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Poodle power

September 12, 2006

Dog parks are fascinating places.  They are the only public places
where I see human beings interacting amiably with perfect
strangers.  Think about it.  Do you ever see people chatting
with strangers at the bus stop, at the grocery store, or waiting in
line at the movies?  I don’t.  People in general tend to
avoid unnecessary interaction with one another. 

But not at dog parks.  People chat and chuckle over their canines’
antics, and swap training, veterinary, and treat tips.  They know
each other, although not by their first names–they know each other as
“the owner of (insert dog’s name here).” 

I enjoy going to the dog park behind our apartment.  It’s fun to
watch the shepherds, labs, scotties, terriers, and muts run, run, run,
run, run, run, run, wrestle, wrestle, then stop and sniff before
starting all over again.  Today was the first day a standard
poodle played amongst the mix.  Much to my surprise, the poodle
proved to be the most agile of the entire group of loose canines (which
behaved much like loose cannons!), effortlessly eluding every fake bite
and paw swat directed at her. 

It’s refreshing to observe the carefree joy released by the dogs as
they play.  What a wonderful world it would be if people got along
like them–or even like the people who own them–perfectly willing to
interact with complete strangers after just a brief introduction
(although I think we humans could skip the crotch-sniffing if we
decided to adopt dog behaviour).  I think we’d feel so much more
free and relaxed, so much less uptight if we not only interacted more,
but also played more! 
Wouldn’t it make you more jovial to play tag with a bunch of adults at
the park after work, chasing each other around like you did when you
were in elementary school?  Think of all of the laughter, the
release of endorphins, the energy boost that recess provided when we
were nine.  I think a lot of us could still use that now that
we’re 29, 39–or even 69!

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