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The great Bark Park adventure

Saturday was a gorgeous, warm, fall day with a refreshing breeze. It was the perfect day to spend outdoors to enjoy the beautiful color-changing foliage. My friend, Lynnea, scheduled a visit up north with her two "rescue" dogs: Lilly, a medium-sized, wire-haired mixed breed who suffers from an occasional seizure, and Jarvis, a large German shorthaired pointer who is full of energy with a cowardly lion soul. They live in a pet friendly apartment building in the Twin Cities that provides a small dog run for the occupants.

Lynnea and I decided it would be a play day for the dogs -- a chance for the city dogs to smell the country air.

I planned on taking our guests out to experience some of Wadena's great parks.

Lynnea arrived at noon, her car bounding with two stir-crazy dogs ready for the adventure.

My daughter, Hope, our Snoodle (Schnauzer Poodle cross,) Angel, my husband's Chihauhau, Chico, and I hopped in our car.

The first stop was Subway for lunch to go. Then off to the Bark Park on the north side of Sunnybrook Park. The four dogs were excited as we entered the park with the abundance of Canada geese in and near Whiskey Creek and the busy squirrels gathering acorns under the trees.

We noticed there were white ducks or geese inside the fenced area Bark Park but as we brought the dogs into the gate the fowl escaped into the pond. So Lynnea let Lilly off the leash. Lilly made a beeline towards the swimming geese and went splash into the water. Jarvis ran to catch the action but he was too fearful of the water so he ran as fast as he could around and around the pond. Angel was busy smelling and rolling in the fresh goose poop. Chico marked every spot he could.

We watched the dogs while Hope got our lunch set out on a picnic table near the Bark Park. Lynnea was worried about Lilly having a seizure in the water, she hoped one goose would stand up for itself and send Lilly back to shore. After a bite to eat we went back inside the Bark Park to get Lilly out of the water. By this time, Jarvis jumped in to get a goose but he realized he didn't know how to swim. He went back to running around the pond.

Lynnea scolded Lilly. "Come!" "Get out of the water, NOW!" "LILLY!"

Lilly swam around and around after the birds, exhausted, she refused to come to shore. She would go up on the island for a few steps, then limping back to swimming after the geese, whimpering in frustration.

I sent Hope to get the dog treats to coax Lilly out. In the trunk, Hope found a loaf of bread in the bag of groceries.

Perhaps, we could coax the geese close enough to land that Lynnea could get a hold of her.

By this time, Angel, enticed by the dog treats, joined us. Angel started barking at the geese like a cheerleader on the sidelines.

That got Jarvis pumped. He came over by where Hope was feeding the geese, Lynnea was yelling at Lilly and Angel was barking.

All of a sudden, Jarvis dove like an Olympic diver and landed on the group of bread-eating geese. In an instant, Lynnea jumped in the algae-covered water after him, with dog treats and white feathers flying. Lynnea pulled Jarvis to shore. No one hurt, I burst out laughing.

Poor, soaked Lynnea tried wading to get close to Lilly. Near the shore are rocks, then muck, then an unexpected drop-off. Startled by the drop-off, she tried to quickly get to shore when her legs got stuck in the muck. With her arms straight into the air she calmly asked, "Could someone help me?" The sight struck my funnybone. I was hysterical.

I finally gave her a hand out and she headed to the car for a change of clothes. While she was in the restroom changing, Jarvis was determined to get his goose, with each attempt, he soon learned to swim!

Lynnea, amazed, caught Jarvis, got the leash on him and had me take the three dogs out of the Bark Park. She was hoping Lilly would want to leave with the pack. By this time we had spectators, who thought it was quite a sight. One man chuckled and said, "This is great!"

I asked if they knew the time. It was 2:20? Yeah, not so great when we have been trying to get the dog out for almost two hours.

Finally, Lilly surrendered. The adventure was over and we were exhausted.

Now, all we want to know is "Whose idea was it to put domestic geese in a dog park?"