Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Making the park fun again for Toby

toby on walk dec30-08, originally uploaded by phaird.

For the past few months, my dog Toby has been not enjoying the Sunday visits to the park. He relates it to thunder storms and gun shots so when we drive into the parking lot, he is shaking and doesn't want out of the car. What's worse is that he gets very defensive and aggressive. I have to keep him close and keep him from biting other big dogs.

He use to really love going to the park. He would get excited and run and play with lots of the regular dogs in the park. It's been really hard because I too love going to the park, talking with people and taking photos. I can't keep bringing Toby though if he hates coming. So this week, since I have off until Jan 5, I've been bringing Toby to the park on off days. We have been going for walks up through the trails behind the soccer field (where we normally hang out) and he has been really liking it. The first day was hard but yesterday was much better. He ran with a wippit and was happy to be there. My next goal is when I bring him on Sunday, to go extra early. I want him to be the first one there so he can feel relaxed and let the park fill up with dogs instead of everyone running around already.

The winters are a little slower so that should help but I'm sure before long, Toby will be running and playing with other dogs soon.

Have a happy new year with you and your four legged family.


dazaleski said...

You are truly devoted to invest that much time. A real turn around on the old saying - you are a dog's best friend. And somehow I think Toby knows it.

~Marie~ said...

I often find that when I take Peanut to the part early when there are no dogs around and let it fill up with dogs, he does much better than if the park is full and everyone already running around.

Peanut is rather shy around other dogs, but last week he played with two Beagle/Terrier mixes.

Best of luck to you!!!