Taking it Easy with Boaz
This week, I’ve been vacationing with Boaz and my MIL who is 88 years old. We are in the city of Bella Vista, Arkansas at our vacation/retirement home.
Mel and I purchased the home to eventually retire to and meanwhile we use it as a vacation home. This small city is one of the best in Arkansas to live or vacation in. Located in the Ozark hills almost into Southern Missouri, the area is surrounded by green covered pine and hardwood forests, beautiful mountain lakes and lots of clear flowing streams and waterfalls. For those who are not so into nature and wildlife, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Pea-ridge Battlefield, Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, the Walnut Historic District of Rogers, the first Walmart store, Razorback football, basketball and other sports are driving distance away.
Visiting the Dog Park
Bella Vista has two dog parks within just a few minutes’ drive, one near the Highlands area of Bella Vista and one just into Bentonville.
Today, my MIL and I took Bo to the dog park in Bentonville. It was such a dreary day with rain in the morning and clouds in the afternoon, I wondered if people would be bringing their dogs.
We arrived at 5pm and were the only ones there. So we sat on the bench and let Bo run around, then I threw balls for him to retrieve while my MIL sat and shivered in the breeze.
After a while the breeze stopped and it wasn’t as chilly for her. About 5:40 people and dogs started to show up. At one point there was Boaz and 5 other dogs. Bo was careful around the other dogs who were running and play fighting. He is 70 pounds and still growing fast and can’t keep up with those small, fleet dogs or jump the walls like they do. So he greets them and tends to follow them around at a slower pace.
Finally one dog came up and they began to play together. I was really glad for Bo to get to wrestle with this other dog and have so much fun.
We stayed till 6:30pm and Bo seemed pretty tired. Soon after we arrived back home and he finished his supper, I put him in his crate for the night. He fell asleep instantly.
I really wish I could take him to the dog park every day so he would get lots of exercise. At this age, (seven months), he needs to burn lots of energy off to avoid engaging in things he doesn’t need to be doing, like getting my coffee table books off the coffee table and chewing corners, or stealing socks from the laundry basket to chew on, or trying to sneak hot dogs off my MIL’s lunch plate.
I’ve read that one of the main things a Giant Schnauzer needs (especially young ones) is lots of exercise and that’s something hard for me to give him stuck in this wheelchair. When my husband Mel is with us, Mel takes him for two walks a day which is great exercise as well as socialization.
Socialization is really necessary for a well-rounded dog, especially one who is slated to become a service animal like Bo. Dogs need to experience lots of different situations and meet lots of other dogs and people so they can learn how to behave around them. Bo really enjoys dog parks, both playing with other dogs and also meeting their owners. Bo always visits with each person at the park and gets lots of petting and attention and he eats it up. People are always saying how pretty he is and asking what kind of dog is he. I’m trying to find other ways to socialize him and taking him to new places. Sometimes its easy, like when he was starting to go after cars on his walks with Mel. For a couple of days I would take him with me in my wheel chair to the end of our driveway (on leash) and we would watch the cars and people go by – I live on a busy street that’s on the way to the park. Every time he would start to even think about reacting to a passing car, I would give the leash a little jerk and say “leave it”. After a couple of days of that, he stopped trying to go after cars. He also got the attention of several different kids walking down the road from the park and they wanted to pet him. So he’ learning to behave with children too.
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