A semi-daily chronicle of my life as a musician, a family man, and a citizen of Oregon.

Mar 13, 2009

A dog park I can visit

I have a great dog, Maybell.  She's a German Shepard mutt of some sort that we got at the humane society about four years ago.  When we first got her she had a lot of behavior problems.  We've worked with her quite a bit over the last few years and she's gotten much better and has become a really close member of our family.  As I type this she's laying right here next to me, the picture of tranquility and obedience.

There are only a couple of issues we just haven't been able to work through.  The first is her aggression towards veterinarians.  She hates them.  It's like she knows how much they're overcharging me. 

She'll be friendly and warm to them when she firsts sees them but as soon as they start to poke and prod a line gets crossed that she doesn't like.  We've been through about three vets, the last of which was a vet that does home visits.  When he visited last time he casually commented "A dog doesn't necessarily need a rabies shot every single year.  Lots of times you can even skip a year.  It might even be better if we just kind of avoided visits unless there's a big problem".  Message received - I don't want to do this any more than I have to.

The other problem we haven't had terrible success in resolving is her desire to play rough with other canines at the local dog park.  She doesn't mean harm to other dogs, but she is aggressive in her play and it's caused some very uncomfortable interactions with my fellow Portland dog owners.  Usually the problems relate to other dog owners who are either a little too "Hey, it's ok.  They're dogs!  They love this kind of thing!" or "Oh my god!  My baby! My baby!  You terrible brute and your dog!"  Either extreme is not good.

So here's my proposal, Portland.  Let's open a jerk dog park.  Let's take one of the dog parks we already have and just acknowledge that all of the jerk dogs, like mine, can go there and play just as roughly as they want without the need for fear or shame on the part of any dog owner.  Your dog is playing too rough?  No problem.  I'll just walk to the other side of the park.  I get it, your dog is a jerk.  So's mine.  We're all good.