bitterly sweet

By now you’ve heard from many midwesterners about the glorious sunshiney day that was yesterday. The sun, the blue blue sky, the warmth, the breeze….there are not the words.
Not wanting to lose the opportunity, we took the little Chester down to the park to play. The last few times we took him were quietly stressful. He was afraid of new things, afraid of other dogs, completely without confidence. And I was at a loss to be honest. My dog park experiences are with Maddie, who is the prime protector and cannot be let off her leash or with Ghengis who viewed every human as a potential giver of treats and love and every dog as a playmate. I was not quite sure how to deal with a dog that was not only scared, but entirely without curiosity about the situation.
Dog obedience class! After 8 weeks of dog obedience class he is comfortable around other dogs, he’s curious and even willing to play a little.
We let him loose and he tried out some tentative butt sniffing and stuck close by. David ran about 50 feet away and Chester followed. We had him run back and forth between us and this aroused the attentions of other dogs. They came to investigate and there was another round of butt sniffing, less tentatively this time. He soon learned that unlike the dogs in the barn from where he was rescued, most dogs don’t want to kick your little puppy ass and steal your food, they just want to play.
The dog park is huge, a giant expanse of trees, hills, marsh and clear grass. Dogs in their various groups here and there. We walked from group to group (including the Pug Army! There were only 4 last night, but they have up to 8 or 10 pugs on some nights. a gasping mass of fat pugginess!). At one point David took off like a shot, running down the hill and into the trees with Chester hot on his trail.
And I gasped, and my heart hurt a little, and my eyes welled up.
One of the things I adored about David when we first started dating was how much he like Ghengis. How he would play Ghengis into exhaustion, run and chase with him. At the dog park they would do this, take off and run like the wind through the park. I loved watching this, I couldn’t help but smile to see the man and the dog that I loved so much together having so much fun. Briefly, it was painful to not see my little fella out there. David reminded, quite correctly, not to forget Chester. He was right, I needed to focus on what I had, not what I lost. We ran and played and practiced his dog obedience skillz and it was all good.
If you click here you can see Ghengis playing at the dog park in all his happy glory. Sorry about the quality, I’m not so great with the movie making. It’s just a very short movie to make loading easier.
Later there will be movies of Chester and Maddie and I will remember to celebrate what I have because what I have is pretty damned good.