Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Dog Diary (2013)

Dec. 17-25, 2013 — We've been going to the dog park, but we didn't go today, Christmas. Lady acted like she didn't want to go, so I walked her around the neighborhood. She saw a cat and tried to chase it. She barked, growled and pulled mightily, but I held her back with no trouble. The cat escaped.


• Katie cried; my best Dog Blog entry
Dec. 7-16, 2013 — We've been going to the dog park lately; I just haven't been writing about it. Just lazy, I guess.

We went this afternoon. It was almost warm, and lots of people were out with their dogs. Two of them were a spaniel named Buddy and a little dog named Simon.

Yesterday, a young dog tried mightily to get Lady to play, but the dogs left her alone today. She either walked alone or plopped down near where I was sitting on a bench.

I noted earlier in The Dog Diary that Lady weighed 57.2 pounds in early April, and I wanted to get her closer to 50. Recently, we went to the vet, and she weighed 50.9.

Dec. 6, 2013 — We had a good time at the dog park today until a Jack Russell decided he didn't like my looks. He barked and snarled and stalked me for a few minutes. Finally, he listened to his owner and left.

Lady received lots of compliments on her new trim (it's a little closer than the one in the picture that goes with this blog entry).

Nov. 30, 2013 Lady and I have been walking around the neighborhood lately, although we did go to the dog park today. We didn't really recognize the dogs or people at the park, although the names Ranger and Lola were familiar. It was cold today, and we stayed longer than we should have.

Nov. 19, 2013 — We haven't been going to the dog park lately. Instead, we've been walking in the neighborhood, something we did this morning and again just before dark. On our second walk, Lady spied a cat about 30 feet away and didn't even act like she wanted to chase it. This morning, a neighbor cranked an old truck with a loud muffler, and she growled and pulled violently on the leash. She hates noise.

Nov. 15, 2013 — We went to the dog park for a while today, seeing two people and two dogs. When they left, we went over to Horizons Park for a bit. Later, I noticed two white cars at the dog park, so we went back. No dogs bothered Lady, and I spent some time talking to a lady who brings her dog Tilly pretty regularly. Lady and I walked too much — at Horizons Park and later at home — but otherwise had a good day.

Nov. 14, 2013 — A beagle and a Jack Russell tormented Lady at the dog park today. They were smaller, but they were younger and much more vigorous. She tried to run away but was too slow. Another man helped me get her away from the dog, but for some reason the owners of the other dogs never helped. Fortunately, she wasn't hurt.

Nov. 13, 2013 — Lady and I haven't been to the dog park lately, and I haven't posted here in 10 days. Lady hasn't wanted to get into the van, so lately we've just been walking around the neighborhood, and Lady's seemed happy with that.

Oct. 28-Nov. 4, 2013 — We've been to the dog park several times recently, including one day last week when it rained. We went anyway and spent some time in Horizons Parks and more in the dog park. It drizzled rain, but Lady didn't seem to mind.

Today (Nov. 4), we went around 9:30 a.m. and probably stayed until 11:30. At one point, Lady tried to run away from an aggravating young dog, most mostly she just wandered around or rested in whatever shade she could find.

A man pointed out that Lady was wearing her winter coat, and I pointed out that Lady always wears her winter coat. Me, I was cold. Still, Lady seemed to have a good time, and I was happy with that.

Oct. 27, 2013 — We hadn't gone to the dog park for two days, but we went today (Sunday). Rocko and Shelly were there with Henry, and those two dogs had a good time wrestling. Lady kept her distance.

Henry was quick to tell me that Jeff Gordon won the Martinsville race. Go, Jeffie!

Oct. 24, 2013 — Lady did some running at the dog park today. She ran some while trying to get away from a playful boxer named Mr. T, and she ran around to show off for a few humans; maybe they had treats in their pockets. She'd been limping, and I was relieved that she didn't hurt herself.

She's been asleep since we got home.

Oct. 18, 2013 — We went to the dog park in the afternoon, and there were two young people playing with a funny-looking football, and they had a German shepherd puppy named Riley (I assume that's the spelling) with them. Riley's a pretty dog, with a black face and white mittens. And she didn't try too hard to get Lady to play.

Ron, one of the guys who take care of the park, showed up before these folks came in, and he took the trash out of the barrels. He did a little more cleanup and left; Lady didn't react to the noise at all. Normally she doesn't like it.

Oct. 16, 2013 — We haven't been to the dog park in awhile. We were running late today, so we went instead to Covington Park in Rural Hall. We walked a good bit, and Lady had a great time, sniffing, peeing and making her mess.

There was a Little League team practicing on the softball field, and Lady was curious. Some of them were curious about her, too.

Oct. 7, 2013 — It was almost cold at the dog park yesterday; I had to break out a sweatshirt. A few people showed up, but no one (other than us) stayed very long. There were a couple of people there when we left, though.

Oct. 4-6, 2013 — We've been to the dog park lately, including Saturday and Sunday evenings. Several people showed up, including Henry with his dogs Rocko and Shelly, plus Gary and his dog Heidi. I hadn't seen Gary in about a year — he's been going to a new park near his house — so we talked most of the time. 

Oct. 3, 2013 — We went back to Covington Park tonight; we were running late, and it just takes a few minutes to get there. I talked to a couple of people, and they praised Lady for her beauty (I agree). There were a bunch of kids there tonight, partly because of a ballgame (softball or baseball; I couldn't tell which). We spent a lot of time avoiding children; Lady is sometimes nervous with them, so I'll minimize how many times she encounters. But if I can't avoid it, I don't worry about it.

Oct. 2, 2013 — We didn't go to the dog park today, either. Instead, we went to Covington Park for a mile walk. It has a much shorter drive. Two women admired Lady.

Oct. 1, 2013 — Because of the heat, we didn't go to the dog park today, the 11th anniversary of us getting Lady. We count today as her 13th birthday; the people at the animal shelter said Lady was a two-year-old when we got her.

