Oh yeah, the fenced jungle where dogs run around like they’re nuts and humans barely interact with each other except for the typical
“so, what’s your dog’s name?.” Yes, I’m talking about dog parks.
Well, at least that’s what my mom calls them, to me they all look much like a zoo.
One day many years ago, as mom and I were walking into a dog park, she was feeling tense because there were many dogs in there.
As we entered with apprehension, she held on tightly onto the leash. And then it happened, ALL the dogs in the “zoo” ambushed me at the entrance of the park, mom freaked out and all I remember is her pulling me up high with the leash, screaming in panic. Apparently one of the dogs bit me and I didn’t even realize it as everything happened so quickly.
Next thing I know, I was at the vet’s office getting some medication for my injury. Honestly, I didn’t think it was a big deal, but seeing how worried mom was made me think that perhaps I should be fearful too. This was a classic exchange of energies between my mom and I, and as she panicked, my worry and panic grew in response.
Luckily mom got over it, and the next step was for us to desensitize ourselves from the park experience. We started the healing process with a daily walk around the neighborhood. Toward the end of our walk, as I began to get tired, we would finally head to the dog park. And here is the trick, we wouldn’t enter just yet. Instead, we took our time walking on the outer side of the fenced-in park. Sometimes, even doing this would get me very frightened, seeing other dogs running and playing.
When this happened, mom would ask me to sit as she stayed calm and relaxed next to me. Her calm energy helped me realize that there was nothing to be scared of. Once I calmed down as well, we would continue our walk. We followed this healing process several times until one day, it wasn’t such a big deal seeing other dogs playing inside the park. That was the day when we courageously took our next step and entered the park. Thanks to mom’s patience and taking the lead on our healing journey, she is now able to remove the leash and leads me toward the entrance, all while looking pretty chill and relaxed about it. So I guess that means that it’s cool for me to follow her and make some furriends in this zoo of a dog park!
It turns out, dog parks aren’t that bad after all.
And since our renewed relationship with dog parks, I’ve been making lots of furriends, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas
all the way to the big German Shepherds and Pit bulls.
One day mom confessed that every time we walked around the dog parks, she visualized me playing and having fun with the dogs inside, which resulted in her feeling happier and calmer. I thought that was pretty cool. Now, how about visualizing me eating a big juicy steak? :)
If you ever had a bad experience, don’t let it rule your life. Change your energy and start over step by step. Step into the jungle with a new attitude and soon enough it will feel natural.
Love & Paws,