Langley. She backed up a little and shot me this look as if to say, “But, but, but . . . that doesn’t happen at home! Momma …….!
Langley really doesn’t care too much for other dogs. It’s not that she doesn’t like them, it’s just that she’s rather afraid of them. We think it’s because on the day we went to pick her up from the breeders, Langley’s daddy was so exuberant in his farewell greetings to us, that he stepped all over little Langley, smashing her head beneath his paws and tromping all over her. Then a week later, we took her out to the nearby lake to play and get used to walking on the leash. We met up with a giant Airedale and his family out for a walk of their own. Well, their dog must’ve thought that Langley was a tasty little snack because he seized her by her head and proceeded to pick her up off the ground. We rescued her, and calmed her down, carrying her the rest of the way on the hike, but to this day she has a teeny little scar above her left eye.
So she had every right to look scared and confused when her stick was taken from her. But I managed to get it back and we continued playing. I don’t know if i’ll have time to take her over there again today – - – I’m taking Joey to the barber after school for a much begged for hair cut – - – but I do want to keep taking her. Swimming is her favorite thing in the world and I really think she would swim all day long if we didn’t make her stop to catch her breath. She was huffing and puffing yesterday, but kept jumping right back in and looking back at me, waiting for me to throw her stick to her. She forgets that she’s not as young as she used to be.
And not once did she notice the ducks swimming around on the other side of the pond.
Maybe because they were hiding.