Pip and I tried for another play date today but it wasn’t quite as successful as hanging out with Frankie. A new Ocean Grove friend brought around her dogs, Scarlet and Charlie, for a walk. Being Friday night and all, we started with a wine and some cashews on the balcony.
But it became apparent very quickly that Scarlet, a cocker spaniel, and Charlie, a poodle-blend, were not quite so enamoured with our playful pup. Charlie has a bit of an Oedipus thing happening. He doesn’t like letting other dogs near his mistress. And Scarlet, allegedly, is a big scaredy cat which she demonstrated by barking crossly whenever Pip came near her – not a promising beginning.
Anyway, with owners refreshed by a glass of Sav Blanc, we all set off around the lake. Now the lake is a lead-on reserve and I must confess that during the sit-in walks, I’ve let Pip off his lead before we’ve got to the actual lake. I don’t think he’d dive in and sick a duck but I don’t want to give him the opportunity either. Like this, in so many things it seems, the dog community is divided. A lot of people let their dogs off the leash because they’re confident their canines won’t attack the bird life. I admit I’m a bit of a law-abider and my kids are militant sticklers for rules so having Pip off-lead in the little part of the park before we get to the actual lake is my form of rebellion. Then we leash-up.
Unfortunately, Scarlet and Charlie were allowed off the lead for the entire walk. Although I respect my friend’s democratic right to break the rules if she chooses, I thought it was a bit unfair on poor Pip. On the up side, with two other dogs to keep up with, he didn’t stage a single sit-in and we made good progress to the far end of the lake, where you can cross the road to another park which is off-lead. I let Pip off and hoped that he, Scarlet and Charlie would play and burn up some energy. But Scarlet and Charlie were still reluctant and Pip seemed perplexed by their stand-offish manner.
After a short while, I put Pip back on the lead and we headed on home.
‘Don’t worry,’ I told him privately, later. ‘Frankie’s coming for an all-day play date on Sunday!’