Sept. 26-30, 2013 — We've gone to the dog park recently; I just haven't been writing about it.

We went this morning and saw two people and their dogs. We were on the little-dog side, and they were on the big-dog side. Lady sometimes gets run over, so I've been careful with her. The dog we recognized, Willow, wouldn't have run over her, but I didn't know the other dog. Besides, we were there before the others showed up. 

Sept. 25, 2013 — Despite the rain in the area today, I took Lady to the dog park. It drizzled lightly on the way there, but it didn't rain during our 45 minutes at the park. Naturally, a young woman brought her dog just as we were leaving, but we had to go.

Sept. 21, 2013 — Lady wanted to take a walk today, but we did the next best thing. We didn't go to the dog park (rain), but we DID go to Horizons Park across the street from the dog park. I figured, if nothing else, we could go under the tin roof that covers the picnic tables.

There were a bunch of people picnicking there, but we went under there anyway. A little boy asked if that's my dog; "Yes, she is," I said. We encountered four other people. Only one spoke to me, and none of them, oddly, looked at Lady.

We got a little wet, but it wasn't too bad. It was a stretch of the legs anyway.

Sept. 19, 2013 — We went to the dog park in the afternoon, but I waited until we'd have some shade. The only dog on the big-dog side was Turbo, but there were two humans and three dogs on the other side. Turbo tried mightily to get Lady to play, but she resisted. Soon after Turbo and his owner left, we went, too.

Sept. 10-15, 2013 — I haven't written much about the dog park lately, but we HAVE been going there regularly.

On Saturday (Sept. 14), we went to Covington Park instead (we got a late start because of the Alabama-Texas A&M game), and it was nearly packed with weekend picnickers. Three little boys came up to see Lady, and the littlest of the three tried to hug her around the neck. She squirmed away, and she did the same when he tried clumsily to pet her. Normally, she gets along with children fine.

On Sunday (Sept. 15), we went to the dog park early and stayed on the small-dog side to take advantage of the shade. Also, there were several playful dogs on the big-dog side, and Lady's gotten run over a few times lately. I like to protect her sore hind leg.

Among the dogs were a cute cocker spaniel, a Jack Russell and a sweet doberman.

Sept. 5-9, 2013 — We've been to the park several times since I last posted here. A man came in today (Sept. 9) with a beagle-basset hound mix named Zoe, and he said that he and his dog have been coming to the park since it opened in 2007. As far as I can tell, he and I are the only ones to go all that time. There may be more, but I haven't encountered them lately.

Sept. 4, 2013 — There were several dogs there when Lady and I went to the dog park this morning. Willow was the one dog I recognized, and her owner brings her almost daily. Also, a couple brought a West Highland terrier named Maggie. She seemed interested in Lady, and they got along well enough.

Lady, however, didn't like the cart that recreation-park worker Ron used this morning. She barked when he entered the park and again when he left. She likes to sniff machinery, but she doesn't like to hear it run.

Aug. 26-Sept. 2, 2013 — We've been going to the dog park lately; I just haven't been writing about it. We went this morning (Monday) and saw a brown puppy named Onyx and a young great dane that was apparently named Zenyatta, after the great racehorse. They could have named him Onyx because of his color.

We've been going almost exclusively in the morning, partly because it's hotter later and partly because we've often had bad weather later.

Last week, there were several rambunctious young dogs at the park, and one of them ran over Lady's hind end as she lay near the bench where I was sitting. She jumped up and growled, but he was long gone. The same day, another large young dog ran at me and rammed me in the belly while I was sitting on the bench. I've been taking Lady to the small-dog side lately. Most of the frisky dogs stay on the big-dog side.

Aug. 25, 2013 — We didn't go this morning. Lady was limping badly when she did walk; mostly, she's just by lying around. We'll see how she acts this evening.

Aug. 24, 2013 — We finally returned to the dog park today. Lady still has a limp, but she clearly wanted to go. We left home before 7:30 in the morning and were the only ones there. Lady rolled in the wet grass and got wet; then she lay in the dirt and wood, getting her feet, legs and undercarriage dirty.

Still, she had a good time, and I was happy with it.

Aug. 17, 2013 — No dog park for the next few days. It's started raining, and Lady needs to get over her limp. 

Aug. 16, 2013 — We were at the dog park before 8:30 this morning, and the park began to fill up before 9. Turbo, Willow, Clifford and most of the other morning usual suspects were there. Lady was limping badly, so she spent most of the time lying in the dirt near where I was sitting on the bench.

The others went down to the bench in the shaded area, so we were alone much of the time. That wasn't the worst thing that could happen, since I didn't want Lady to get run over by rambunctious puppies. This time, I had little trouble getting her to join me when I was ready to leave around 9:50.

Because of her leg, I had to lift her into the Toyota, then help her out when we got home. She's spent most of the day resting, and I doubt we'll do more than take a walk around the neighborhood the next few days.

Aug. 14, 2013 — I may have to rethink going to the dog park in the morning. The park was full of rambunctious dogs today, and I spent the time worried that Lady would get run over by playful dogs. I also was worried that I'd get knocked off the bench.

I carried a small leash with me so I could lead Lady from the far end of the park, where the shade is. Again, she acted like she didn't want to leave.

Aug. 12, 2013 — The dog park was busy this morning, and all of us grouped together at a bench under the shade. There were several dogs running, including Bo and Clifford, but Lady pretty much stayed to herself.

Lady didn't want to go when I was ready (we were there nearly two hours), and I had to go back and get her. She started walking away from me, and Bo's owner grabbed her for me and walked her over.

Aug. 11, 2013 — We've already been to the dog park today; we went a little before 8 a.m. We went into the small-dog side so I wouldn't have to walk too far. A man brought Bo (I've been calling him Beau) in with Lady, since he recognized her. A couple had two dogs that he didn't recognize (I didn't either) on the big-dog side.

