Canine Behavior

We all need breaks sometimes.

Last Friday was one such day for the girls and me. After finishing up schoolwork, the girls and I loaded up and headed for a nearby walking/running trail that has a playground and a wooded creek. They love it there.

I instructed this child that she may walk around in the water and throw rocks, but please to not get her clothes wet.

You can see how that worked out.

Someone else also loves it there.

The dog.

Of course the girls would not even consider leaving poor Hank at home and make him miss our adventure, so the canine hopped up into the van with us and happily rode along.

And I suppose, if you have to take a dog somewhere with you, this would be the ideal place to visit. It has a huge fenced area designed for dogs and owners to mingle and scamper. The fence keeps the more “frisky” puppies (and let’s face it, some “frisky” owners), from escaping to the playground nearby and terrorizing the children minding their own business.

I found a shaded bench and observed the activity going on around me. We happened to be the only park-goers that afternoon, so we had the place to ourselves.

I couldn’t help but make some rather obvious observations. Namely, that my children were behaving more like a dog than the dog was.

For example, the youngest of my clan was doing this:

This is a small plastic pool with a water hose nearby. I assume it is designed for use of thirsty canines and not really meant as a wading pool for a 3-yr-old. Nevertheless, here she was, having a grand old time, splashing and dousing herself in water, which I can only imagine what breeds of germs were growing in after countless dogs drank from it.


I turned my gaze onto my oldest child, who was doing this:

She was determined to complete the dog obstacle course. Not one to be outdone by a Chihuahua, she would not give up trying to hurdle the walls.

Hank, meanwhile, was laying in the grass, panting and looking about. The most activity I saw him do was when he chased the girls across the field so he could tackle them and bite their butts.

And finally, as we prepared to leave, I observed my middle child staring adoringly at the dog “wall of fame”.

You heard me right: a dog “hall of fame”. It was like the autographed self-portraits you see in restaurants of famous Hollywood types. Small dogs, big dogs, dogs wearing fashion accessories, and dogs that were so ugly no one could possibly love them but their own mother. I began to wonder what it would be like if mothers began placing portraits of their children at playgrounds, children’s theaters, skating rinks, and McDonald’s everywhere. Somehow it is acceptable to brag about your DOG, but your CHILD? Boring. You become THAT mother who can’t talk about anything else besides what jr. did that day. But yet, if I want to brag that my boykin spaniel jumped over a 2 ft. wall and put up a huge picture of him, everybody loves it.

I do not understand the extreme dog lover world.

We headed home, one child soaked in dog spit water, one child tired and dirty from all her efforts to complete the dog obstacle course, and one child scheming on how to get HER picture up on the wall of fame. One can only speculate what she will think up and try to do. I will have no questions when I discover her with her scarf sticking out of her pants like a tail and her head in a giant bowl of dog food, trying to beat the world record for dog food consumption.

And Hank? He just did what dogs do best….NOTHING. Just stared out the window and waited for his next chance to eat an article of clothing or put more bite marks in my windowsills.


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