I have to admit that when I first adopted Luna, I wasn’t completely sold on the whole “Dog Mom” thing. I mean, I am only 24 years old. I’m not ready for the M Word, even if it has my favorite D Word (and no I don’t mean Donut) in front of it.

BUT after spending two and half years with Luna, I might be finally ready to accept it.

One of the things that I had wish I had done more of in our first two years together was provide more opportunities for her to socialize with other dogs. Sure, she met other dogs in our family like Cousin Keto and we live in an apartment complex that is full of other dogs. We almost always see another dog on our walks, but for a dog who doesn’t act the same on leash vs off leash, this isn’t necessarily the best situation to be introduced to another dog.

The whole dog park thing kind of scared me too. I didn’t grow up taking my dogs to dog parks, so I didn’t know what to expect. Would Luna fit in? Would I fit in?

Luna meets a new dog at Shirlington Dog Park

As part of Luna’s Fourth Birthday Celebration, my boyfriend and I took her to this amazing dog park about 30 minutes away from our house. The park itself is called Shirlington Dog Park and I’ll talk about how amazing it is in a future blog post.

When we first arrived, Luna was a bit nervous and overwhelmed by all the people and smells and of course other dogs. We took it slow and just walked around while Luna sniffed every blade of grass and pebble. Pretty soon she was feeling right at home.

Luna started to run up the trail a bit in front of us, but would always look back to see where we were. She looked like she was having a blast.

At one point, Luna started galloping ahead, but then got distracted by an interesting smell and stopped. My boyfriend and I actually ended up walking in front of where she was, waiting for her to catch up. At the same time, a large group of people came onto the path with their dogs. While we could still see Luna, the group must have blocked her view of us.

When she realized she couldn’t see us anymore, she started searching around and looking where she expected us to be, which was behind her. So naturally, I shouted her recall command. She perked up and looked around. When she finally caught a glimpse of us, her face lit up and she sprinted as fast as her little legs could take her straight into my arms.

A Happy Dog Mom Moment at Shirlington Dog Park with Luna

Since we were in a fenced park and I could still see her, I wasn’t worried when she started to panic. But when she came to me with such glee and joy on her face, I’m pretty sure my heart grew at least three sizes! Not that I was the Grinch or anything before…

I can’t describe how seeing her run to me felt in any way other than as a Happy Dog Mom Moment, so there you go. I’m a Proud Dog Mom.

Jessica Shipman
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