October 28th, 2006

hat

"where dogs meet to sniff each other and bark"

We took Soba to the Urbana dog park today. I was a little worried because last weekend we visited fanlain's coworker's house, where Soba reacted to meeting four boxers (two adults and two slightly older puppies) by yelping, tucking her tail between her legs, and hiding behind me. She eventually came around after playing with just the puppies for a while, but I was thinking the dog park would have many more adult dogs, so she might be overwhelmed. But it turns out she held her own pretty well, she went running with big and little dogs alike, and had a blast. She did get bitten a few times, and after a while she figured out that it's not a good idea to keep taunting dogs who growl and snarl at her. I guess it's an important lesson for her to learn, and she still had a great time overall.

I think I'm starting to understand parents who are protective of their children. It's funny, because in general, I feel that children should be given lots of freedom to do their own thing and make their own mistakes, in large part because that's how I was raised. And there are lots of abstract situations where fanlain and I disagree about the appropriate amount of supervision, with fanlain falling on the side of more supervision (in large part because that's how she was raised). But when it comes to Soba, I end up being the protective one, worrying about taking her to the park today, worrying when we first got her about leaving our yard and going around the neighborhood (we actually didn't do that for a couple of weeks), and fanlain is the one pushing me to let go and let her experience new things and develop. In the end, she always manages to convince me, but it's not easy...