I received and invitation in my in box announcing a new outdoor meet-up at a park that Fred and I had never been to. I decided to take Fred to the new dog park before the "event". I thought maybe, if I show him the park, let him get to know the sights and smells before we actually attend the organized meet-up, he would be a bit more comfortable. Fred had a difficult time at the last meet-up we attended. Click here for the post on that one. All good intentions, and he was great! There were all sorts of dogs running around, Huge dogs, little itty bitty dogs, a little butt sniff here a little butt sniff there, great, no big deal. It's actually really nice, there is a big area to walk on that is shaped like a big curvy oval with trees and benches, the walking path has gravel on it so it's not very muddy, and the inner part is grass where people can play Frisbee and fetch with their dogs. It probably takes about 45 minute or so to walk the whole track, which we did and a little more.
So, a couple of days ago we went to the "organized" event for small dogs of all types, not just Boston’s like the last time. This was the group that had the indoor meet-up with all the barkers, (referring to the previous post again).
We pulled up and parked, and Fred was beside himself he was so excited, I had high hopes this time.
This is Fred being "beside himself"
There was an area fenced off just for small dogs, it's not very big, but it's fine. Anyhoo...we walked into the enclosure, camera around my neck, with great confidence once again. I'm smiling and really hoping Fred could make friends and play, and I look down and Fred, and once again...he's drooling profusely, all foamy and stringing off his lips. YUCK!
What am I supposed to do Mama?
I didn't bring anything to wipe his face with, it was pretty gross. People started giving us a very wide berth, actually they looked terrified.
Anxious folks, check out the guy in the white... he's concerned. Freddy had thoughts of saying hi to them but decided against it.
I'm apologizing, trying to calm the masses, some people actually scooped their little dogs up into their arms. I continue wandering about, smiling (trying anyway) acting like everythings just fine, I made a feeble attempt to throw a stick for Fred and he just stared at me with his drooling face, he actually looked like a walrus. At this point, I'm humiliated and embarrassed.
Then, this one nice lady came over to me and we chatted a bit about Fred and his "situation", and she shared with me a dental appointment that she had been to a while back. She had said that the dentist noticed that she, herself, had quite healthy salivary glands (there was a little more detail, but you get the gist of it). I'm sure that somewhere in there she was trying to make me feel better about my slobbering dog, bless her heart, but I was having a hard time engaging myself in this particular conversation. I waited for an awkward pause, and excused myself.
I took Fred out of the enclosure, wiped off his face with my jacket and we walked on the big path for a while. Immediately he was fine just walking with me, no leash, sniffing around, reading the paper, the usual.
On the outside, looking in. No drool.
So after a little while, I decided to go back into the enclosure to give it another shot. Right away, he started acting strange again. Out of sorts is the best way I can explain it, not wanting to really engage himself.
Note, guy in white coat, still concerned...
Hi, I'm Fred
He made a few feeble attempts to say hi to one little dog, but was rejected, he just stood there looking forlorn and lost in a way.
Poor guyNot too long after that, I called it quits. Fred was glad to get out of there.
"Put the camera down and drive for cripes sake!"
"Boy, I'm glad that's over with! Take me home."
I'm not sure if I want to go to an organized meet-up anymore. The parks that we go to aren't really that close and Fred obviously hates it. I think I may have lost the window for Fred to be able to socialize in situations like that, I think maybe he's just a one on one type of a dog. Or maybe he just didn't like the enclosed area, it really wasn't that small, who knows. At least he didn't try to pee on anyone this time, I think that would've put the guy in the white shirt over the edge.
We will still go out and about to the parks and things. I guess my hopes of connecting with other dog people in that type of an organized situation are dashed. That's OK too.
It's just me and you Freddy!