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Monday, May 6, 2013

Checking out the dog park

This past Sunday, we took Gimli to the dog park... in the city next to ours.  Mainly because the city where we live have "off-leash" places but not enclosed "off-leash" places.  A big difference when you have a dog whose recall isn't 100%.

We had taken Gimli to the dog park before, but it didn't end well.  A naughty little pug decided to "mark" Mike's wheelchair, Gimli saw it and went on the defensive.  The naughty pug's owner was calmly walking the perimeter like a caged animal and so didn't see the squished nosed little monster's actions and couldn't intervene.  The pug kept coming back and Gimli kept trying to defend Mike. We ended up staying about 5 minutes that day.

This time, we allowed Gimli to sniff some of the dogs through the fenced and when he was sufficiently calm, we took him in.

He handled the first grouping of dogs well, he grumbled back at a few who were a little overzealous and in his face.  He was engaged in some nose to nose sniffing with this one dog, when an excited puppy crashed into him.  Gimli didn't bat an eye.

We met this gentleman who Gimli took a liking to.  He asked us plenty of questions mainly because I don't think he'd ever seen a corgi before.  He thought Gimli had a cute butt and he remarked that Gimli was so soft and cute.  At one point, the gentleman went walking far to the other side of the fenced in area with his dog and Gimli followed.  Mike and I stayed back and watched him slowly walk behind the man and "sneak up" on him only to be played with. :)

At that point, a group of dogs ran up and Gimli successfully held his own with the much taller doggies.  The doggies moved away and then Gimli realized he had "lost" us.  Well, lost sight of us.  We could see him slowly start walking back in our general direction.  Mike yelled out the recall command and Gimli came racing back.  I've never seen him run that fast before with that big corgi grin!  He got a good cookie for that one!

By that point, a family came in with their small, shy dog.  Some of the dogs came running up to her, including Gimli and then she stiffened.  It was amazing to see Gimli, who was trotting at the time, stop in his tracks and slow down as he approached her to say hi.  They sniffed briefly and then she went away to hide.  Gimli didn't seem to mind and the family's girls lavished affection on him and he ate it all up!

I wanted to try an experiment to see if I could get Gimli to follow me around the park.  We started walking and Gimli did follow me until he stopped and looked behind. Mike was back at the picnic table and Gimli didn't want to leave him behind. He didn't want to leave his pack.

We ended up staying about 20 minutes. We wanted to end the session on a high note and we were immensely proud of Gimli.  He handled himself well, he took himself out of sticky situations without the need for us to intervene and he was nice to everyone and every dog.

After we came home, he lay like this for the rest of the evening.


  1. Glad to hear Gimli had fun at the doggie park and it went better than the last time! :)
    Gwen does that too, follows other people around until she gets attention and then she'll move on to the next willing victim or she'll start to look for her humans if they are "lost" too.

    1. awww, for a split second, they look kinda cute with the ears sliding down to the side. Then, I wake up and figure out a way to bring him to me, lol.
      Thanks, I'm glad too. We'll definitely go back now that the weather is a bit better, of course we'll have to wait til Miss Merida gets all her shots before we take her :)