I am pretty impressed with myself. I think I should write a book about how to throw a great party or how to celebrate a new puppy.
It is only the third time Raffles has been to the park and already he is feeling at home and getting to know the guys and it’s all down to me – of course.
It is a new role for me. In happier times I was the one who was being looked after by Zac. I was the one who could play frivolously with others whilst he looked on with careworn eyes and scouted for danger. Now I have to warn some of the bouncier dogs to be careful around my puppy. He is only a baby after all and could get hurt. When he’s bigger and takes up his body-guarding role I will sit back and relax.
My first tip is to enter the park calmly. I am introducing him to some of my favourite sniffs and showing him the popular message boards in the park so that he learns to know who’s around. Being prepared is important. There are a couple of dogs who I like to keep a distance from and if I know they’re in the reserve I’ll look out for them. So this first step is essential.
After that I instruct Raffles to walk around the perimeter whilst I point out to him who is sitting around and who is running and playing so he begins to recognise them.
Once we’ve had a good look around and sussed out the ‘guests’ we move in to the group we fancy is having the most fun or influence.
Introductions are where I am on high alert. A rather high-energy Labrador powered into us today and I had to shout at him to back off. It was a total shock to me, The Producer and The Director to find I have become quite protective of the little guy.
The next step is a gentle game of chase which Raffles was invited to join in.
So I reckon my job as social hostess is pretty near complete. I do have a few more regulars to introduce him to and some irregulars too that I’ve got to know over the years, but the ice is broken and once again it is all down to me – the Party Princess!
We walk home. I lead the way to show him how you should walk nicely on the lead but I’m not sure how well he’s getting it because I can’t look behind me! When we arrive home I sometimes play with him and I sometimes don’t. It depends how I feel. But at some point this is what happens:
Now I ask you – is that a fair division of space? I think not!!
Love from Zena, park socialite