I just have to share a dog park experience with you before I put the rocking chair on top of my car and drive to town. Yes, I will have the music blaring from speakers hung outside the windows playing “The Beverly Hillbillies.” I won’t disappoint you.
So here’s a question…Should I drive to the opera like that??? See column to the right.
Here’s the story. I hope you won’t mind my macabre humor here. Please just remember this story comes from someone who was raised with monkeys, after all…
It is fair to generalize that, in dog parks across America, a person may encounter a hefty cross section of human and dog species. The local dog park is no exception.
Yesterday, as I entered the dog park with my dog and walked toward the shelter, I noticed a woman sitting, one arm draped over the back of the green bench. Apparently, she had come to give her service dog a break. She (the woman not the dog) proved to be quite chatty and knowledgeable. So chatty, in fact, that I believe I now know more about her after twenty minutes spent in her presence than I know about a lifetime spent with myself.
There was no subject about which she knew little. When I attempted to talk oh, say, about dogs, the weather, the area, her corrective personality managed to get my facts straight for me every time. Thank goodness. I had had no idea how wrong I had been about practically everything. During the course of the “conversation” I learned about where she’s from, why she’s here, who she’s with, and how long she’ll be staying, her health issues too, all without even asking! I also learned new inflections for phrases like “Mm Hm,” “I see,” and “Oh really? How interesting.” And, as if on cue, my Lamaze breathing method for childbirth from years ago kicked in. Also, in record time I developed a heightened appreciation for the amounts of snow fallen way over on yondro mountains, how wonderful the snow pack will be for our water supply come summer, over there, somewhere, anywhere but here in the moment.
So, the woman has this lovely service dog which she, in case of an emergency, trained to be super friendly with uniformed men–ambulance drivers, policemen, firemen and, by default, even UPS and mail men, a friendliness which mail and UPS men don’t appreciate when they see the dog approaching. In spite of the dog’s “impeccable” training they remain inside their trucks in a state of terror because the breed is the largest Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland mix “ever recorded since the twelfth century.” Then they lob packages into the jaws of the waiting dog,
The UPS guy has developed a tremendous aim as a result, same as the mailman. Not to mention the dog, who played catcher for the Baltimore Orioles at one point in his career.
Well, so far so good. Too much info for five minutes, though. But there was more.
Apparently the woman has had a pump installed in her head and, at any second, her head could explode. “So literally,” she explained, as I looked away feeling a tad ill, “my head could explode. At any given moment it could go off,” she said. “It could happen now!” Evidently the dog could save her from that.
I decided a protracted stay at the dog park would be, well, unsafe, so I turned to leave. As I said my goodbyes she said, “You’ll be seeing a lot of me at this dog park in future days.”
Not if her head explodes.