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A borrowed dog and the Keopuolani dog park

July 15, 2013 - Leah Sherman

Oh my goodness, has it really been almost a month since my last post? And even longer since I've posted about actually doing something?

Hopefully any readers I have out there can understand how days off from work (when I do my blog activities) can get away from a person when you've got a ton of errands to do — grocery shopping, oil changes, hair cuts, washing dishes. Or maybe somebody wants to read about me folding laundry. Nah, nobody wants that.

I did find time a few weeks ago to borrow my friend's dog, Blondie, and take her to the dog park at Keopuolani Park.

My experience with pets is pretty limited. I had a cocker spaniel named Annie for probably a week when I was about 6 years old. The week alternated between me and my sister walking the dog three houses down the street before we got distracted and left her with our elderly neighbor and my parents driving around town because one of us kids had opened the door and the dog had bolted. After that, our parents limited us to fish or zebra finches — neither being the most interactive of animals.

So, I wasn't exactly sure what to do when Blondie came bounding out of the car, her father handing over the leash handle while she ran around me in circles, tying my legs together. He laughed, wished me luck and drove off.

Blondie lives in a house full of cats, and her parents say she hasn't had a lot of experience with other dogs. But, at this point, we were at the park and I had two choices: enter the dog park or take her for a walk around Keopuolani Park on her leash and possibly risk having my shoulder ripped out of its socket (she's got a lot of energy).

I opted for the dog park.

As you approach the dog park, you see a main gate that leads into a small concrete area. From the concrete area are two doors entering separate parks for small (under 20 pounds, I think) dog and large dogs.

I'm not sure of her breed but Blondie qualifies as a large dog. We went through that gate, I took her leash off of her and then she just sat there, staring at me.

“Go, Blondie,” I told her, waving my hand off in the direction of the grassy park while turning to claim my spot on the bench. She instead ducked under the bench and poked her head out between my feet.

“Ugh, Blondie, are you kidding me?” I asked her. “Go play.”

She appeared to not understand me. And she was showing no interest at all in interacting with the three other dogs at the park at that point.

I saw a muddy old tennis ball on the ground nearby. What dog wouldn't love that, right? So I picked it up and waved it in front of her face. “What's that?” I thought. “Did she just perk up?” I threw it out away from the bench. She just watched it go.

And that's pretty much how our hour at the dog park went. While other dogs came and played with one another and their owners chatted, Blondie hid under the bench, sniffed around on her own a bit and did her business (of course I picked it up).

I guess since Blondie is not very social and I don't really know how to act around dogs, the park wasn't the best fit for us. But most of the dogs seemed to enjoy the opportunity to run, and the way the owners interacted it appeared many were regulars.

The dog park is maintained by the county and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The easiest access is to enter Keopuolani Park from Kanaloa Avenue. Parking is available adjacent to the dog park area. The ground was a little muddy due to a hose and water bowls available inside the gated area, so don't go in your finery. And don't forget sunscreen and water for yourself. Although there is a “poop bag” dispenser inside the large dog area (and another one in the small dog area, I think), it was empty the day I was there, so make sure you bring your own. Large, lidded garbage cans are available for waste disposal.


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Me and Blondie.