A dog party! A big dog party!
Big dogs, little dogs, red dogs, blue dogs,
yellow dogs, green dogs, black dogs, and white dogs
are all at a dog party! What a dog party!
OMG — how many times did I read those lines???!!! Let’s see . . . maybe 900? (That would be 300 nights x 3 boys.) If Go, Dog. Go! wasn’t
their favorite book, then I don’t know what was. And it wasn’t simply Go, Dog. Go! they’d ask for; it was Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman. As if “P. D. Eastman” were part of the title.
I felt like I had stepped into the Go, Dog. Go! dog party last Sunday at Winslow Park. But let me back up a little, ’cause it’s confession time: Ricky
doesn’t like Winslow Park. There. I said it. I know it’s apostasy. I know this is the revered “dog park” to the rest of Westport’s dog-crazy population — but what can I say? That’s just Ricky being Ricky.
We went there once after a major snowstorm. (Remember those?) The snow was just the way he liked it — deep, and fluffy-soft. He bounded, in his patented leaping-porpoise style, through powder as high as he was until he reached the fountain at the edge of the off-leash area. And then moments after I unclipped his leash, he freaked out — and made a mad dash back for the parking lot. Terrified that he might run out onto North Compo
Road, I raced after him — “raced” maybe being a bit of a stretch for me in my clunky Timberland snow boots and bulky parka. By the time we both reached the lot — Ricky got there just ahead of me and was waiting at the door of my Jeep — I could barely breathe and very much wanted to puke.
We’ve tried good old Winslow from time to time since, but for Ricky, it’s clearly a non-starter.
Last Sunday was different. From the small hill just above the fountain I could see, in a sunny, grassy patch just the other side of the dip in the field, a tight cluster of moms and dads and wobbly little
kids and dogs — red dogs, blue dogs, yellow dogs, green dogs . . . Okay, not really, but collie dogs and German shepherd dogs and dachshund dogs and terrier dogs. And an adorable, frisky little chocolate lab pup. And one of Ricky’s cousins — a low-slung basset hound with a very dignified look
Ricky hung back for awhile . . . but eventually couldn’t resist. First he sniffed around the periphery. Then, mind made up, he trotted jauntily right into the fray, ears a-flopping, left-right-left-right. He went nose-to-butt with Lassie. He had a nice tete-a-tete with Cousin Basset. H was having a high old time.
Awhile later, I called out, “Ricky, come!” I was ready to head back to the car. But after having been almost dragged to the party, now he wouldn’t leave. Why do what Beagle Man wants me to do, when I can do the opposite? Ah, yes. Ricky being Ricky.
NOTE: A BIG “THANKS!” FOR ALL THE COMMENTS FROM LAST WEEK’S “RICKY AND THE WRANGLER” CONTEST. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT POST AND THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE WINNER!