A few month back when Cooper and I were visiting Mom in Florida, we took a trip to the dog park. We tried 4 times and each time was unsuccessful. In retrospect I think most of it was my fault as I tend to be an overly protective mom. He didn’t allow any dog’s to sniff him but he was eager to meet them. He was also a scared little boy, which I now learn is quite the contrary.

I found out about a brand new dog park, Pelican Bark Park, that just opened near my home in Mandeville, LA. It’s about time we have something like this in our area. We took a trip there this past Sunday. We were so extremely pleased. The park is absolutely stunning and extremely well maintained. The dogs were all so well mannered as were their owners.

cooper in pool at dog park

Cooper is in the pool at the park

When we got to the park there were four dogs in the large dog area and no one in the small dog area. I was relieved because it gave us a chance to let Cooper get used to the area. We played ball, he sniffed around, jumped in the pool (they had a plastic kiddie pool that was just perfect for him) and had a great time. A little boy in the big dog area (with a Great Dane) felt bad for Cooper because he saw Cooper had no friends. He came over to play with Cooper and then later protect him from what was to come. Then it happened. “Butch” arrived. He was a rat terrier (i think) around 30 pounds and came in on a leash barking and ready to kill. His owner said “i’m not sure if i should take Butch off the leash, he can break that little dog’s bones”. Heck no she shouldn’t. There was a lot of barking between the two but there was also a lot of sniffing. Cooper didn’t run away. Someone suggested that she start over and let the dog in without a leash. My heart sank but I said we should try. Her dog was completely different and he and Cooper walked around together. There was one tackle that made me very uneasy however.

cooper dirty dog park

Dirty dog!

I’ve since come to find out that Cooper seems to be the aggressor. He instigates the other dogs and when they try to go after him he bolts off like a bullet with his tail between his legs.

He only played with that one dog. As we were heading to the parking lot someone with a 5 pound yorkie/shih tzu mix came in and we turned and went right back into the park. The other dog wasn’t very playful but Cooper really took to the smaller dog.

So, all in all we had a good time and a couple of scares. Cooper wants to smell the other dogs but he does not let any of them smell him. I think if we go a couple of times he will really start to love it.

We couldn’t get in the bath fast enough when we got home!

What’s your experience at the dog park?