Now that Ari has had all his shots, he is learning all about dog parks. On his first trip he met Jax, an 80-pound standard poodle. Not at all intimidated, Ari ran every time Jax ran, not running after the tennis ball but rather just running after the big dog. At one point he launched himself onto Jax's back. He cried when Jax left. He came home and slept the rest of the day.
The next day he met Casey, the black and white rescue dog who delighted in pinning Ari on his back in the mud with his jaws on Ari's neck. Despite the fact that Casey was borderline aggressive, Ari seemed happy to have yet another canine friend. His lovely fluff didn't fare so well, as evidenced by the photo above. It confirmed that he is not getting fat at all, but is instead a little dog with a lot of hair. After a bath, he resumed his beautiful fluffiness.
Yesterday's playdate was with Birdie, a service dog for our diabetic neighbor. She is a 60-pound black lab, who thoroughly enjoyed fetching with Ari as her shadow. They raced around the neighborhood ball field until both were completely exhausted.
Today at yet another dog park, Ari met Luna, a weimaraner 3 times his size. Luna could run like a greyhound, often leaving Ari in the dust. She was gentle and understanding with Ari as he tried to keep up and occasionally lunged at her.
Just this week since his dog park debut, I have noticed that Ari's tail now curls up over his back instead of handing down like a rat tail. According to our trainer, that's sign of self-confidence.
I'm enjoying watching Ari's little world expand. He is embracing it all with enthusiasm!