Monday, April 5, 2010

Chewbacca, the Alpha

My little bugger turned five last month. He's older than me now - 35 in dog years - so by my estimate, Chewy should be having a mid-life crisis right around December.

Actually, Chewy was none the wiser that we were celebrating yet another year of his life last Saturday. He is oblivious to pretty much everything except
1.) where his food is kept;
2.) whether my pants smell vaguely of foreign dog hairs or food;
3.) the distinct sound of a Kraft American cheese single wrapper;
4.) where his food is kept; and
5.) where his food is kept.

I wish dogs could get as excited about their birthdays as we bipeds do. I could tell that he was somewhat suspicious of all the activity surrounding him Saturday morning - his hair brushed (quite the pain-staking ordeal), his UM bandana attached to his neck, his food and materials getting packed away in a big travel bag.

My BFFs Charriza, Joyce and I had planned a picnic lunch at the Tropical Park dog park. Charriza brought along her furbaby, Roly, and her (our) brother Bryce. Joyce brought her expensive, nifty camera.  Everything was fine and dandy as we secured the dogs to our bench, unwrapped our food, unpacked our bags and settled to eat cold cut sandwiches and baked Cheetos by the lake. It seemed like it would be a blissful afternoon.

And then... the barking started.  And not the tolerable kind of barking. Not even reasonable barking. No, it was the incessant, annoying, vicious barking at Every. Single. Animal. that walked by. Noises were coming from my dog that are usually reserved for exotic carniverous animals, or what I would imagine a baby T-Rex might sound like. The disapproving, accusatory looks were coming from every angle - from nearby picnicking families, from the quiet, well-behaved dogs who were ::gasp:: leash free, even from the ducks haughtily scooting past our little bench of shame.

And then we realized. Our dogs are those dogs. The babies crying on the airplane. The kid in the movie theater everyone wants to drag out by their ear.

Eventually, we managed a system to calm them down. When a nearby animal would approach, I'd distract Chewy (by quickly covering his eyes) and Charriza took her Roly into her lap and showered him with attention.

This wasn't even in the actual dog park.

After we finally finished eating, we took our spoiled brats into the caged area where you are allowed to let your dogs off their leash. We claimed a little bench in the middle of the park, where our dogs started to act exactly like the alpha males they are. Oh yes, the both of them. It was exactly like the little bench was their "turf" and no other four-legged creature was going to get anywhere near it. Chewy was quiet, at least, but he promptly began pissing on every available visible tree or post and quickly established himself as the ring leader of the "butt sniffing conga line" while Roly stood guard, angrily howling at any dog that got within two feet of our little bench. Apparently, to our dogs, we are their "gang".

It was quite entertaining.

Here are a few pictures from our outing:

Chewy watching Roly in awe as he scares away pesky intruders...

It appears I have only pissed her thirteen times. Once more cannot hurt.

Sacre bleu, I have missed one!

Don't mind me. Your butt smells fantastic.

All in all, they had a great time. When Chewy got home, he was so pooped out that he crashed for the rest of the night. Charriza and I decided we need to bring our perfectly misbehaved dogs to the park more often, to interact with other animals that aren't ridiculously spoiled and see if their good behavior will rub off on our heathen furbabies.

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