This morning we went to Nashotah County Park for a little exercise and socialization. We were going to go to Jefferson Dog Park but Molly-Polly's boy got strep throat and his mom couldn't come out and play with us. So we opted to go closer and the usual friends showed up after a while: Dot, Molly, Abby and Coby.
Dot's dad was amazed at how much Bella has changed since she first started coming to the dog park. He was blown away when she came over and begged me to love on her. He was completely enthralled when he said, "Hey, boys need love too," and she walked over and let him love on her and pet her.
Yeah, it was that amazing.
She hasn't had much interaction with little little kids here at The Lodge during her visit and something startling happened while we were at the Park. A man and his 3 year old son came to exercise their Springer Spaniel. When Bella saw the little tyke, she barked, once. They she barked a whole lot. A lot, a lot. Of course by this time I had taken the harness off of her AND the leash and I couldn't get a hand on her.
So, next best thing, I walked away and everybody followed. Everybody except the 3 year old kid, that is. Bella was still a little edgy but eventually came to me and let me pet her and calm her down. No, I didn't put the leash on her and yes, the harness is still off. (Judy if you want a show, perhaps you'll come tomorrow morning with your camera and record our walk tomorrow morning) When it came time to leave, I clipped the leash on about 100 feet from the gate and we stood around and talked for a while. Ok, she played with Dot and Molly and I talked to their parents. We all left about the same time and I just picked up her leash and she walked nice as you please into the gates and out to the car. Awesome.
I think she'll be ok. I'm sure its a different sensation of having your neck pulled instead of your body. I'll keep the harness in the pocket of my dog walkin' coat but I don't think I'll need it.
She just keeps going forward. As long as she knows that we are safe and people in general are safe, she'll be ok.