Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shall We Meet?

A number of people told me about the CKC Spaniel group on Meetup. com so I joined and today we took Hadley to her first meet-up. One of my co-workers, Adrian, also came with her CKC tri-color, Winnie. I had really been looking forward to it and, it was fine, but maybe not quite what I'd pictured.

It was a warm day and between the walk over there and the play area being in direct sun I was feeling a little peaked. Hadley was, as well, having refused her food that morning. About a dozen beautiful spaniels were there but most left after half an hour. There were a couple of nice people and we all gathered for a great group shot but mostly people sat on benches by themselves while the dogs played in the sand. I usually get more camaraderie from other CKCS owners when I meet them on the street while walking with Hadley than I found here.

Hadley was shy, or tired from lack of food, or in pain from teething or possibly all three and didn't play much. She was also the youngest and that certainly played a role. She spent time with Winnie but that may be because Adrian, Brian and I were together most of the time. But mostly she either sat right next to Brian or she stretched out across my purse.

What was interesting was her behavior off-leash. This was the first time she was outdoors without being tethered and we'd wondered if she would take the opportunity to run free. The dog run is enclosed so we were concerned about her getting away but we'd always asked each if we thought she was emotionally attached to us yet. I guess the fact that she rarely left our side answers that question.

Even when we're out on walks, she's timid around other dogs so I think she needs this kind of socialization. I'd prefer she play with other CKC Spaniels because I know there won't be any fights so I will probably take her to another meet-up in a month or so when she's a bit bigger and the weather is cooler.

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