We spent Sunday evening in Thatcher heaven, aka: the dog park. The usual frolicking, splashing, swimming ensued. The nice thing about this dog park is that it's always full of life. Thatcher gets to practice greeting dogs politely, sharing sticks and coming when called. Well, he doesn't actually work on that last one. We do. Zero progress as of yet, but we're hoping for the day when he at least acknowledges that we are present. His favorite activity at the dog park is snatching balls or sticks from other dogs. I'm not proud of this. He's become rather lazy and rarely retrieves anything when we're in public. He loves the chase, but that's about it. So he's learned to wait until another dog has dutifully retrieved the stick or ball their owner threw for them. When they are almost to shore, he'll run out and take away whatever they have (if they let him). Needless to say, he gets growled at pretty frequently.
To add to this, on the rare times he does retrieve something, he won't let it out of his mouth. He'll just carry it around proudly, looking out of the corner of his eye to see if any dog will dare try and take it back. Many other dog owners get confused, because their balls seem to vanish out of thin air. Unless we apologetically tell them that no, their ball hasn't disappeared, our dog is just hiding it in his droopy cheeks, they never know what happens. Thatcher's just a lost cause. I'm curious to see what different quirks the new puppy will have. Oh, and Thatcher says I can't forget to mention his absolute most favorite thing in the world about leaving the dog park: our ice cream stop on the way home.