Most days I can come home for lunch. But on the days I can't, they are just so excited to see me by the end of the day. It's not an issue of needing to go out - they use a litter box - they're just not used to being alone for so long :(
I tried to make it up to them today by taking them to the dog park. Actually, it was more for me. I want them to be more comfortable around other dogs. Neither one likes other dogs, but Abbie is especially terrified. The few times Gizmo visited, it was Ginger (if I remember right) who warmed up the most. I've heard from so many people that the dog park is a great place to socialize pups with other dogs. Mark has been reluctant to take them to the dog park because there's so much dirt - we just can't imagine our sophisticated little city girls being that dirty. But daddy's away, so the girls will play!!
Centennial Dog Park has separate areas for big and small dogs. The limit for the small-dog area is 25 lbs, but I don't think we have to worry about that!
As always, both girls were excited to jump into the cage to go bye-bye. And, as usual, they did great on their leashes as we made our way to the gate. But then..... screeching halt. "Mom, you don't really expect us to go in there?!?!?" Another dog even came into the leashing area to try to get Ginger & Abbie to come play. Boy, that did not help. They pulled and yelped to get back out to the parking lot. The other dog soon lost interest, and I was able to coax the girls into the park.
I sat on a shaded bench, and put water & a small blanket under the bench for them. Once they realized I was NOT going to hold them on my lap, they calmed down a bit and laid/sat under the bench. Other dogs would periodically come by to chat, but were greeted with unfriendly snarls & barking (mostly Abbie). After a while, Ginger began to shyly follow the dogs away, but quickly ran back to me if they turned around.
Once the initial shock of the thing wore off a bit, I got up to walk around. Of course, they followed close. Bit by bit, I think they started having a little fun. There were no other dogs in that particular area, but they were close enough to see. Even so, Ginger would occasionally lag behind to get a good smell of something, then rocket around (like she loves to do) to catch up. Both pups ventured away from me periodically, and even had some nearly-positive, non-traumatic interactions with other dogs. They LOVED the other dog owners and often would run away from me to visit with them.
All in all, it was good. When it started getting too warm, we came home and had yet another "first" - baths!!! I put a towel in the bottom of our kitchen sink & filled it half-way up with warm water. One at a time I scrubbed & rinsed the girls. The sprayer is very helpful, but I wasn't thinking, and had it full blast at first. I got wetter than Abbie did!!! Both did great with the bath & I can't wait to do it all again. Maybe one more time before daddy gets home???