Right away I knew this dog playgroup was different from the others by the energy. Dogs were relaxed, calm and happy. In contrast to the last place where Fifi, the toy poodle, shook and hid behind the crate as Rascal and Rowdy raced around the room barking and chasing the smaller dogs. At first Steady Eddy and I would cut them off and woof to let them know they were rude and not playing nice. But each time we ended up in trouble with the human that yelled and threw that noisy can at us. Rowdy bit me so hard the last time I tried to help Fifi that I had to visit Dr. Joe. So after a while we stopped trying to help as knew we’d be the next victims of the juvie dog gang attack.
Being in that wild crazy energy kept me nervous and jumpy all day. The worst time was when dogs started going home and everyone crowded the gate…snarling and snapping at each other trying to push through to get the heck out of there. I was so happy to go home to finally relax and recover from the day’s wild free-for-all. I know Mom and Dad thought they were keeping me from being home alone, but I dreaded my days at that place.
This new place is so different…the human actually understands “dog”! They actually back us up when we “woof” to teach the juvies to stay in control during play. My favorite time is when we play as a group and all sit waiting for the human to toss balls. Being with dog buddies my size that love playing ball and chase makes the play session go by so fast. I’m ready for a rest break on the cushy bed and snooze away with the soft calming music playing in the background. Then I get to enjoy another round of group play with my buddies. When I go home at night I’m tired from a fun busy day versus exhausted from the stress of staying safe.
Mom and Dad had to wait for a spot to open up in this new place and they say even though it costs more, I’m worth it. They are so happy that no dogs go to Dr. Joe for injuries from this place. They say there’s a separate playgroup for Fifi and her friends so even though I miss seeing her, it’s great to know she and the other tiny dogs get to run and play together. All the humans are so nice and since they went through “dog school” (to learn about dogs!) it’s easy to trust them as they seem to read our minds.
I’m not sure what “excellence” means to humans, but to the dogs playing here it means doggy heaven. Every place that offers playgroups for dogs needs to be excellent…we dogs deserve it!
The Dog Gurus’ mission is to ensure all dogs have the option to attend an excellent off-leash play center. For the first time, off-leash play industry best practices have been published by experts in the pet care industry, and assessments are available to see how your facility compares. Check out Four E’s of Excellence in Off-Leash Play downloadable ebook and see how your facility measures up.