There was also a lady I recognized with her German shepherd Nigel. She did most of the talking, and we left at the same time.

Lady's since been fed, and I think she's napping.

Aug. 10, 2013 — No dog park today; we're having a thunderstorm. The same happened yesterday (Friday).

Aug. 4-8, 2013 — We've been to the dog park lately, but, frankly, I haven't thought to write about it. We went Thursday (Aug. 8) in the evening, and we were the only ones there. Two cars left as we were pulling in, and another came as we were leaving. It was beginning to rain, and I wasn't going to wait for it to stop.

Aug. 3, 2013 — We went to dog park late today, after 8 p.m. It was a little cooler, and there weren't too many people or dogs there. I didn't know anyone there, and we wound up mostly keeping to ourselves.

We walked a little bit inside the park and left just as it was getting dark.

Aug. 2, 2013 — I took Lady to the groomer today. It was hot, and we didn't go to the dog park.

Aug. 1, 2013 — It was muggy and buggy at the dog park this morning, and Lady lay in the shade and panted. So now we're home in the A/C.

A woman at the park said her dog was named for the German word for gun. It sounded like Gevere, but I looked it up: it's Gewehr. Yes, you DO learn something new every day.

July 29-31, 2013 — We went to the dog park today, but I don't remember much about it. It WAS muggy, though, and the bugs were annoying.

We went the last two days, too; I just couldn't think of much to write about.

July 28, 2013 — We had a good time at the dog park today, although Lady spent a lot of it lounging and relaxing. I talked to a friend named Don (who has been coming to the park for three years), and Lady lay in the shade with Don's dogs, Mac and Mary.

Several kids wanted to pet Lady, and they complimented her. Some of the many dogs there played, but Lady didn't get roughed up, and I didn't get run into. So it was a good day all around.

July 27, 2013 — It rained most of the day Saturday. Lady and I went to the park late tonight, and we were alone. When we were about to leave, a car pulled up, and a guy went into the port-a-potty. Otherwise, we were alone.

July 24, 2013 — I was amazed how many people and dogs were at the park this morning. Two regulars, Willow and Tilly, were there, and we saw a mix of other dogs familiar or not.

Lady tried to run a time or two and came away limping, so I left before she could get hurt too badly.

We went back to the dog park this evening and saw a few dogs we recognized, including Shelly and Rocko, plus Carson. And I learned that I've been misspelling Rocko (I wrote it Rocco).

We had a thunder storm tonight, and Lady quivered badly.

July 21-23, 2013 — We've been to the dog park since July 20; I just hadn't written about it lately.

July 20, 2013 — There weren't many folks at the dog park this morning. And when the ones there left, probably because of the mounting heat, we left, too.

We went to Pet Smart to take advantage of the air conditioning, and Lady seemed to enjoy the smells, the dogs and the people. Several people oohed and aahed and wanted to pet her.

I'm half tempted to take her to the dog park again this evening; the only negative is that it'll likely be wet from the rain this afternoon. Of course, it may not have rained there.

We DID go again in the evening, and it WASN'T wet. I talked to a few folks I didn't know, and Lady spent some time getting dirty while lying in dirt and bark.

July 19, 2013 — We went to the dog park today and met a brown dog named Aldous (after writer Aldous Huxley). It was muggy, and Lady and I kept low profiles. I spent much of the time talking comic books with Aldous's owner.

You'll notice that I don't always post here. Sometimes we don't do anything worth mentioning; other times I simply forget to write anything.

July 15, 2013 — I took Lady to the vet today for a regular checkup, and she had lost five pounds from her last visit. She was 57.2, but I'd like to get her closer to 50. I'm afraid, though, that part of her weight loss is muscle mass.

We went to the dog park this evening, and there was a white Great Pyrenees named Bella, as well as other dogs I didn't know. Lady walked around a bit, but she didn't try to play. It was muggy, so we didn't hang around.

July 11, 2013 — A woman and her young dog Bentley were at the dog park today. Bentley was frisky, but he really didn't try to play with Lady, who spent much of our time there lying down.

It seemed like a storm was brewing, so we didn't stay long. It did rain when we got home, and we had a gully washer and a terrible thunderstorm later.

July 7, 2013 — A woman and her dogs were at the park when we got there today, but they didn't stay long. Lady and I went into the small dog side and stayed maybe 20 minutes. The wind was rising, and it felt like it would rain.

It did rain tonight. Thunder shook the house twice around 4 a.m., and Lady spent part of the night (presumably quivering) in the basement. She's in her crate now.

July 6, 2013 — Two tiny dogs tried to take on Lady today at the dog park. One in particular was barking his head off and trying to intimidate her, but she pretty much ignored both of them. She probably weighs three times both of them put together.

Then they went after me, barking and snarling. Their owner apologized, and I told her it was no big deal. Much bigger dogs have been much more aggressive with me than that.

We didn't stay too long. It was the middle of the day, and Lady was getting hot.

July 5, 2013 — Lady and a slightly smaller dog actually had a little dustup at the dog park today. I didn't see what caused it, but Lady quickly sat down, and the other dog moved away. His/her owner didn't complain, and Lady didn't appear hurt.

It was hot and muggy, and thunderstorms were forecast, so we came home.

I got the windshield wipers fixed earlier today and haven't driven through rain since, naturally.

July 4, 2013 — Lady had still been limping, and we've had a lot of rain. So I haven't taken her to the dog park lately.

Holly and I took a chance and drove her to the dog park today. It was fine at first, but the bottom fell out after about 10 or 15 minutes. We heard a crack of thunder, and Lady charged toward the gate.

Other people were hurrying out with their dogs, and Lady tried to join them. Fortunately, a woman shoved Lady back into the park until I could grab her.

We were soaked when we got in the van. It wasn't easy to go home, though. Our windshield wipers quit working while we were still in the parking lot, and we had to creep home.

