The Dog Park

Now if you know me at all, you’ve probably heard me gush over my pets. I can’t help it. Some people gush over boys, children… but me? It’s my pets. Why? Well, they are adorable. Obviously.

Meet Kate Spade (because she is, get it?) – weighing in at 95 pounds. She’s part Newfoundland and part mystery – the fun in rescuing a dog. Kate is a freight train covered in hair, the girls got some serious power and when I adopted her they said she was sassy. I thought “oh please, how could a dog be sassy?” Well. I’ve learned. The girl is sassy.


This is what two days of shedding looks like in the spring at our house. Jealous?

And then there’s Phoebe. Phoebe may be the most talked about cat I’ve ever known. Simply because she has a mustache. That and she’s been featured on the world famous Cat’s That Look Like Hitler website.  Other names for Phoebe include: Phoebs, Hilter Cat, Kitler… Poor kitty, she hates the attention.

I mean really, the girl has a mustache, how can you not love her?

I mean really, the girl has a mustache, how can you not love her?

You’d better believe that both of these furry four-legged friends will be referenced in posts to follow – and I thought an introduction may help set the scene. So I apologize for the long post (ahem, Katie Becker), but it was completely necessary. Especially for this next story.

Let me start by saying I adore Kate. K (as I call her in shorthand format) is quirky, loud and a completely believes she’s a 5 pound lap dog. She’s loyal, she’s a furnace and she just loves having your full attention. But, I don’t think anyone would mistake K for a well-behaved dog. She knows sit, stay, down… but she’s sassy, and she may or may not choose to listen. Unfortunately, her mother (third person reference) is perhaps not the strongest of disciplinarians… and makes for a terrible enforcer. But please, no pity, we have a perfectly worked out relationship where she does what she wants, and I obey…

Knowing this, I’ve never taken K to the dog park. Truth be told, it sounded like a complete disaster waiting to happen. K not on a leash + Lots of dogs + No way to catch her = Impending Doom.

Now though, I haven’t been left with much of a choice. There are mountains all over and one million outdoorsy types surrounding me… people just do dog parks.


It wasn’t until I’d found a seasoned dog park vet to agree to go with me that I even began to feel remotely confident that this could work. 1) Because he knew where the dog parks were and how they worked. 2) Because I was coming off of the high of a really great church service. 3) Because he assured me it would be fine.

And it was. In fact, it was better than fine. We got there, we entered through the double gate, and after I removed the leash, K turned into the perfect dog. We walked along the path (because that’s what you do at dog parks? who knew!) and K followed along. Other dogs came into our path and she politely said hello and then continued along her merry way. There was a giant stream in the dog park, I told K no and she didn’t run into it. It was incredible. We had a ball.

Shockingly, the best part of this story isn’t about K. It’s about my new friend Jared and his lovely dog Ranger.

There’s not an ounce of retriever in K. You throw something and she laughs at you (okay, she just stays sitting next to your side, but if she could, she’d be laughing). But Ranger, Ranger fetches things. In fact, he looked so great that some film crew there asked Jared if he’d throw the frisbee around and let the dogs fetch it. See:

The secret dog whisperer. Just look at those dogs lining up to be his friend.

The secret dog whisperer. Just look at those dogs lining up to be his friend.

You know that moment when you just know something is going to end poorly? Well, it was on one very strong throw of the frisbee by Jared that I realized I couldn’t see Ranger, but I could see a white and black blur coming from behind me.

Oh no.

Oh yes!

I braced. I bent my legs. I know the drill, K runs freight speed and knocks into me all of the time. I was prepared.

However, I wasn’t prepared for the dog to hit right behind my knees. Causing me to buckle. Before you could blink, I was on the ground. My keys, phone and dog treats flew from my pockets. My headband came off my head (explain that?) and I was flat on my back.

My reaction? To laugh. Hard. Because how could you not?

Had Jared been a close friend, he would have laughed at me with me, taken a picture, and posted it everywhere. But sadly, Jared is a southern gentleman and that leaves me without any photographic evidence. Sigh.

I’m certain that there will be many more adventures at the dog park. From now on, I’ll warn my partners in crime to have their cameras ready. Because really, in my life, at any moment something hilarious might happen and truth be told, I wouldn’t want you to miss it. For now though, we can only hope that some unknown documentary camera crew was able to capture some girl in a pink jacket fall flat on her back in the background of some amazing dog chase…

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4 thoughts on “The Dog Park

  1. LOVE IT! and i greatly appreciate the shout-out!

  2. katherine brockman says:

    Betsy you are a FANTASTIC writer! Congrats on the blog!! I’m truly enjoying following you and I’m not a big blog reader. Have a very very very merry Christmas friend. 🙂

    Big Hugs.

  3. Paige Zehnacker says:

    This post made me smile and laugh. I loved the picture of the hair because it makes me feel less bad about the white lab hair that takes over my house. I sent the picture of Phoebe to a friend who I was telling earlier about your “Hitler looking cat” and she laughed. I also died laughing when I read about the dog park because Brecken has officially been to the dog park once. I was nervous (because of her two ACL surgeries), we walked in, she got surrounded by a pack of boxers and a Rottweiler who were all trying to “take advantage of her” at the same time and we left. It was a 5 minute trip and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Poor Brecken.

    Love the blog. Good for you and I hope CO is treating you well! 🙂

    • There should never be any shame in that hair 🙂

      People go to the dog park all of the time and don’t worry about it – but it terrifies me! And seriously – that pack of dogs is my worst nightmare… Sorry you had such a bad experience!

      Miss you!

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