Barkley likes to run. A lot. This is somewhat problematic, in that we have a pretty small apartment (so no running room there), no backyard (we live in an urban area), and we can't let him off leash because he would just take off. So we had been trying to jog with him every morning, but even trading off between the two of us, we were totally wearing ourselves out.
So today we joined a dog park! It's a private dog park about a half hour walk away from our house (we will probably drive there usually cause that's how we roll). It only costs $5 a month, but that way we know that all the dogs are up to date on their shots, and they don't let in overly aggressive dogs. Plus it's the only dog park within walking distance, so it's not like we had much of a choice. It's kinda like a co-op: all the members are expected to help out on park cleaning days, join a dog park committee, and chip in to keep the park clean.
We brought Barkley in for an interview today, and there were like 25 dogs there (they emailed the members to come when we were interviewing so they could see how he interacts with other dogs, and a LOT showed up). There were a few scuffles, but nothing overly serious, and mostly I think Barkley had the time of his life. And we passed the interview!
He ran almost the entire time we were there. We tried to play fetch with him a little- he's great at chasing after a ball, but not so great at bringing it back. :) But now we can work on that! Also, now we can hang out with other doggies! (He LOVES other dogs)
Anyways, I think this dog park thing will be great- and it'll be nice to get to know other dog owners in our neighborhood, because then a) we can make more friends and B) we can maybe find a potential dog sitter. Also I can take the dog there with a book and do some work outside when the weather is nice. Hardly anyone is ever there during work hours, so it'll be like a private backyard.
Also, what is it about playing around with 25 dogs that makes you forget all your other worries? :)