June 25, 2013 — Lady is still limping today, but it isn't as bad as yesterday.

Still, she sat down and wouldn't get into the van for a short drive to the dog park. As soon as I closed the van door, she jumped up for her morning walk. We limped (I use a cane) to the end of the lane, then turned down the road to the left to extend our stroll.

Then we limped home. The walk was OK, but it was terribly hot. If we'd taken the van, I would have found a shaded spot for our walk.

June 24, 2013 — We didn't stay long at the dog park today; too hot. A woman had two Italian greyhounds (or whippets; I can't tell which); a man had a dog that looked familiar, and a couple had a harlequin Great Dane named Bella.

I talked a few minutes to the couple, did a quick cellphone interview for a newspaper and took Lady home. I fed her, and she found a cool spot.

We also went to Covington Park this evening (it's closer to home) and saw Shasta and Nakiathe stereophonic huskies, and their humans. Lady sniffed up the huskies, and we went on.

The park was full of activity when we got there, with a softball game going on and kids playing in the playground area. There were also couples alone and at least one couple with a baby. We stayed until a lot of people had gone; then we did the same.

June 23, 2013 — There was one man and two dogs at the dog park when Lady and I got there this morning. The man was busy walking, and the dogs pretty much ignored Lady. I had things to do, so we didn't stay long.

We went back to the dog park this evening. Henry was there with Shelly and Rocko, the only dogs we recognized.

We stayed until 8:10 and left; I had brought only a dark pair of glasses and wanted to get home before it got dark. Besides, Lady was just lying in the shade at that point.

June 22, 2013 — There were two women, a child and a dog at the dog park when we got there. The older woman and the child stayed in the parking lot as the other woman walked the dog inside the park. Their dog was friendly, but the woman kept it busy.

When they left, a worker in a golf cart came in the park to pick up trash from the barrels. Lady was getting tired by that point, and I was bored, so we left.

June 21, 2013 — We were alone at the dog park this morning, so we went over to Horizons Park. We walked a bit in the shaded areas and went home.

June 20, 2013 — It was pretty loud at the dog park this morning. Workers were mowing along both sides of the road and across the road at Horizons Park, and the noise was almost unbearable. We didn't stay long. 

June 19, 2013 — We were alone at the dog park when we got there around 4:30. Then a young man showed up with a black dog named Oscar. Soon afterward, a guy named Greg came in with Duchess and Burrito, and the park started to fill up.

Duchess got into it with a black dog (maybe Oscar), but no one got hurt. Lady immediately ran to me, so I was pleased. She didn't get hurt, and she showed good sense.

We stayed about an hour and a half, and now Lady's cooling off. So am I.

June 17, 2013 — The dog park was empty this morning (8:30). The grass was a bit wet, so we went over to Horizons Park for awhile. The dog park was still empty when we headed home (9:35).

We did see several people walking at Horizons Park, including an older couple with a shy beagle. The beagle got really low to the ground. The woman said their dog was scoping out Lady, but it was obvious that it was scared.

June 15, 2013 — We went to the dog park this morning (around 9:30) and stayed about two hours. I spent most of the time sitting in the shade and talking to a man I'd met before. He gave me his card, and his dog Jasmine (he called her an Australian German shepherd) tried mightily to get petted.

Lady spent most of the time in the shade.

June 14, 2013 — We've already been to the dog park today. It was warm and sunny, and we spent most of the time in the shade. Willow and a young, black dog named Lady were there. So was Gabby. No word on why she has the name; she was quiet.

It was strange to see police tape across the road just above the dog park. Obviously there were trees and/or power lines down in that direction.

June 13, 2013 — Terrible thunderstorms blew through Forsyth County today. For awhile, it looked like a hurricane, and I feared that we'd have tornadoes.

June 12, 2013 — We went to the dog park twice today, at 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. We were only ones at the park in the morning (it was hot), but we saw several dogs we knew in the evening. Shasta and Nakiathe stereophonic huskieswere there, as were twins Mac and Mary. Mac and Mary were shaved earlier, but Mac's hair is coming in nicely. He'll have to be shaved again.

People always ask if I'll have my woolly Lady shaved. No. She needs her fur for protection from bugs, the sun, weather and other dogs.

We also saw Shelly and Rocko (and their owner, Henry) leaving as we were going in.

June 11, 2013 — We got to the dog park at 8:30, and it was obvious that they had mowed the grass on Monday (good!). Lady kept a low profile as we saw Willow, Bo and Blue on a hot morning.

Blue is a young and bashful 140-pound Great Dane who wanted to chase a ball but wouldn't battle Willow for it. He'll grow up. He did manage to come over to me and say hi.

June 9, 2013 — It's 10 a.m., and we've already been to the dog park. The grass was wet, and it was already hot at a little after 8. We didn't stay long — Lady was panting and looking for shade — so we went to Horizons Park.

We walked a bit in the shade, then hurried home for cold drinks of water and some time in the A/C.

June 8, 2013 — We went to the dog park late, and Shasta and Nakiathe stereophonic huskies, were there for a short time. When we left, I think there was one guy there with his dog.

June 3, 2013 — We went to the dog park this evening, and we saw Shasta and Nakiathe stereophonic huskies, among others. Allie, whom I mentioned earlier, was there as well, although they didn't wrestle this time. Allie ran with the huskies and other dogs.

Lady walked around a bit, then spent most of the time lying down. After about an hour, we came home.

June 2, 2013 — Lady and I went to the dog park at 8:30 this morning. I wanted to beat the thunderstorms predicted for today, and I hoped the crowd would be small.

There were probably a dozen people and a similar number of dogs when we got there. Some of the people, though, were children with parents.

We encountered one dog we knew: Scruffy. We did, though, meet a dog named Josie Two Rivers (long story), although I'd talked to her owner before.

When we left around 10:15, there was one guy and a dog in the big-dog side.

