Monday, January 14, 2008

The Dog Park!

The sun was out again yesterday. And it provided some warmth, too, enabling us to take the troops for a trip to our local dog park. When I say "dog park" I should really mention that this place is more of a dog's dream-come-true park. Acres and acres of open space to run and frolic with other dogs and humans. Beautifully wood-chipped paths for four-legged and two-legged creatures. A river with several access points for swims and drinks (though this is usually best enjoyed by the two-legged creatures, the four-legged kind generally bring their own beverages). Views of the mountains. All for a mere $1 to park!

We haven't visited the dog park in months. We're usually much more consistent with our trips there, as it is a place that we ALL enjoy. It was the first place we went when we got off the plane 3 years ago when we relocated to the WA from NC. Our dogs thought they'd died and gone to heaven. Really. It totally took the sting off the two flights it took to get here and they quickly memorized the route to the park from our house so they could know which car trips they should fill with their singing and tail-wagging. Though they seem pleased with trips to the mountains for snow shoeing, too . . . this is a great place to be a dog!

Anyway . . . yesterday's trip to the dog park was just the thing to clear the cobwebs from our brains and get the stale air out of our lungs. The baby (just weeks away from the big first birthday) enjoyed the experience perched atop her dad's shoulders in the backpack (thanks, REI, for making such a fantastic product - this thing has been priceless for 3 years of constant use). Though she'd been to the park before, this was like a first visit. She kicked her feet in excitement to watch the hundreds of dogs zooming around the fields. We thought she'd fall asleep, as it was pretty close to nap time and those backpacks have quite the lulling effect, but she was having too much fun to even let her smile waver for a minute, let alone let her eyelids close!

And our busy-body son . . . he RAN nearly the entire time. If he wasn't running, he was resting on a rock or a bench, "Whew, I'm really tired," he'd comment. We'd rest for a minute or two and then head back out to catch up with the backpack pair and to see where our great, lolloping black lab was. It is really a toss-up for who had the best time. I had fun running with "the boy" - my first such experience since I was on-duty with the baby on previous trips . . . and prior to that HE was the rider in the pack.

You are probably wondering about the DOG (his sister now lives with my parents, just a few blocks away - long story, but it is an arrangement that is perfect for everyone involved)! He did sing ALL the way there and slept ALL the way home. While at the park his tounge dangling, ear flopping and tail wagging fully expressed his utter happiness. The look in his eyes said, "Why did we wait SO long to come back here? This place is AWESOME!"

I think we'll be heading back soon, furry buddy, don't you worry!

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