I began my Sunday with a lovely walk through Balboa Park with Brody, my friend Star, and two of her gorgeous birds: a macaw and an African gray parrot. Brody was his usual “OH HI WOW I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE WORLD AND MEET YOU ALL” self, even at 8 in the morning, so Star suggested Brody take a jog around the dog park area before the walk to get out some of his exuberance.
We headed down there and found the dog area surprisingly busy for 8 am, but the crowd was fairly sedate. I did say, “was”.
Brody takes off at warp 3 for a zoom around the lot, barreling through dogs and people alike as if he were attempting to Chuck Norris his way through a stack of wood planks. Soon enough, the thoroughly instigated dogs were zooming around with him, a whirling dervish of fur picking up momentum as it spun dizzily around the perimeter.
Brody stopped for a moment to greet a petite woman on her phone, and by “greet” I mean “jump on her from behind while she was attempting to talk on her cell phone.” Twice.
The hapless victim was fortunately very gracious about my breathless apology, delivered a few seconds after grabbing Brody on a run-by and re-attaching his leash*. He was panting by now, our cue to take off before the mood of the crowd turned from benevolent to pitchfork. Brody surveyed the swirling masses of dogdom left in his wake with a satisfied grin. His work was done.
(This is why we rarely go to dog park. Every time I think we’ve made progress on his atrocious jumping on people manners, he does something like this. Fine with dogs, crazy with new people.)
Star had observed all of this from the entryway, her birds remaining calm and dignified through this display. “I think we’re that dog no one is happy to see,” I lamented as we departed. Coming in as we were going out was a compact, fluffy ball of teeth who was snarling and snapping at Brody as we passed, dragging her owner behind her.
“Oh no,” said Star as the dog lunged at us. “THAT’S the one no one happy to see.”
And I felt slightly better.
*Technical note: I was trying out a no-pull harness to assess how I liked it versus the Gentle Leader. It worked very well for its purpose of reducing pull, and as such is probably what I would choose for a walk by ourselves. But in a situation where I need to be able to control his greeting behavior, the Gentle Leader offers better head control (obviously) so would still be my choice for walking in crowds.
My first choice would be for him to greet nicely so it wouldn’t matter, but it looks like I need to call my trainer and work on him some more before that’s going to happen.