My dog’s happiness came FIRST

Can you see Zoey? Apparently she can’t see me either…or hear me.

Today I was headed out on errands (which we have to thoroughly plan in advance because of the distance to civilization). Last minute I decided to bring Kona and Zoey with me. I’ve been taking them with me for the past 4 days just for the fun/stimulation of riding with the windows open (the weather has been 50-60 and sunny!).

We got my errands finished and I stopped at an open field to let them stretch out a little… then I remembered there was this dog park a customer told me about near a mountain I’d hiked with Randy. I figured (wrongly) it was just up the road.

I had a lot I needed to get done and WAS going to leave the dogs at home and sit at a coffee house with good signal and no distractions and get it all done…but I had them with me and they were being SO GOOD! I got my GPS up to find this amazing dog park (according to that customer)… “it’s amazing! it’s got an agility dog park that is about an acre and then there are 7 acres where the dogs run freeeeee!”

Kona was going to write me a Thank You Note after this one, I bet.

He waited for me FOR A SPLIT SECOND! Off he went to check out all 7 acres.

I get off the freeway (which I hate being on because EVERYONE starts at 75mph as a minimum…LIMIT?? WHAT??).

The gps took me UNDER a set of rail road tracks, over two sets of track (I do not like to do trains at all). I was in a panic that a train would come through and actually started sweating.

Then the GPS took me to a dirt road – remote – by myself I’m driving in my POS 1999 Camry that squeaks, rattles and rolls forward (miracles)…oh and it stops when necessary since I discovered I was at 1% on my brakes and HAD to get them fixed!!

The dirt road had pot holes the size of filing cabinet drawers (open) everywhere.

I was zigging and zagging…then I saw what looked like a Trail Head entrance.

I rolled up and into this super muddy and snowy and icy parking lot where there was ONE car and a trail bike rider cleaning her bike/gear (or prepping to go). I pulled into the SOUP of mud and remembered Randy had just washed Zoey last night (crap). Hmmmm…I saw the agility park off in the distance and slowly navigated the pothole parking lot and mud to that parking lot. Two cars. Well two TRUCKS.

I saw the 7 acre area entrance and it looked LESS muddy. I parked close as I could without looking like I was “Hollywood”** (Shannon).

Opening the door I stepped out INTO the gravy level of mud in my regular running shoes. Clearly I wasn’t prepared for this. My shoes were sucked into the muck for a split second. I definitely hesitated sitting back on my seat and glanced in the rearview mirror at 2 sets of anxious and excited eyes with tongues dangling down in anticipation. CRAP. I have to do it.

I hauled myself up and out balancing with the door open.

My car locks automatically/randomly and I have locked myself out ONCE – now I’m paranoid and careful…and paranoid…and paranoid…and careful. If I dropped my ONLY key I wondered if it would work in the ignition (to myself, no one was around…Kona was focused on the 7acres).

SLOOOOWLY I opened the back door to release the hounds. Kona bolted out and I stopped Zoey planning to carry her tubby butt over the mud to the dog park “free range” area. Like a purse that is way too full and ALIVE she “let” me place her on my hip while I shut my doors – triple checking I HAD MY KEYS IN MY POCKET. I think I check every 4 minutes out of habit.

I carry her to the middle pen area that most dog parks have to stage their dogs removing the lead. It was just as bad but on an angle and I had to walk UP slippery mud to get to the 2nd door and release Kona. He was busy smelling every piss spot – like EVERY SINGLE PISS SPOT.

I was losing hold of Zoey and she was getting more wiggly. She’s is sort of like a big Cheeto that rotates at this point. I’m SCREAMING at Kona (pissed because he AGAIN is ignoring me). He felt the “Imma ’bout to take my shoe off and throw it at you” energy and nonchalant-like wandered toward the second gate.

Kona meets a new friend.

Zoey was slipping down to my thigh area and I hurried to secure the chain/gate.

More Uphill and it is a miracle I wasn’t sliding down every 2 steps up would be one step sliding back.

Zoey CONTINUED to wiggle. THERE WAS NO PLACE TO SET HER DOWN that wasn’t a pocky-muddy-mess. The “snow” was a trick – beneath it was goo quicksand-style mud that would suck your boot off.

I looked for “dry” areas and set her down as carefully as I could. She did ONE MORE ARCH-TWISTY-WIGGLE to get her balance and landed on HER FREAKING SIDE. MUD. MUD everywhere.

I just started laughing out loud – Kona looked at me then continued seeking/sniffing every piss spot on the entire perimeter of the 7 acres.

About 40 yards in Zoey has left a poop and LUCKILY I had poop bags because another patron was standing there akimbo with her two big dogs watching me to MAKE SURE I PICKED UP THE POOP. I laughed again.

This was a comedy, right?

Zoey did not dig getting dirty and muddy and she slowed her roll. Kona, not so much. He was in olfactory HEAVEN. Once he got bored smelling THE FENCE he leapt off toward a dog that was there and tails were wagging.

Zoey went EVEN SLOWER and now she was doing her “I’m blind and I’m deaf” move stopping for 30 seconds just looking around “lost”.

I had to double back to convince her we’d only go PART of the 7 acres, promise. I guess she understood me because she picked up the pace a bit.

I decided to hang a hard right and go across the entire field toward the other fence. It was basically a replication of the parking lot and my feet were soaked inside my shoes beyond caring anymore.

I just WALKED into it all knowing the dogs were going to destroy my car.

We made it across then back to the pen area.

I got two super happy dogs into my car which is definitely destroyed (the back seat anyway). Of course Zoey, whose head was NOT muddy…just up to her neck area and under carriage, decided to shake over and over.

Mud specks are everywhere.

So, all of this today because I put my dog’s fun ahead of my busy life too.

Wait, is there a problem?

It was WORTH IT because they had a blast and are now curled up snoring in front of the fire place. Awwwwwww…

Life if pretty OK today.

** Parking “Hollywood” was created at our business 805 Boot Camp when one particular boot camper showed up to a parallel parking (along the road) situation and we watched her (there were maybe 12 of us) scoot into a spot nicely. The “Hollywood” part was because the opening was good enough to fit 2 cars but she put herself SMACK in the middle. For the record, she got a good chuckle out of it when she got up to where we were standing and saw…she even got a Golden Award for it! This is Shannon and her Momma who also got a Golden Award for keeping a food journal for a RECORD BREAKING amount of time (I cannot remember how long – like 60 Tours or something!!!).

Momma Jo and Shannon aka “Hollywood” getting their Golden Awards at 805 Boot Camp

Published by Sarita Shoemaker

I love my kids, husband, pets, the Earth and family. My Top 5 feelings: gratitude, honor, honesty, respect, encouragement. Pretty certain this is how most of us would answer the prompt "About Me". Enough about About You?

2 thoughts on “My dog’s happiness came FIRST

  1. I’m laughing at the images created from such a great story. Thank you so much for making me smile after a long day.
    The added bonus is I never knew the story about how Shannon got the name Hollywood. Love it.


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