So, it’s no surprise that I’m a dog lover to those who know me. I even had a writer acquaintance once tell me that she thought my free-writing about my dog was a little disturbing. But, she also told me that I was an angel from heaven that came to live among the people on Earth. And when I emphatically explained that I was definitely NOT an angel, she told me that a man in a van told her that I was, and that I would claim I wasn’t because I didn’t know that I was. All a true story, which totally invalidated her questioning my love for my dog.
I find people who dislike dogs to be lacking in some part of their character, luckily for them and I guess for me, as a dog lover, we have more parts of our characters that click than don’t, so the love or hating of a dog can be overlooked.
Even more interesting and fun to watch are Dog People. You can spot them anywhere–they wear very dusty crocks, baggy doggie sayings t-shirts, and have a snackie pouch swinging from a belt loop on their mom jeans. They usually have one or two pure bred dogs, and at least one rescue, God love ’em.
One early autumn day, Eugene, who was a puppy at the time, and I decided to check out the doggie park a couple miles from our house. So, we walked over. Immediately, I was met with snooty Dog People who were hanging out near a muddy picnic table in the doggie park, and I definitely felt like I had crashed a party I wasn’t invited to.
“That one of them designer dogs?” (Said exactly like that, no kidding, right here in Chicagoland.) And I said, “Eugene is a golden doodle.” Smiling, watching Eugene sniffing tentatively around, sticking close to my legs. This was his first visit so he was a little intimidated, and I was, too.
There is a little pond at this doggie park, so I watched as curiosity got the best of Eugene and he soon began sneaking up to the the water’s edge to get a better look. I was still standing by The Dog Person, and I said aloud, “I wonder if Eugene will like the water?”
She said, “Well, we usually take the dog out into the water ourselves the first time,” glancing down at my matching yoga pants and top, and my painfully embarrassing matching Sketchers.
“Well, I will let Eugene decide for himself if he likes the water.” I said, with a “hrmmph.”
And then suddenly there was a splash and in Eugene went–a full on water doggie. He splashed, stole The Dog People’s dogs’ toys, ran around, jumped in, wrestled around with the other dogs, and by the time he came and jumped on me with his muddy paws, we were all laughing and had all become “Dog People” for just a few moments together. Yes, Dog People do where matching yoga outfits and sneakers, too.
Winter has since come–a very, very long, snowy and cold winter–so we have not been back to that doggie park, but we will. It wasn’t me that won over the Dog People that day, it was “one of them designer dogs” that they dislike so much that did.
And Eugene? Completely nonplussed, just happy to get every one of them muddy with his big old paws, and joyously shaking fat, muddy drops of pond water on all of us. He didn’t discriminate, and I guess that’s just one more valuable lesson we all learned from a dog.