May 30, 2013 — Lady was worn out when we got back in the van today. She ran with and wrestled with a young dog named Allie, and she came back a happy-but-worn-out mess. That's the first time I've seen her wrestle since Buddy died.

May 29, 2013 — Lady had a good time at the dog park. She got petted; no dogs jumped her, and she didn't get rolled. We normally might have gone early, but they cut grass on Wednesdays.

We saw Shasta and Nakiathe stereophonic huskies; Shelly and Rocko, and a dog named Scruffy. The park was pretty empty when we left.

May 27, 2013 — We haven't gone to the dog park much lately, although I HAVE been there since I last posted. We went this evening and saw several dogs we recognized.

At one point, Lady got playful and started running around in front of me. I'd feint at her, and she'd drop into a playful stance and run a bit. We did that more than a half minute before she tired of it.

It was good all around. It was cool; Lady didn't get hurt, and I didn't get run over. The park was empty when we left. We got home a little after 8:30.

May 23, 2013 — The dog park had a few dogs when we got there, but it wasn't overflowing (which is good). A Great Dane puppy came in, as did a fairly good sized rottweiler, a white poodle and a few others. It wasn't hot, with no rain, and there were no thunderstorms. Lady didn't get rolled, although I did get drooled on.

All in all, it was a good day at the park.

We could, however, hear the whirring and clacking of the locusts or cicadas in the woods nearby.

May 22, 2013 — Lady and I got to the dog park around 10 a.m. today, and Willow and her owner were there. We didn't get to stay long in the big-dog side, because the lawnmowers showed up.

We waited until they mowed the little-dog side and went in there with a couple and their French bulldog and a woman with four dogs, most of them goldens.

A man and two girls were standing outside the big-dog side with their young Great Pyrenees dog. I suggested they go in the little-dog side, since there was no one in there. The man thanked me, and they headed off while we got in the van to go home.

The big dog seemed happy in the little-dog side while the lawnmowers were still going in the big-dog side.

May 21, 2013 — We didn't stay long at the dog park. I was talking to someone when thunder rumbled. Lady headed straight to the gate. She scratched the gate in her impatience, and we left. I don't know if it ever rained, but we weren't going to take chances.

There's been a whirring sound around lately; I hear it's the 17-year cicadas.

May 15, 2013 — Lady and I were alone at the dog park today. Someone was leaving as we pulled in, and no one else showed up after that.

May 14, 2013 — Lady and I had a relaxed time at the dog park, although one slightly smaller dog tried mightily to get her to play. We recognized Tilly and Turbo, and several other dogs were there.

May 12, 2013 — At the dog park today, I sat down with a man who knew a LOT about dogs. He told some stories about dogs he'd owned or known, and I got to know his young, long-haired and black-faced German shepherd with floppy ears.

At one point, Lady felt frisky and started running madly in circles and to and fro. I think another dog set her off, but she was running alone at that point. The other dog had left.

The stereophonic huskies, Shasta and Nakia, showed up with one of their owners. As always, I heard them when they were riding in their owners' Chevy Blazer, but then I didn't hear them once they got in the park. Quiet dogs.

Happy Mother's Day, everybody.

May 11, 2013 — The dog park was getting hot at 9:30 a.m. today. We encountered several people and dogs today, including a talkative man with a lovely Aussie named Josie.

Lady and I quickly gravitated to the shade, made one circuit of the park and came home. She got some water and found a cool spot. I got some water and came to the computer.

May 8, 2013 — After some rainy days, Lady and I finally went to the dog park today. We saw several dogs we knew, including two pairs, Mac and Mary, and Shelly and Rocko. Overall, the dogs were pretty calm. Lady didn't get rolled, and I didn't get run into.

The grass was wet and newly mowed, and Lady and Mac both rolled in it. Mac had some green muck near one ear, and Lady's muck was behind her collar. Once Lady's mess began to dry, it came off quickly.

I just realized that today would have been my mother's 98th birthday.

May 5, 2013 — It was unseasonably cool and windy today when we got to the dog park. We walked around a bit, and Lady got petted a lot (nobody tried to pet me). When it started raining, we left.

There were three cars in the parking lot and three dogs in the park when we left. Two of the dogs were running around, and the third was watching them. The two humans I could see were laughing; apparently they enjoyed the rain.

May 4, 2013 — My wife Holly and I took Lady to the dog park today, and Lady got the royal treatment from various people. A couple of women gushed about how soft she is.

On a down note, it's supposed to rain tomorrow.

May 3, 2013 — Lady had a good day today. She got a lot of petting and rubbing at the dog park. Then this evening, my sister-in-law and nephew came over and loved Lady up and down. She was thrilled.

May 1, 2013 — We went to the dog park around 2 p.m. today, and three lawnmowers rolled in. At first, I was afraid Lady would get out of the park when they opened the gate. Then I was afraid the noise would bother her.

We went over to the small dog side, but a lawnmower soon came in that side, too. So we gave up and went home. We were there maybe 40 minutes.

April 28, 2013 — No dog park today; rain.

April 27, 2013 — Lady got run over at the dog park today. I heard a YELP! and turned, and she was getting up after being rolled by a bigger dog. She seemed OK, and the owners of the other dog checked her out carefully.

The park was full when we got there. Then I looked around, and it was empty. Later, an older woman brought a child and a dog, and a young woman (maybe a Wake Forest student?) brought her chubby chocolate lab in there.

Lady and I took a short walk and came home.

April 26, 2013 — Willow was there today, but Tilly wasn't. Lady walked around a little bit, but she spent a lot of time in the shade.

Willow's owner was looking at a baby squirrel in a tree yesterday (I saw it's head), and we saw it (or a relative) there today, too.

April 24-25, 2013 — Willow and Tilly were at the dog park both days, although they weren't the only dogs there. I wonder if they'll be there today.

