She can smell if before she sees it, and begins her happy bark near the stop light at the center of town. By the time we reach the flashing yellow light where I turn to get to the fenced cow pasture that is now a dog park, Ella is bouncing from front seat to back seat and then to the front seat again, pressing her nose against the vent on the dash of the car. She can probably tell how many dogs are there before I even turn onto the rugged dirt path to the parking area.
There’s a big hole in the outer gate, so Ella is inside the entry way before I am so use caution if you go.
As soon as she if off leash, she is running huge circles, running like the wind. Cliche but true. Soon a pair of black and white dogs twice her size are joining her in a game of chase.
“I’m getting dizzy watching,” their owner says, and I am too.
This is a great park for anyone who has fond memories of living on a farm or visiting a farm. I am still in suburban Massachusetts, but I feel a little bit like I have been transported back home to the Midwest. Nothing but a wire fence separates this broad space of canine running room from the fields beyond its boundaries. Most of the dog owners here walk on the narrow path the follows the fence down one side of the field and up the other.
Bring you own water, although there may be some to share in the bowls near the benches and picnic tables or in the jugs others have left behind.
“It’s great isn’t it?” the dad of Ella’s two new companions says. “Like letting toddlers run around. They sure will sleep well at the end of the day.”
I watch Ella run, her ears flapping like Dumbo’s, glad for this stop on our way back and forth between our two homes.
Ella lifts her head from sleep, listens to the sound of the snowblower, cocks her had, lifts a floppy ear. I wonder if she remembers it from last year. The first time she saw snow, she ran in circles around the small tress in the front yard, leaped like a rabbit in and out of it. Today, after she woke me up to take her outside at 4:00, she stood in the doorway of the mudroom, felt the wind and saw the snow, and asked to stay inside. When I insisted that she needed to do what she asked to come out for, she went down into the yard and reluctantly circled if a few times and came back in. Now she’s back in bed, dozing while I write, her had back down, ignoring the snowblower outside.
Maybe if we ignore it, it will go away.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton