Bernese Mountain Dog. Photo Courtesy of www.praisephotography.com
“Want to come with us to the dog park?” I asked Katie. The words “dog” and “park” are just a couple sounds that make Lila’s ears perk up.
“The dog park stinks,” said Katie. Not only did Lila’s ears bounce again at the sounds of those words, so did she.
“Plus, I need coffee.” Luckily, there is a Caribou Coffee on the way.
“We can get coffee on the way!” I said. Lila and I can count the number of times Katie has been to the dog park on one paw. We were happy to have the company.
Lila continued to jump up every once in a while as she watched us search for our sunglasses, hats, mittens and boots.
Lila went straight to the van after I opened the garage door. When we arrived at the coffee shop, we had to leave Lila alone for a few minutes. I try not to leave her alone in the van, but she handled the short abandonment very well and the inside of the van was intact after we got back.
Lila started her whiney cry as we got closer to the park.
“What’s the matter?” Katie asked. “Is she always like this?”
“Yes, she’s excited.” The closer we get to the park, the louder the whining gets.
“It’s crowded,” said Katie.
I opened the door, and instructed Lila to go to the gate. I’ve learned to just let Lila find her way by herself once we arrive. The times I’ve tried to leash her up and hold her back have not been very good on my sciatic nerve.
Lila barked at the gate as if she were instructing me to hurry.
“I’m coming,” I said while I watched her jump, almost as high as the top of the gate.
“Did you see that lab jump?” a lady commented to her friend. People are always amazed.
Lila ran fast towards the pink tennis ball after I chucked it across the park. Even though we haven’t had any snow for a while, the snow at the dog park is still a bright white, all except for the little yellow spots that can be seen here and there. We followed Lila along the worn away path.
“Do those boots have any sort of grip on the bottom?” I asked Katie as I looked at her Uggs. It seemed as if I could walk faster with my unfashionable boots that didn’t slide about.
“No, they’re kind of hard to walk in on the snow,” said Katie.
Lila still does not drop the ball for me, but when other dogs greeted Lila she abandoned the ball and forgot where she left it. I was able to grab it quick, and Lila noticed right away.
“Don’t even try to keep up, Howie,” a man said to his little dog. Howie and the man watched Lila run after the tennis ball.
It was nice to be outside and enjoying the day. All the hustle and bustle of the holidays didn’t leave much time for me to be outside with the dog. The sunny, blue sky and the white snow made the dog park seem fresh and clean. One of the joys of winter is that the usual bad smells are frozen.
As a Bernese mountain dog came running towards us on its way to Lila, Katie commented on how she liked the smaller dogs. Another lab joined us all at the park and had somehow gotten Lila’s pink tennis ball. For a minute I had a hard time telling the two labs apart.
“Ricky, that’s not yours,” I heard a lady say. Ricky dropped the ball, ran and jumped up to lick a lady on her face. I remembered back to the day when Lila used to do that to practically everyone she met. Ricky made Lila look like a good girl!
“Can we go now?” Katie asked. “There are just too many dogs here!” Lila was ready to go too. We went on our way, Katie still holding her Caribou coffee cup in her hand.