7.25.2011

July 24, 2011

White Dog and the rest of The White Dog Army got some major Park time this morning. We went not just for little play and exercise, but also had a breakfast picnic in the shady green grass. White Dog loves the Park on Sunday mornings because it is full of people walking other dogs (both on- and off-leash), families with children, frisbee golfers. Not only can she stretch out her legs in long flowing zoomies across the rolling landscape, but she can indulge her social nature, visiting with other pups and people in her role of Ambassador. And when she has had her fill, WD enjoys sitting and just watching the world go by, belly on the cool grass and intent eyes following all of the action around her.

Quinn likes going to the Park mostly because he knows he gets Steve time and they walk slowly at his pace, stopping to smell a million great spots and aimlessly wandering, pressure-free in the moment. The Other White Dog is pretty oblivious to those around him but is our most patient and tolerant of being fawned over by strangers and children. TOWD never gets totally comfortable enough to just lie down publicly and prefers when he is tired to go back to rest in the car (windows and slider door open, of course, so that he can still see us). From there he smiles beatifically as he rests on his cushion and sips from the water bowl.

Going to the Park for Nuka is a new experience. Another White Dog is making great progress at learning to be social but she is still excitable. Her deafness works against her in this environment because she is often startled by people or frisbees or other pups just magically appearing in "her space". But AWD is a great walker and even does well with Michael leading her. Since she can be snappish (her defense when surprised) Nuka is the one pup that we tell strangers they cannot pet. It is always takes me aback at how many take offense at being told "no," but we feel that AWD is not yet ready to deal with the myriad of possibilities of strangers approaching and confronting her. She seems ok with standing at a heel, wigging wagging her tail and yipping a greeting from distance.

Puff is loosening up enough that she is finally beginning to see a value...besides not being left behind...to the trip. She still sticks right on Steve's heel or next to my wheelchair but there is more of a bounce to her step and SAWD holds her tail high. This morning, she actually tried rolling in the grass (once again following WD's example). The people and loose dogs still make her very nervous and she tends to press tightly against one of us when encounters occur but now instead of cowering, her intelligent eyes chart the exchange and show less fear.

YoYoMa loves the Park almost as much as White Dog does. He runs on the end of the leash through the grass and he rolls and he stretches before flopping down to focus on the sounds. It amazes me to watch his "watching" with his ears...he turns his head and tilts and ears swivel as he homes in on one scene or another taking place around us. He does not like strangers coming up to him but YAWD responds well if he can touch either Steve or myself as he "meets and greets." I often pray that should I ever lose my sight, that I will be as well adjusted as he is with his blindness. This morning he even let Michael walk him down the path for several yards before reacting to Michael's over enthusiasm at this progress and wanting to come back to my side.

Park time is very different for The White Dog Army than our solitary hikes in the wild. Even eating is different, with more distractions, but gratefully with no less enjoyment. Every one of the White Ones like the experience and get not only exercise for their bodies but also for their social skills and for their healing psyches.

Steve and I always come home proud of the WDA--they receive compliments where ever we go for their looks AND behavior. We know Park time is a workout for them all; and they are all happily nap ready when we return home.

13 comments:

Brian said...

I am so glad the park time was enjoyable, I felt like I was right there with you!

Random Felines said...

What a great time.

Mom is also amazed that people don't understand why we are cautious with some animals. She has walked several dogs in her time and still can't understand why so many people think EVERY dog is bullet proof. sigh.... At least the WDA has you for protection!

Mack said...

Picnics in the park sound like so much fun. I wish I could convince my mom to take us!

Stella said...

You all had quite a good time and I love to hear how each dog is different. What frightens me about a public area is people who just let their little children (toddlers!) run, approaching dogs. Stella is a sweet heart who has no fear or upset in her. She will let the little ones do what they will, but I always caution parents (and once again get the rude looks)about allowing the kids to get too close to a strange dog.
Cheers and hugs all around,

Jo and Stella

Ginger Jasper said...

It is so good to read theses wonderful reports on the adventures you have, because even a trip to the park is an adventure. How far you have all come from the frightened scared little dogs you were.Once again a sign of success by love, patience and understanding, Hugs Gj xx

Sagira said...

Sounds like everyone had a great time at the park. :)

Teddy Bear said...

Park time sounds really amazing! We wish we could've been there with you all.:)

Love,
Teddy Bear & Sierra

Amber DaWeenie said...

Wonderful post. I feel as though I know each member of the WDA....their likes and dislikes and their reaction to the world around them.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

What a wonderful analysis of the WDA and their adventure at the park. Each pup has his own needs and expectations, and you recognize them so well. That is one of the reasons your time at the park is so enjoyable.

We are all missing our outside time. We got a walk yesterday, but it was very short - just too hot for all of us. Today was worse, so no walk at all. We don't even want to go outside to potty, but we are obliging to the Mom. Hopefully this will end soon - they are saying the first week of August - are we there yet?

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

What a wonderful analysis of the WDA and their adventure at the park. Each pup has his own needs and expectations, and you recognize them so well. That is one of the reasons your time at the park is so enjoyable.

We are all missing our outside time. We got a walk yesterday, but it was very short - just too hot for all of us. Today was worse, so no walk at all. We don't even want to go outside to potty, but we are obliging to the Mom. Hopefully this will end soon - they are saying the first week of August - are we there yet?

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Tweedles -- that's me said...

This sound like a special park,, and was just ment for a day that you all shared together.
Everyone feeling thier space and their needs met.
It sounded like a great day.
love
tweedles

Mr. Pip said...

I went for a nice walk tonight and guess what, we saw a White Dog! I got very excited as I thought maybe it was one of your pack, but no such luck.

I am so glad you all enjoyed your trip to the park.

Your pal, Pip

Kari in WeHo said...

I cant wait till the weather here cools and we can have picnics

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com