Dog Park Diaries

So, there’s Kobe, Colby, Dooley, Leo, Cooper and Cooper. 

Perfect name for a rock band, but they’re just the neighborhood dogs in the park. And they all love Honey, the lone female in that rocking crew. My rescue dog.  

Good thing? She outruns them all. Each and every one of them. They can’t catch her, and like an Olympian, she has a grin on her face when they try. She runs like a gazelle while they at best run like sophomores. 

Our itty-bitty dog park is experiencing a bit more attention during these peak, summer-hiatus, Delaware days. More and more people are discovering the benefits of dog-friending (and I believe there are more benefits to a dog park than just making excuses for making friends for your dog). 

For example, while my husband and I were away last month, our son, his fiancée and their own puppy agreed to staycation at our home to look after Honey. And they made plenty of friends at the dog park (to the point that once we came back, I grew weary of hearing how our pups made the most adorable doggy-couple…). Point is, the dog park and pickleball courts made everyone instant friends within the neighborhood. 

Murphy, our son’s chocolate Lab pup made plenty of friends while here as well. He’s got irresistible personality, pure Labrador. Meanwhile, Honey is a surprising mix of Lab, Rottweiler and a tweak of Pittie. Yes, we caved in and did the dog DNA test – which I highly recommend to the curious and breed-anxious about inherent disease tendencies such as hip dysplasia, ear and eye disease, etc.  

My point? You start to discuss such trivia with other dog parents and realize this: human friendships are made almost as readily as canines. Without the drool and sniffing. 

And before you know it, you’ve got a few more new friends who can remember your dog’s name before yours. Honey’s a rock star; I’m the roadie without the name, but she’s a great conversation-starter. 

We hosted a couple (owners of Dooley and Koby to be exact) for dinner last night, rather unexpectedly. If it weren’t for the dog park, the opportunity to become acquainted wouldn’t necessarily present itself, even after the standard dog park discussions of veterinarians, doggy etiquette and the weather. 

Dogs at parks are excellent ice breakers. I’m pretty popular myself, at least amongst the four-leggers, because as Koby and Cooper know, I usually have a few treats in my pocket just for them. Or so they think. 

Honey also has a few girlfriends. Like any good neighborhood, there are the girls that bind it together. Their names are Lizzie, Diamond, Tara, Effie and Nikki. They are leveling the playing field, I think.  

But since meeting all of those dogs, I’ve met so many wonderful, fetching humans I can now call friends. It’s an amazing benefit of living here. 

-Bridget Fitzpatrick

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