Making New Friends
I’m a newcomer to the dog park and don’t know any of the dogs there. I’m shy and don’t have much experience making new friends. At our last house, it wasn’t an issue. Bruce, the dog next door, and I met when we were puppies. From the start, we got along great and became best friends.
Do you know of any strategies shy dogs use to make friends?
When I asked my mom, she said, “Just go over to a dog that looks friendly and gesture you want to play.”
Just thinking about doing that makes me want to throw up.
Thanks for reading my letter.
You need to take a slower approach than your mom suggested. She’s probably an extrovert. They think nothing of talking to strangers. Extroverts have a hard time understanding the terror new people can render for a shy dog like yourself.
Before you do anything, why don’t you think about the qualities you liked in Bruce and how the two of you played together. Then look around the park and see if any of the dogs remind you of Bruce and play the same way he did. Cautiously you could approach this dog and see if he or she notices you and asks you to play.
Another strategy you might try is to find a dog you like and sit by its owner. Knowing dog owners, the person will probably talk to you and give you a pet. When they call their dog to leave, be sure to smile and wag your tail when the dog sees you sitting by its owners. There’s a good chance the owner will encourage their dog to play with you. If you do this for a few days, you might make a friend.
If not, try another dog and its owner. Eventually you will find a dog who will be thrilled to be your friend.
© 2021 Geneva Woodruff
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