Taking Riley back to the dog park, any dog park, has been weighing heavily on my mind for the past 2 weeks, ever since she was attacked. All I have been able to think about is the "what ifs." What if I take her back and she gets attacked? What if I take her back and she freaks out and gets scared? What if I take her back and something, anything happens to her?
But then I started to think about Riley and what she would be missing out on, because of my fears, because let's face it- the only one scared because of all of this is me, not her. Riley has been amazing throughout this whole ordeal. She's shown no fear or aggression towards any dogs- she's spent time with my dad's 3 dogs without any problems and had fun playing with her Vizsla friend Attila at Petco the other night. Seeing her play with Attila the other night, confirmed what I'd been thinking about for the past week- she misses her friends. She misses being around other dogs. She misses playing. No amount of walks I take her on (off leash), no amount of playing fetch with her, will make up for going to the park. Her stitches came out on Tuesday so I really had no other reason than my fear, to take her to the park. I decided I had to conquer my fears and take her back.
Last night after work, I took Riley back to the dog park. I did NOT take her back to "the" dog park, however. I am definitely not comfortable with taking her back to the "scene of the crime." I took her to a small, neighborhood park- a few miles away from our house. (The original dog park is less than a mile away from our house, so I'll definitely miss the convenience of it, but oh well!) It's a lesser-known park, which from what I can tell is mostly used by the people that live within walking distance of the park. It's a small park, cleaner, nicer and I love the neighborhood that it's in. I've already told Mike that when it's time for us to start apartment/house hunting- if we could live near this dog park, it would be perfect for us.
Once we arrived at the dog park, it was more than clear to me that Riley doesn't bear any emotional scars/trauma from her attack. She ran around and played with all the dogs and had the time of her life- just like she always does. I was very relieved and happy, to see her so happy. Because this dog park is not as close to us as the other one, I'm not sure if I'll take her every single day like I used to, but I will definitely be bringing her back.