One afternoon, a week or two after I’d bought Hershey’s radio controlled car we went to the local park. It’s a big one with tennis courts, playgrounds and the nearest dog park. Our objective today wasn’t the dog park but the tennis courts. I thought the RC car would be far more fun if it had a hard surface to run on and build up some speed.
There was no one using the courts so we wouldn’t bother anyone. I let Hershey off leash and started up the car. It’s amazing what a flat surface can do! The little beast took off like a shot! Hershey did too! It was much faster than on the grass but she could still catch up with it. And we had fun with it too, that is until someone crashed it into one of the posts holding up the net. After that it was limping along on three wheels. I took a look at it and the crash had snapped one of the struts on a front wheel. Total elapsed time from arrival to crash, about ten minutes.
Not wanting to waste our outing by simply turning around and going home, I picked up the shattered remains of Hershey’s major toy, and we headed over to the dog park. Now, in my experience this dog park is not normally patronized in the afternoon. Everyone I’ve met there I’ve met in the morning.
That pattern held true that day as well. No one was at the dog park, though I did spy someone walking away from it with a little brown dog trailing him. Trailing the both of them was another small brown dog. As the man and the first dog walked into the distance the second little dog stayed behind.
I didn’t really think anything of it at first as people where I live often walk their small, ill-trained dogs off leash, or even better let those same dogs wander the neighborhood. So Hershey and I had some quality time at the dog park (OK, she spent most of it sniffing things while I was on my phone…remarkably similar activities really) But when it came time to leave I noticed that same little dog (the second one) was still in the area.
As I went over to investigate, the little dog retreated, I figured he would run off not to be seen again as had happened with others, but this little guy was a bit braver than most. He retreated as far as a picnic table and stayed under it. I sat down and talked softly to him, Hershey was interested but not intimidating. After a while he was confident enough to get friendly with me.
“Do you need me to find you a home,” I asked him, quite possibly already aware that search wouldn’t go very far or take too long. I think I’d already named him Graham by the time we got home.