Friday, August 5, 2011

A Scuffle in the Dog Park

Bea has been getting better and better with other dogs. I already told you about how she'd been playing with some. And she rarely bares her teeth anymore, even when other dogs rudely sniff her face before the politer butt pleasantries.

Bea "playing" with another dog.

But today, she had an incident. We took her to the dog park, and a walker had 5 dogs running around. One of them was Thompsen, a dog Sara used to help walk, and one Bea knows pretty well. But even when Thompsen sniffed Bea's butt like old friends, Bea froze and showed her teeth.

Perhaps it was being the new girl in an established pack, or perhaps she just woke up grumpy - but Bea was pissed. So when a much bigger dog went straight for Bea's face, Bea let the fangs out so he'd back down. But when the other pooch fanged right back, Bea escalated and actually drew blood.

The cut on the other dog's face wasn't bad, and the walker was very understanding (no word on how the owner felt). Of the walker, both dogs, and us, Sara and I were clearly the most rattled by the incident. But now we're not as confident in Bea's ability to socialize as we were yesterday.

Maybe the big dog reminded her of a previous shelter nemesis. Or maybe the big dog's growl insulted Bea's stylish matching pants suit. Whatever it was, we hope it was an isolated incident and not a harbinger of what's to come.

One thing I realized is that part of why the walker was cavalier is because Bea is a cute, small dog. If that happened and Bea was the bigger of the two, she might be seen as a bully - especially if she were a pit bull.

We're glad that Bea is okay, and that the other dog seems to be, too. And if I ever do get a pitbull, this reminds me just how careful I have to be. Even the sweetest dogs can have tempers.

"Sorry guys. Schoolyard stuff."

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