Preparations Underway. Early this morning, I put on a very fetching blue denim bucket hat with fringed brim and a blue denim stadium coat with wooden toggles. Then I cleaned out the pieces of chewed up cardboard left in my car's cargo compartment from our last excursion.The Halloween window stickers that somehow got onto the inside back window had to go before the dog spotted them, thereby averting one instance of digestive disaster, which seem to come about two a day now.
Arrival. It was a mercy that there was no dog costume contest or other exclusive event scheduled that would keep us out of the dog park today. The rangers did have the temerity to post signs in the parking lot that said "Soccer Parking Here", so - momentary tension!
Shenanigans. I put this picture here so that I could start talking about how the grass is receding in the big dog enclosure in the top red box, but now I see there is something more interesting turned up by the Goggle Maps imaging. A jokester has started a primitive sort of crop circle feature in one of the wilderness spaces. I wish GM would indicate when the images were captured so we have a better sense of what's going on. This could very well be the beginning of one of those field paintings to the Great Leader.
Climate change. The sun went away and the wind kicked up just as we got there so the usual band of yentas in folding chairs packed up and left. Only the hardy ones were left. People, I have been awaiting the end of heat, humidity and solar rays for months - for the next 3/4 of the year, I'm thrilled to be outside in what I consider suitable conditions.
The sun continued to toy with me. The dogs didn't seem to care one way or the other.
- Enzo and Bella, two giant St. Bernards, who came dragging their effete, Porsche logo-wearing owner behind them. They were shaved clean save for their tails and faces. The effete owner had one of those Jean Claude Kerry orange spray tans.
- Terlow was one of a pair of giant Malamutes. His partner Mickey went into the big dog pen but the owner asked if we minded taking Terlow in with us because he had a bum leg and couldn't hack it with the big boys. Turns out he had a spontaneous blot clot in his spine that paralyzed him and he was still trying to recover full function 2 years later. It was pitiful.
- Ollie was the ugliest, most repulsive pug you ever saw. At first, I thought it was a rescued puppy mill breeding dog because the legs were so deformed and it could hardly shuffle along, but then I saw it was male and they don't usually live a life on the wires. So I guess he was just ugly and deformed. He came in with a couple, a 7 year old and a grandpa. The kid fell down in the dog-scented grass and then stepped in poop so he got sent to the benches while the father berated him for "doing exactly what I told you not to do." Then they left. Pitiful all around.
- Candy the cockapoo. This is the dog that Stedman chooses to spend his time rearing up in front of and then banging chests together but it's a different dog every time, just always a cockapoo named Candy.
- Everyone laughs and then says STEDMAN??? with three palpable air question marks whenever I tell them his name because it's so ridiculous. And now it's got such an unpleasant connotation. We might just as well have named him Barbra Streisand.
- Most charming dog name of the day: Raspberry Park, a lively little buff colored cocker spaniel.
Deer Management! Be advised that the Park System is implementing a Deer Management Program in this park. Bow hunters thinning out the deer in the park - who knew that went on? As in corporate, so in the park. ANNNDD if you remember ...
... we are well advised to steer clear of the management activities. Let's not take any chances.