Monday, December 7, 2015

Sweet Soul

Nose-to-nose with Huckleberry, an 8 month old labrador

I'd have to be shown considerable evidence in order to believe that Ft. Funston isn't the greatest dog park in the world.  The park consists of hundreds of acres of sandy, rolling hills with trails overlooking the Pacific.  Dogs roam leash free in the hills and on the beach with nary a territorial dispute due to the abundance of open space.  It's never too hot, or cold, and there's no chance of your dog wandering into unexpected danger.  I assume this is the "rainbow bridge" place I hear about so often.

About ten years have passed since we've been there because our previous dog, Bella, promptly decided one day she could no longer tolerate having her butt sniffed and turned on the offending poodle with a frightening intensity.  As responsible dog owners we knew our off leash dog park days were over.

Olive is much different in her demeanor and sees every dog big and small as a potential friend so we were excited to introduce her to Ft. Funston.   As soon as she was off leash she began the process of introducing herself to each and every dog in the area.  She simply won't pass up any dog within her line of vision.  She must exhibit the correct dog body language because they all accept her within their space.  The dominant ones, the timid ones, the energetic ones, and the lethargic ones.  Sometimes a small squirt of submissive pee helps, but none of them ever turn on her.

We had a similarly sweet dog in Mariah, but she didn't know the correct dog language because she would get scolded (in varying degrees of intensity) by a dog nearly every time we went to the park.  It didn't seem to faze her, though, because she always approached the very next dog with the same energy and demeanor.  It was common for me in those days to return home and see Mariah standing over a prone Bella, barking at her.  This despite the fact that Bella often pinned her down ferociously with her mouth around Mariah's neck and her screaming for help.  It was hard to blame Bella, though,  because Mariah was so damn persistent an obnoxious in that way.  She was like the bratty sibling who wasn't intimidated by an ass whuppin'.

We've missed Ft. Funston a lot and we're glad to be back in dog heaven with a friendly dog.  Although the dog has changed and our knees are a bit creakier, the timeless quality of this place still remains.  Regardless of the year, or month, or day, the place echoes with the boundless joy of a dog running, chasing, wrestling, or pooping.

Huckleberry leading Olive on a chase on the beach

She's open to playing with all sizes

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