21 Things That Only People Who Hang Out in Dog Parks Know

They say there are two kinds of people: dog people and sad people (just kidding…well, kind of). We always knew we were dog people but it wasn’t until we brought Lila, a terrier mix, home from the local animal rescue shelter, just over a year ago, that we realized just how much we love dogs. I mean, to say our life changed by adding her to our brood is putting it mildly. We became those people who arrange portraits of their pets and plan vacations based on locales that are pet friendly. We often look at our dog and beam with pride because she’s so awesome.

We wanted to meet other people like us — dog people who adored their pets — so we started going to dog parks.

Dog Parks are much like a mommy and me class, except in a park, with a lot of fur and fetch. You meet all kinds of people, and you all have one thing in common: the love of your pup. Dogs get talked about as if they are your kids, and it’s not uncommon to arrange future puppy “playdates” with your dog’s fave pet pal. You and your dog can both be free and relax because you are with your people. Here are 21 things that only people who hang out in dog parks know:

1. The first time you take your dog to a dog park feels like the first day you took your child to school. You hope they make friends but are ready to hold them if they cry.

2. Your dog will sniff a lot of butts, both dog and human butts, it doesn’t matter.

3. Your butt will be sniffed, too. A lot.

4. There will be one owner/dog duo that runs that show, and both you and your pup will want to be their bestie (sharing your Beneful dog food will help).

5. Unlike your non-dog park friends, your dog park friends will understand why you have 50 pics of your pup on your phone but only two of your kids.

6. However, if you ever bring your kids to the park, your dog park friends will wave from afar and look at you weird…this place is for fur babies.

7. Your dog will have a “pack” and will ditch you for her friends, just like your kids do.

8. Toys are pretty much communal. Bring a ball for your dog, and you’ll have your own running of the bulls — all aiming for you to play fetch.

9. Things will be humped. Whether it’s your leg or your dog is luck of the draw (neuter your pets!).

10. One dog/human duo will make you feel inferior with the billion tricks they know.

11. …and yet one duo will make you feel pretty good about your dog learning to sit on the first try.

12. You will count the five minutes that you spend running after your dog as your cardio for the day.

13. You will most definitely step in poop.

14. The smallest dog is the biggest terror.

15. The largest dog is the biggest baby.

16. The place is as gossipy as high school; hot topics include who mated, who growled, and who peed in the neighbor’s yard.

17. Sticks, especially the ones covered in ants, are among your dog’s favorite “finds.”

18. Your dog will find, and absolutely lick, something gross. Then they will lick your face.

19. You will feel a swell of pride when your dog comes to you on the first call.

20. Then you leave the park like you own it, and cannot wait to come back and tell everyone how awesome your dog is. Again.

21. When it rains and the dog park is closed, you can’t tell who is sadder — you or your dog!

*This post is sponsored by Beneful. Thoughts and opinions are my own.