Rich: News travels fast in the dog park circles. It's not just tails wagging there, it's tongues too. People tongues. Who needs the Internet? Matters big and small ripple through the people park from person to person faster than you can type, text or telephone your next-door neighbor.
Sometimes the news is shocking. Recently there was news of a fistfight between two dog walkers resulting from an argument over Abraham Lincoln's sexual orientation. I wish this weren't true, but it is. Not only do I not want to be drawn into future fisticuffs, but not being terribly conversant with presidential, um, preferences, I could be left out of future dog park conversations!
Sometimes the news is just plain dumbfounding. For example, news came that Jake's green bandana had gone missing. Dumbfounding because Jake's been hanging on the right-hand side of The WoofGang's homepage for a year sporting green neckwear. It was his signature. What's worse, Marcia, Jake's mom, was unable to find a replacement bandana in the right shade of green in every store she tried. What would Jake do?
Enter Jane. A few days ago I mentioned to her that I'd seen poor Jake wearing a red bandana in place of his dashing green one. Jane nearly jumped out of her chair, rummaged through a stack of stuff, found the very green bandana she'd decked Daisy in for Christmas, and stuffed it in my coat pocket. "Next time you see Marcia," she said, "give it to her."
I'm pretty sure I was the only person to arrive at the dog park this morning with a bandana (of any color whatsoever) in my pocket. Explaining the camera dangling from my neck, I told Marcia, "I want to document the moments before and after Jake gets his new bandana."
This is one of the last pictures taken of Jake before he donned his new colors:
At first he wasn't too sure this was a good idea. It's been a while since he tied one on.
This one was tied to stay put.
He liked it.
He especially liked the attention of the paparazzi, posing for this mug shot.
Alas. With the sudden celebrity came jealousy, and Jake knew it. Once the thrill of the moment faded, Jake became wary that the other dogs, like Jenny here, wouldn't stand for his commanding all the attention and might soon make plans to acquire a certain green bandana of their own.
But with Jake's speed and elusiveness and Marcia's careful adjustments, his bandana remained safely in place.
Jenny let Jake enjoy his moment.
It wasn't long before the memories of the Jake without his dashing green bandana were all but forgotten and the walking was good again.
I expect the walking will be good and the talking will be better in coming days. You miss a day, you miss a lot.