When I adopted my awesome puppy Scout a year and a half ago, I couldn’t wait to take her to the dog park. I wanted to see her play with the other dogs, run, play fetch, make doggy friends and be her cute little self. I was excited to see her play with other cute doggies too. Never did I imagine the bonds I would make for myself at the dog park.Within just a few weeks of taking Scout there on a semi-regular basis, I started to make friends with the other dog owners. I would plan our visits based on the times other dogs and their owners came to the park. It’s kind of like how you become friends with your kids’ friends’ parents. I became friends with my dog’s friends’ owners. Just like kids, we would have play dates for our dogs at the park. We’d even have sleepovers. If someone is going out of town and I can help, I keep their dog and vice versa.
Eventually a few of us started making plans outside the dog park. We would grab lunch, have dinner at each other’s houses or go shopping. We started having Friday happy hours, celebrating each other’s birthdays and truly becoming good friends. The ages of the dog park crowd range from 21 to probably 70. No one really seems to see age there though. We all have at least one thing in common – we LOVE our dogs – and that seems to be enough for us all to bond.
I feel so grateful to have met these people and their dogs. Not only do they help me with my dog, they help me with my house, my kids and so much more. Two of my “dog park friends” actually cleaned up and fenced my yard in for me. I only paid for supplies, beer and food.
Our friendships were truly shown though when Joey started dealing with pain again. He’s been in and out of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and out of school for about a month now. I have used all of my sick and vacation days from work to take care of him so I have had to find someone to stay with him each day. My “dog park friends” have been amazing through this. Due to their unusual work schedules, they have been able to care for Joey and get him to appointments during the day while I work. He has LOTS of appointments. He is going to PT at least once a week, massage at Lifestyle Resumption twice a week, acupuncture two to three times a week plus seeing other doctors as needed. None of these friends expect a dime or anything else for doing this.
Due to the stress and time restraints they know I have been under, they have even voluntarily cleaned my kitchen, worked in my yard and done other helpful household chores when I haven’t even been home. Others have taken my dog on a regular basis to the park and their homes because they know I haven’t had the time to exercise her like she needs.What started out as a place to let my dog run has become a place to create life-long friendships and support. It’s amazing how you can find that in the most unexpected places. I don’t think I could have gotten through the last few months, or even the last year, without my amazing “dog park friends.”
Where is the most unexpected place you have made life-long friendships?
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P.S.S. Want to help us find a cure for Joey’s disease? Sponsor Team Super Joey in the Histio Walk Ohio!