Tails magazine presents...

Lab madness in the park

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm

This weekend I went to my first event as a Tails staffer—the Anti-Cruelty’s Society annual Bark in the Park 5K walk in Chicago. Two things immediately surprised me: the sheer amount of dogs and pet parents gathered in one place, and my inability to handle a large dog.

I’ve often written about events such as this one, but hearing about it and seeing it first hand are two different things. It was amazing to see thousands of people and pets gather on a sunny-turned-gloomy day to support the animals. To those of you who organize and attend fundraisers in Chicago and around the country, I commend you.

But there’s a particular group of people I tip my hat to—those who have large dogs. I’ll admit I’m more of a dog fan than a cat fancier, but my favorite dogs all tend to be more cat-sized. My Chihuahua even sits on the top of the couch and licks his paws like a cat. But like a dog, when we go for a walk, he’s the one walking me. He has a big build for a Chihuahua (when we rescued him as a one-year-old he weighed 9 pounds and had a six pack), but his recent affinity for treats has slowly transformed his six-pack into a keg. At a whopping 15 pounds he has a strong pull for a toy dog, but if I want to I can still lead the way or pick him up.

This was not the case this weekend when my coworker put me in charge of his almost full-grown Lab while he set up our booth. The minute I grabbed hold of the leash we were off. I tried pulling and tugging but there was no controlling this pup—he was going to check out every dog and every booth in the park. At first I was dragging my feet and hurting my wrist trying to pull him, then eventually I gave up, sprinting after him as he bound towards the agility course.

“That looks familiar!” a man shouted with a laugh as I rushed past him and his large dog. I kept waiting for people to yell, “Control your dog!” At that point I didn’t even know the dog’s name, yet alone any commands to make him stop. When I eventually coerced him back to the Tails booth, it took another staffer’s dachshund to put the youthful Lab in his place.

Overall it was fun to be a temporary big dog guardian, but I know I have much to learn. Maybe someday I’ll be able to take on the challenge full-time, but for now I’ll stick to running after my chubby chi.

Image via Flickr user prajpix

  1. Haha. I have to say, I was quite amused when I caught a glimpse of you & Cosmo (the Lab in question) in action! His “dad” commented that it was the happiest day of Cosmo’s life.

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