Leash? Check. Water? Check. Snackies? Check. Me? Check. We’re ready to have some fun.
The old man opened the door and I rushed out to wait by the car door. Today has gone as planned. We got up, ate breakfast, and now it’s time to get over to the park to play with some friends and perhaps meet a few new ones.
There’s always new tails at the park, many of which enjoy playing just as much as the next dog. It’s a great chance for both of us to get out and stretch our legs, so we make it a weekly tradition. For the most part, the other dogs are fun to play with, but there is the occasional “grumpy” out there that doesn’t like their ball touched.
But this time, things started out a little different. We took our usual route to the park, allowing me to announce to everyone outside my window exactly what we planned to do and that they should meet us there for some fun playtime. Once we arrived, the old man and I walked up to the gate, which is where I met him. Yes, it was that dog. The one that doesn’t like it when you look at him. He’s such a self-conscious fellow, anti-social if you get the drift. All you have to do is look at him and he gets mad.
And today, he’s at the park. I’d usually stay away from dogs like that, but he was there to meet me at the gate. He barked.
I barked back.
Luckily his companion heard the irritability and talked him out of some potential commotion. I looked up at the old man. He seemed as intimidated as I was. I’m not a big dog, and fighting isn’t my strong point. I prefer to bark my way out of things rather than put up my paws and try to duke it out with a dog three times my size. Sure, I’d do what it takes to protect my faithful friend, but I’d prefer it not come down to that.
Once the path was clear, we entered and I was let off my leash to enjoy the wide open spaces. A man threw a ball. So, everyone tried to get it. I said hello to a few familiar noses and we played catch for a while.
Usually, Izzy would join us, but I think there were some pies baking in the oven that demanded his immediate attention, so it’s just the old man and me today. Buck might still show up to add to the fun, which any dog could hope for. After all, it’s not a party until everyone’s there.
And that’s when my daydream was rudely interrupted. It was him- right in my face- chasing me instead of the ball. How rude!
“You smell!” he barked.
“So do you!” I barked back and turned back towards the old man. I’d feel much safer knowing the old man was close.
But he cut me off and grabbed my ear. Not the playful way either. It hurt. I didn’t know what else to do so I bit the nearest thing I could find- his nose. And I didn’t let go. He yelped and let go of my ear, but I still held on. He wiggled and pawed, but I was determined to hold fast.
“Mercy!” he whined.
“Promise me you’ll be a good dog!’ the barks came out muffled, but he understood.
I let go and dropped to the ground. I could see his companion rushing over to help and several other people had arrived. A few dogs circled and barked at us, but the commotion had subsided. At least that’s what I thought.
The old man had arrived, slow but steady he walks on all three legs. That dog’s companion seemed mad, not at his own dog, but at me. He yelled at me and pushed me away, like I was all to blame. But the old man would have none of it. And neither would the other companions. They told the companion and his dog to play nice or don’t play at all. At least that’s what I understood. After all, people can bark some silly words sometimes.
Dogs know when there’s a bully around, and they always take the fun out of a day at the park. We enjoy playing, but there is occasionally that dog that just doesn’t get along with everyone else. And the thing about a dog and their companion is that they work as a team. We work as one and act just alike, learning and growing together. It’s good to have a friend, but it’s up to our friends to help guide us and teach us how to play together so we can all have fun.
Maybe next time, everyone can play nicely. But in the meantime, Christy is playing doctor on my ear…Ouch!
Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories. Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts. Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.