I took Bea there today expecting it would be as pleasant as it was this weekend. My idea was to sit and write while Bea sat and did nothing, as we both love to do. I didn't realized that today is a Monday, and that means school was in session. When you're in high school, the mean kids aren't there on the weekend either.
On the weekend, everyone walks their own dogs. But on weekdays, everyone with a day job hires a dogwalker. The park was full of them. Some of them are nice people. Some of them are crazies who use dog love to replace the human love that is clearly missing. All of them let me immediately know how many things I was doing wrong. I haven't felt so much like a freshman in high school since I was a freshman in high school. Okay, maybe I felt like a freshman as a sophomore, too - I was a late bloomer.
I took Bea in to the park on a leash because she prefers running while on a leash. But the dog walkers freaked out about how that constrains her while meeting other dogs, which is unnatural. I guess I was the equivalent of a father trying to hug his teenage daughter before dropping her off at high school - it'd destroy her social standing.
If I felt like I was back in high school, Bea must have, too. It was no longer the 3 or 4 dogs that were playing in the school yard on the weekend. No, this dog park was so packed it looked like a New York City classroom. And since Bea was basically home schooled, she was not used to the social structure.
Bea has absolutely no aggression towards humans. Anyone can pet her anywhere. I can play pattycake with her and she just thinks I'm strange. I'm guessing, she's never really told me. But when it comes to other dogs, she can be threatened easily.
There were a LOT of other dogs in the dog park. At first it was okay, as Bea found Thomsen, the dog that my wife used to dogsit for, and they were both lumps together at my feet.
What have you been up to? Yeah, me too.
Unfortunately, not every dog is okay with my dog being a lump. Maybe they were trying to find out who the new kid was, or coax the outsider to run for student body president and beat the popular kids once and for all. Whatever the reason, the smell ritual began. Bea is fine when other dogs smell her butt. But if they go for the face, she gives them a quick lip curl, a bark, and a lunge. It's rude in the dog world to go in face first - much like the original Bea Arthur, Bea doesn't have time for all these silly bitches. It's kind of similar to how Dorothy reacted to Rose on the Golden Girls.
After two incidents, I was done. I couldn't write peacefully when I was watching Bea to see if she got into any more altercations with the Mean Girls. The walkers, meanwhile, did a great job watching their dogs instigate with my dog and do nothing about it.
The walkers kept explaining to me that this was all normal in the dog world, and they're just trying to establish dominance. But Bea has only been in my home a few days - she's got enough to adjust to already without worrying about who is Prom Queen.
I left, and took Bea with me. Maybe we'll enroll her in kindergarten first.