This morning was a bit cooler and grayer than it has been lately so my mom decided to come for a visit, we took the dogs for a hike at Minto-Brown Island Park. She left her dog at home this time so that we as humans wouldn’t be outnumbered. Ed and Eddy love their grandma! It’s hilarious to me that they totally recognize her, this was only the fourth time they’d met but they totally know she’s family. Maybe because they know I’m the boss of them and she’s the boss of me, I’m not completely sure but whatever it is it’s hilarious. It could also be that when she comes she always brings a ton of people food (that they usually manage to get a bite of), we go on fun doggy adventures, and this time she even brought some new extra durable dog toys! Ed got one of his beloved squeakers and Eddy got a chew toy that has room for a hidden dog treat. It keeps him busy for such a long time!
Minto-Brown is a huge nature park in Salem Or that has some streams running through it that empty out in the Willamette, and also a huge dog park. I had never been before, just looked online for outdoor activities in the area and Minto-Brown came highly recommended. After spending our morning there I can see why too, it’s so big that it really doesn’t even feel like a dog park any more. Of course there is much much more of it that you can walk through without a dog or with your dog on leash, it’s all absolutely stunning with all the flowers and wild life. There are even several ducks floating about with the lily-pads in the water. It’s a lovely place for a hike or even just a get together but for me personally the dog park was of course the greatest draw.
There were also tons of other dogs, both big and small, all running and playing together happily. So that was where we spent our time this morning.I was super nervous to let Ed and Eddy off leash initially because it was such a big area, and since I can’t run there is really nothing I can do if they decide they don’t want to listen. The dog area is not fenced in at all, signs are used to designate the space. I just kept thinking that there must have been at least one time they never returned to their owner and that’s how I wound up with them in the first place. After seeing so many dogs roaming freely though and a good amount of peer pressure from the owner of another little dog I relented. First I let Eddy off while keeping hold of Ed. This worked well because Eddy is a little chicken dog and I was confident that he would never get too far, especially not far from his brother, and this way mr Ed Head got a nice long chance to watch and learn how his brother kept from getting lost. Finally I let Ed off too and the boys did a nice job of staying mainly within sight and returning when I called them. There was only one time when they rounded a corner I couldn’t see, this did give me a good scare but it only lasted briefly. It’s funny, when I call them by name it’s very hit or miss as to whether they’ll listen to me or not but if I just yell “BOYS!” I always hear little legs pitter-pattering soon after.
I was also extremely impressed by their behavior with other dogs. They didn’t piss anyone off or get in anyone’s way. They actually made friends with a skinny brown dog that quite literally towered over them. There was also this grey tea cup sized poodley thing that they had some fun with. They also had a marvelous time running through the various grasses and flowers, they just love the outdoors so much. They found one nice big log out on the ground that they had a good time jumping over, again and again. After a couple hours in this outdoor doggy heaven they were completely exhausted and while you could see it in their eyes their tails stayed up and waggling. It was great to see my boys having such a fun time!
When the time came to get back in the car and go home they were damn well ready. On the way to the park they stood alert on my lap in the passenger’s seat, trying to jump here and there to look out the windows. Whenever we drive them somewhere they are a bit on guard, never quite sure if they should be excited or afraid because we’re going to take them somewhere and leave them. As soon as the car stops they’re quick to jump out the door. On the way back though they are usually always ready to go home. They jumped on into the backseat this time, spread out, and fell into doggy slumber. Ed snores which never fails to get a giggle out of me. They are both so peaceful and sweet after a their rowdy adventures, it’s moments like these that I remember why I put up with all their craziness in the first place. I just love them so much and it melts my heart how attached they’ve become to me. I am certainly very pleased with the fact that I now know I can trust them off leash.