Things We Learn at the Park

As I was watching Chico play at the dog park this weekend like I had done countless weekends before, I realized there are a few lessons I can take from observing this activity. Chico and his buddies play with reckless abandon. I stopped to wonder the last time I did that, without wondering who was watching, what they were thinking, if they were judging. He just wants to have a good time and be free. What a concept.

 The dogs don’t stay mad at each other after the conflict of deciding whose stick it really was, who really is the alpha dog anyway, and who has dug the biggest hole. No one holds it against Chico that he declares himself the victor in each case, every time. There’s always another stick, another hole to dig, or a new dog with better (or worse) smells to make everyone move on to something else. How nice it would be if we could really, (ok, I could really) learn to accept things as they are and not how they were. It’s a daily struggle that has seen more tears than joyous days lately and lack of acceptance is not getting me anywhere fast. The ability to revel in the now and have such unbridled excitement for something so simple as a car ride or a cookie sounds so fantastic but so out of reach.  All I have to say is ” do you want….” and he knows the rest is want to go for a ride? The end destination is unimportant unless I have the gall to take him to the groomer or the vet.  The magical moment of the car ride somehow has an abrupt end on these trips.

I have also learned a lot by observing him with other dog owners. Upon seeing a dog and owner her recognizes, the howling and uncontainable excitement can be heard across the park as he runs from one end to the other to greet whoever it is he has seen. I can only hope I greet and treat my loved ones with half the love and enthusiasm letting them know I am so eager to see them.

As I was pondering all of these things at the park, the reality of my environment set in and my true job (not pondering, watching the dog), as the wonder-boy full of mud and dirt went airborne for a kiss. Not exactly romance of the ages, but he is a cutie.

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