A Day At the Park by Jacqueline Valencia

Hi! My name is Hulk and I am afraid of everything. Well, not everything. I love my human parents and they keep me safe. I’m a small chihuahua with anxiety and shivering can sometimes be my favorite hobby.

Oh look! Mom and dad got a new couch? It’s gonna kill me, I’m sure of it. Oh they’re sitting on it? Fine, I guess I will sit on it too. Same for everything else. Offer me a treat to new things and I will freeze! The only thing that will get me to try new things….is to try them.

One day, mom and dad decided to head to a different part of the neighborhood. I pulled at my leash and tried really hard to make them go the same way we always do. Why would you want to go anywhere else? I knew our regular route like the back of my paw, and this whole funny business of going outside of that was not sitting right with me.

They offered me treats, knowing full well that wasn’t going to work. Mom put me in the doggie purse and we headed off to wherever they wanted to take me. Shivering commenced.

They stopped at a place where there was a fence, a lot of green grass, and it had a lot of other dogs. I was not ready for this! However, mom and dad put me down on the grass and kept my leash on. I picked up my paw to show my uncertainty.

I sniffed the floor as a giant dog came near me. I backed away from her, but sneaked in a butt sniff. I will now know that he is an OK dog to be around because she seems calm and I know now, she likes carrots. Further along during my sniffing journey, I spotted some wild blueberries and munched on them while watching the park. Mom and dad were nearby and kept a close eye on me. They seemed concerned, but let me be.

I spotted a small dog, kind of like me, a corgi in the distance. I’ve always wanted to meet one of those. I walked slowly over to him with my parents trailing behind. As I got closer, he perked up, and eventually put both paws and his head low to the ground. He wanted to play! Excited, I picked up the pace, ran right up to him, and sniffed his nose. He stood really still as I was doing that and turned around to show me his butt.

After that, mom and dad let me off the leash and I ran around and started to explore the park and the other dogs. Some of them were great and others were still scary, but with mom and dad’s patience and encouragement, I realized that this place was really great.

The dog park is now one of the stops I’m ok with visiting without shivering. But don’t expect me to go further than the block that we do now, even with treats!

1. Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash

2. Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash