Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Sunday Afternoon at the Dog Park

I am a dog person--and honestly that's an understatement. It is widely known, perhaps, that one of my life goals is to own a basset hound named Porthos, who I shall refer to as "Portly Porthos". Those who have spent time with me are likely aware that whenever I spot a dog I cry out "DOG!"; some of you might have even unwittingly slammed on your brakes in alarm in response. And if I see a basset hound--ohmygoodness. The enthusiasm is immeasurable.

So when Robert suggested that we take his father's dog, Max, out for a walk on a trail surrounding the dog park in Coralville, he did not even receive a verbal response from me. Just one very bright-eyed grin; if I myself had had a tail, it would have been wagging enthusiastically.

It's true that we were both fairly overdressed for the occasion. Robert in his slacks and wool argyle sweater (over a collared shirt, no less), myself in tights, Oxfords, a long ankle-length skirt, and a cardigan over a sleeveless buttoned top.

But that was part of the fun. We walked Max (pictured above; he's the one on the left) across an awesome pedestrian bridge that reminded me intensely of Little Rock's own Big Dam Bridge and passed cyclists, and walkers in shorts and t-shirts and tennis shoes. We got thrown a few looks, but I'm going to assume that it was just because we made such a strangely well-dressed and adorable couple, holding hands and walking a very large and fluffy sheltie.

We didn't actually go into the dog park, because Max doesn't really get along with dogs that are his size or larger. However, we did stop on a grassy hill and watch the dogs at play while Max drank from his water cup and took a break. I saw a beagle--I think--and was appropriately thrilled. I'm sure I had the absolute goofiest grin anyone ever did see plastered on my face. We took a nice turn through a neighborhood up an almost dirt-road hill from the dog park and discussed aspects of each house that we each respectively either did or did not like. When Max next desired a break, I took the opportunity to bound enthusiastically onto the playground in the middle of the community.

Robert had explained to me with his Planner Knowledge (which in case you were not aware, is something like a super power of sorts)what type of community this was, but I have since forgotten the technical term. But it had its own playground and gazebo, and the houses had driveways in the back rather than the front, to encourage a sense of community with people talking to each other from their porches and the street.

He managed to take some pretty great photos of my playground escapade. I have no idea how he did it, but I'm a fan of the color accent of my mustard top.

After a while we began to get hungry and Max exhausted, so we deposited him at the car with the windows down and his water container in the back seat, and got dinner at a nearby restaurant in whose parking lot we had been utilizing on the other side of the pedestrian bridge. Thunderstorms rolled in just as we were leaving, concluding what had been a sunny Sunday afternoon that seemed and still seems to me to have been the perfect entrance for Spring.