April 23, 2013 — It was cold when I went out around 8 o'clock, but it was warm when we went to the dog park in the early afternoon. I had to chuck the sweatshirt.

We stayed about an hour, and Lady interacted with several dogs and people. None of the dogs tried to get her to play (a plus), and none tried to bite or run over me (a big plus). We finally took our walk and headed home.

April 21-22, 2013 — Cool and windy; the park was full on Sunday, but we were alone at the dog park on Monday. On Monday afternoon, we took a short walk at nearby Covington Park. We could have stayed longer, but I had to pick up Scottie's remains at the vet's office.

April 20, 2013 — It was cool and a bit windy when we went to the dog park this morning, but it soon warmed up. One young dog tried mightily to get Lady to play, and I was pleased that she didn't bite him.

She did wear herself out, though; when we got home, she found a cool spot and took a nap.

April 19, 2013 — We did go to the dog park yesterday, but I didn't remember to write it down. Now, I can't remember what happened.

Today, we went out early, but there were several dogs there, including Willow. A young couple kept their two dogs on the little-dog side. Just as we left, they went over to the big-dog side.

April 17, 2013 — We had a good afternoon at the dog park. Turbo and (Clint) Eastwood wrestled with each other and then aggravated a pit-bull puppy named Brooklyn (although Brooklyn held her own most of the time).

For some reason, Lady did run manically for a minute or two. It was like she reverted to puppyhood; then she became the calm lady again.

Now, she's grinding away at her chewie.

April 16, 2013 — We went to the dog park early today, and we were the only ones there. For some reason, a worker drove a tractor outside the park most of the time we were there, and it wasn't immediately obvious what he was trying to do.

We took a walk outside the fence, and they finally quit driving that darned noisy tractor just before we left.

April 15, 2013 — It rained this morning, but Lady and I still went to the dog park this evening. We didn't get there until about 7:45, and we left by 8:15. Still, Lady got petted and spent some time with her human and furry friends.

I like going late, but I hate driving back in the dark.

Two regulars, Mac and Mary, looked odd, since they'd been shaved today. Their owner said they do that twice a year.

Lady was shaved (not my choice) when we first got her, but her fur protects her from bugs, the sun, the elements and other dogs. So she won't get shaved all over again.

April 13, 2013 — Lady and I went to the dog park early today. The park was full of people and dogs, some I recognized, most I didn't.

It was hot, so we stayed a short time, took a walk outside the perimeter and went home.

Interestingly, dozens of motorcycle riders came to the park across the way. They parked in the dog park lot, then walked across to the main park. At one point, there was a terrible calamity with the noise of the bikes and what sounded like a marching band.

For a moment, I was afraid that Lady would be scared, but she didn't seem bothered at all.

April 12, 2013 — Lady went to the groomers today, and the house was lonely.

After I picked her up at the groomers, we went straight to the dog park, and she got her compliments. I did take the little bow off her head before we went. If I hadn't, she would have spent time rubbing the thing off.

There was a Shiba Inu mix at the park. Fortunately, it aggravated all the other dogs, not Lady.

There was a large, long-haired German shepherd that, for some reason, was fascinated by another dog. It irritated that dog, another male, to death. One of the owners — I didn't notice which — just took her dog home.

There was a brindled mastiff there. It was young and probably didn't weigh more than 80 pounds. It has big paws, with plenty room to grow.

April 11, 2013 — Lady and I went to the dog park early today and stayed nearly two hours. There were several dogs there, and I kept Lady on the little-dog side; I figured she would be safer away from the younger, more playful pups.

Besides, there was a park worker using something that sounded like a chainsaw. Maybe it was a weed whacker or blower. Lady hates things like that, and I was afraid she might try to attack the guy.

Back home, Lady seems puzzled. It's like, Where's Scottie? He's not coming back, darlin'.

April 10, 2013 — We let Scottie go today. For nearly two weeks, he had eaten little or nothing and hadn't walked (or even stood up) without help. He was getting pitifully weak, and we decided it was the kindest thing to do.

The house is desolate today.

April 8, 2013 — Lady and I went to the dog park early this morning, and no one showed up. I sat and read my Travis McGee mystery novel, and she spent a lot of time sitting and enjoying the sunshine. We're home, and she's taking an early siesta.

April 7, 2013 — We went to the dog park late today so we wouldn't have to deal with too many people or dogs. Shasta and Nakia (the stereophonic huskies) were the only dogs there.

One of the dogs — they're twins, and I can't tell them apart — was rubbing up against me like a cat. Otherwise, it was a normal evening. The huskies decided to run when their owners were about to leave, but that didn't last too long.

When I decided to go, Lady came right along (for once).

April 5, 2013 — We just got back from the dog park, and Lady ate a little bit.

We saw a few dogs we recognized, including two pairs (Mac and Mary, and Rocko and Shelly). It was a nice day, and a bunch of dogs were at the park.

Some of the dogs were rough, but they left Lady alone. This one Boston terrier kept squealing after two huskies and several other dogs chased it.

April 4, 2013 — No dog park today. It was sleeting this morning and afternoon, and it sounds like it's raining now. Lady's been pretty quiet.

She did get excited when we brought Scottie home. She sniffed him all up, probably from the hospital-like smells.

Scottie's been asleep most of the time he's been home.

April 3, 2013 — A woman had two young children at the dog park today, and I told her to be careful, since the sign says that children must be 12 or older.

She said she didn't see it, so she explained to the children in Spanish that they needed to go. She walked them across the street to the regular park, then came back to the dog park to get the dog. 
She waved as Lady and I left the parking lot in the van.

April 2, 2013 We got a late start today and didn't get to the dog park until about 7:15. It was cool but pleasant.

One dog aggravated Lady a bit, but he didn't hurt her.

There was a woman who was hollering at her young dog, and the dog, Zoe, was ignoring her. I noticed that Zoe was sweet and attentive when the woman talked in a nicer voice and gave her attention, and I wonder if that might be the way to go all the time.

