The Human Factor
“Where’s Your Walker?”
“How’s Violet’s Ear?”
“Here, have a seat, I insist.”
“We missed you yesterday.”
“What does chronic pain mean?”
These are a few of the things I hear almost every day – no make that every TIME I go to the dog park because it is two to three times a day!
If I felt isolated in our last home, I definitely don’t feel it here. However, what happens in the dog park, stays in the dog park… in a good way. By this I mean you talk to people, catch up on this and that, have a few laughs, but then you leash up and go on about your day until the next trip.
When we first got this place I envisioned my summer days quite differently. I saw myself taking my laptop and/or Kindle and sitting under a shady tree reading or writing while Violet wandered around doing her own thing.
You are never alone in the park for a very long time as people come and go constantly. There is always someone to talk to. I think I have brought the laptop once in two and a half months and I usually have my Kindle but may get a half a page read per trip.
As for Violet, she may wander a little, but spends most of her time at my feet or at those of any one of her adoring human fans.
To explain how this has helped me grow would take a whole blog in itself but I will try to summarize.
- The comment above “Where’s Your Walker?” has been stated several times since my fall on the way to the park a month ago. A few of my park friends were concerned because I was getting dizzy in the park and was walked home a couple of times. After the fall they and Hubby convinced me to use the walker when coming to the park. At the very least I have my own seat, and at best, I have something more stable than a cane to hold onto. I don’t take it if it is a short trip and I am feeling stronger, but I still get challenged on it, in a caring way.
- I get thinking about other people (and dogs) and am not always focused on what isn’t right in my life.
- I am easing into my age better. I was beginning to not like the fact that I am on the closer side of 60. But there are many people my age and older and I fit right in.
- I am getting exercise just walking to and from the park, plus any that Vi and I do inside. With the walker or the new wagon Hubby got for hauling groceries, I can see myself exploring the neighborhood (once the smoke from the wild fires clears).
- People know that I am not 100% healthy to the point where they will offer me a seat or will leash up Violet for me but unless they specifically ask it isn’t a topic of conversation so I get to live outside of it.
So maybe I don’t get any work done and I am there a few hours out of my day. I am getting OUT, I am meeting new people, I am learning to structure my time better around Violet and Hubby, and I am feeling like I really have a life for the first time in a very very long time. If that ain’t good medicine, I really don’t know what is!
I leave you with a blast from the past, “Itchycoo Park” by Small Faces (which later became Rod Stewart’s group, Faces). It isn’t exactly the dog park, but it is up beat and fun!