Dogs don't want to pay attention when you snarl at them. Who would?

March 30, 2013 There was a young Shiba Inu at the dog park today, and it followed Lady everywhere. I think she was getting tired of it, but she didn't bite it. She just growled once, and he got the message: You bother me, kid.

We had a good day at the park. Lady didn't get attacked; I didn't get bitten or run into, and we had a nice walk outside the perimeter. And I met a couple of nice people who were with the Shiba Inu (who was apparently named Salem).

March 27, 2013 A woman had her two young children (under 10) at the park today. I told her to be careful, since the signs call for children to be 12 or older. She looked surprised and said she'd read the signs but didn't see that.

Lady and I didn't stay long. I had stuff to do.

March 27, 2013 Lady and I had a good time at the dog park today. One woman seemed to be dying from the weather, but it seemed mild to me. It was cool, but the wind wasn't as bad as it has recently.

Lady tolerated, maybe even enjoyed, a young dog named Caviar, who tried mightily to get her to play. After the other folks left, we stayed a few minutes, then went home, too. I think Lady's snoring now.

March 26, 2013 — I'm becoming friends with a man who brings his dog Charlie almost every day. The dogs were on the little-dog side, so we took Lady and Charlie over there.

It was cold enough today that he couldn't sit on a bench. His wife was waiting in the car, and she cut his day at the park short; I don't think he minded.

Lady and I finally took a walk outside the perimeter and went home.

March 25, 2013 It was cold and windy, with a little snow, at the dog park today, and we didn't stay much more than a half hour. A woman and girl took a medium-sized dog into the small-dog side, but they didn't stay 10 minutes.

March 23, 2013 — I've noticed a change in Lady. She used to stand in the back seat and jump to the passenger seat. No longer.

Since we had an incident driving to the dog park (in which I slammed on the brakes and Lady flew up against the dashboard), she's been lying at my feet for most of the trip to and from the dog park. Once or twice, she almost sat on my right (gas) foot, and I had to move her so I could drive.

Today, she stayed on the floor until we got within a quarter mile of home. I'd slowed down, and she knew she was safe. So she got up on the passenger seat so she could see.

March 22, 2013 — We had another pretty day at the dog park, but it wasn't as cold and windy as Thursday. Lady tried to run a little bit, but it was obvious her leg or hip was hurting her.

I talked to several people I'd met before, and we had a good day without incidence. There was, though, a brown dog that looked like a slightly larger, prettier version of a chihuahua. The owner wasn't sure of the breed. I can say one thing — it's fast.

Lady's been sleeping most of the day since we came home, although I did take her for a walk this evening.

March 21, 2013 — It was a pretty day at the dog park, but it was cold and windy. The stereophonic huskies, Shasta and Nakia, showed up with one of their owners, and they played with each other while Lady sniffed and looked on her own. We stayed about an hour, which was about a half hour too long.

Lady's lying at my feet, hoping I'll give her part of my sandwich. She got it.

March 20, 2013 — We had a good time at the dog park today, although a young dog tried mightily to get Lady to play. Lady did a little running around, trying to get away. At one point, she started running around and back and forth like a really slow halfback.

Once, the dog got her down, and Lady squealed. I think that's the first time I've heard her squeal. Fortunately, the dog's owners didn't stay very long.

Lady's sleeping it off now.

March 17, 2013 — It was cold and windy at the dog park today. We were by ourselves most of the time, although a family finally came in. Their German shepherd tried to play, but Lady kept to herself.

After they left, Lady and I took a walk outside the perimeter, and a family entered the park.

It almost scared me at first, with them running and yelling Spanish — I thought we were under attack. They were just chasing their dog.

March 16, 2013 — We had a calm time today at the dog park. No dogs tried to attack me, and no rambunctious young dogs gave Lady a hard time.

I spent nearly two hours listening to a trucker who had brought his tractor-trailer and his chihauhua named Chuie (sounds like Chewie).

March 15, 2013 — We went to the dog park early this afternoon, with no incidents to report. Lady was her usual friendly self, and I listened to two women complain. Fortunately, one of them was brief; we were leaving, and she was just entering the park.

March 14, 2013 — Lady and I didn't have time to go to the dog park today, so we went to nearby Covington Park for a short walk. It was great until two loose dogs started following us.

The dachshund was no big deal, but the pit bull (with its leash trailing behind) worried me. It was intent on following Lady, though, and gave me no attention.

I had to almost drag Lady to the van, and I was worn out when we got there.

March 13, 2013 — Lady and I got along fine at the dog park today; then Cain and his owner came in again (see below). Cain had barked, snarled and growled at me the last time we met, and he did it again. As soon as I could get to the gate, we left.

March 12, 2013 — Lady was miserable during part of our stay at the dog park today. A young husky named Mia tried to play with her, and she pretty much roughed Lady up.

Fortunately, Mia and her owner (who was cold) didn't stay that long. Just before they left, the stereophonic huskies, Shasta and Nakia, showed up with one of their owners, and Lady got along with them just fine.

March 8, 2013 — Lady had a good day at the dog park today. There weren't too many dogs, and none of them really aggravated her (although a young golden retriever named Doug tried to get her to play).

I talked to a knowledgeable young man about sports and professional wrestling. He may know more about wrestling than I do (I'm not the most knowledgeable wrestling fan in the world, but I know a good bit).

The only negative was that someone was shooting a target pistol near the park. That got on my nerves.

March 6, 2013 — Lady had her ears pinned back today when we went into the dog park; she didn't like the wind.

The funny thing was that three people left the dog park and took their dogs with them as we were going in. A few others came in later, but Lady and I didn't stay long after they came. We walked outside the fence and went home.

I didn't like the wind, either.

March 4, 2013 — No dog park today; rain.

Even Scottie doesn't want to go outside.

March 3, 2013 — Scottie and I went out early this morning and heard a woodpecker. Lady slept in.

This afternoon, Lady and I went to the dog park, and a big dog (not the same one as before) came after me. I assume he didn't like my cane, either. I held him at bay with the cane while I called Lady so we could leave.

We went to the small-dog side for a bit, then walked outside the perimeter. A woman brought the stereophonic huskies, Shasta and Nakia, and they were in the big-dog side alone. So we went in there for a few minutes.

The frisky huskies both came over to say hi, and Lady sniffed around until I got too cold and we left.

Lady had a snack before her nap, and now she's sniffing around my sandwich.

I just realized that today would have been my dad's 96th birthday; he was born March 3, 1917 and died March 11, 2003. He and Lady never got to meet, and he probably would have been afraid of her anyway. He was NOT a dog kinda guy like me.

March 2, 2013 — Lady and I didn't go to the dog park today. I saw a traffic jam in that direction, so I drove the opposite way, got gas and went to Covington Park, a great place to walk. We strolled the mile course and watched a white bird circle the little lake (probably looking for fish).

We're home, and Lady's napping.

March 1, 2013 — We went to the dog park despite the cold and wind. We got their after 4, so there were several people and dogs there. No incidents, so Lady seemed to have a good time.

I saw something funny; a smaller dog outwrestled a bigger dog (a lovely gray and white border collie) for a frisbee. After that, every time someone threw the frisbee, the little dog would growl and get the frisbee. Lady didn't participate; she's never chased a ball, frisbee or anything else (except cats and squirrels).

I couldn't stay more than an hour, though. The cold and wind made it uncomfortable.

Feb. 28, 2013 — It was cool and windy, but Lady and I went to the dog park today. There were a few people and dogs when we got there, but most of them were leaving as we got out of the van.

A young man left for awhile, then came back with two young huskies, but they weren't much companionship for Lady. They just laid there awhile before the young man took them home.

We took a walk outside the perimeter, and a few people came in with dogs. One big black dog was so rambunctious that I didn't return to the park. I took Lady and went home.

Feb. 26-27, 2013 — No dog park today; cold and wet.

Feb. 25, 2013 — It was cold today at the dog park, which was pretty quiet. Lady wound up wrestling with a young husky mix named Willow, and I found the time to do an interview for a magazine story. And I talked to Willow's owner. Good guy.

Feb. 24, 2013 — My wife Holly and I took Lady to the dog park today. We had only one mishap. A 25- or 30-pound dog was running across the yard and plowed into Lady broadside, rolling her. She jumped right up and walked off. The younger and smaller dog took off running again.

I guess she just didn't see Lady.

Feb. 21, 2013 — We had a run-in with a large, white pit bull/American Staffordshire terrier mix today at the dog park. The dog started stalking me and growling/snarling. Its owner said that it wanted to bite the end of my cane, but it was obvious that the dog wanted to bite me.

We quickly got out of the park, and I took Lady on a walk just outside the fence. Talking through the fence, I had a nice chat with the owner, who couldn't understand that his dog might bite someone. Ironically, the dog's name is Cain.

I told him that I'd leave the park the next time I see him and Cain. I'm not upset with them; I'm just afraid of Cain.

It's getting harder to find a relatively safe time to go.

Feb. 21, 2013 — I awoke around 3:30 a.m. and realized that something was wrong; I couldn't find Lady. Hearing a scratch at the door leading to the basement, I opened the door, and Lady sauntered out. I had inadvertently locked her in the basement.

Sorry, Lady.

Lady and our collie Scottie got hot dogs and were happy.

Feb. 20, 2013 — There were two younger dogs at the dog park today, and one of them wanted to play with Lady. He must have rolled her four or five times and was still bothering her when I called her to come to me.

She got some mud on her scruff but didn't seem hurt. She has a bad hind leg, and I worry that she'll hurt it when she runs or plays or gets roughed up.

It was almost too warm at the dog park, unusual nowadays.

Feb. 19, 2013 — No joy in the Gillispie household today. It's cold and wet, and Lady and I can't go to the dog park. She's lying near me, hoping I'll give her some of my chicken (she got some).

Feb. 18, 2013 — Lady was unhappy with the rough play of two young dogs at the dog park today. She didn't growl at them, but she tried mightily to get away from them.

Both dogs were in the 100-pound range, and one was less than a year old. I wasn't angry at the dogs or their young owners, but I wanted to get her out of there. 
We went for a walk outside the perimeter, then went home. She's asleep in her usual spot.

Feb. 17, 2013 — There was a guy at the dog park today who kept his head down and walked the inside perimeter of the park. He never looked up to say hi. He just walked with his two dogs — and sometimes a few others — in tow.

On his last circuit, I noticed he was wearing headphones.

Lady ran a bit today. She's slow now, but she still runs like a halfback, this way and that and in circles. I fear that she'll hurt herself when she does that.

It was cold today (high 30s), and the wind made it much worse. Lady didn't mind, but I did.

Feb. 16, 2013 — Lady and I couldn't go to the dog park today. It's been snowing here in the Triad of N.C., and the ground is wet. I don't want to be cold and wet, and I don't want her to get muddy.

Feb. 15, 2013 — Our Internet was down for a week, so it's been eight days since I've posted.

Lady has had to put up with a few young dogs lately, and she's mostly been patient. She did growl at a puppy that was bothering her. I yelled at her, and a woman said, "That's not very ladylike behavior."

No, that's the way a dog would act.

Feb. 7, 2013
Lady and I went to the dog park just after noon and stayed until after 1:30. It started raining, and it's rained for nearly 12 hours. (In fact, it's nearly 1 a.m. on Feb. 8, and it's still raining.)

Several dog owners brought their dogs to the park before the rain, and I spent a lot of time dodging their rambunctious young dogs.

Contact: I can be reached at or Also, my Twitter handle is EDITORatWORK.

More entries from The Dog Blog
Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie

No comments:

Post a Comment