56. Art Bark in the Park

Dear Tera,

            Wow, you can’t beat that Sunday afternoon in Windsor Park a few weeks back.  What a party!  What great weather!  What opportunities to make new friends with people who realize that life is fulfilled by throwing a ball to a friendly dog.  I could walk up to complete strangers and they were only too willing to enter into the spirit of the day by tossing the ball.

            Alpha was on a stage talking into a microphone about this event.  He called it “Art in the Park.”  I think there were many among us of the canine persuasion who thought of it more as “Bark in the Park.” 

            So we’ll compromise.  Let it be known as the “First Annual Art Bark in the Park.”

            All kinds of places to wander and hide.  Tables and pictures and the smell of oil and acrylic.  One booth even featured paintings of dogs.  These paintings emphasized the nose and the eyes, which is a very humanoid perspective on things.  As you and I know, if you want to really get to know a dog, you should sniff the other end. 

            My favourite spot, of course, was the food stand where the girl guides were cooking hot dogs.  Alpha seemed to understand that, anytime he needed to check up on where I was, all he needed to do was mosey over to the barbecue.

            The girls who handled the frankfurters and the cash box were all very nice.  But between you and me, they did not seem to understand that it is always a good idea to give a nice, well-behaved dog something to eat every couple of sales transactions.  It placates the gods of commerce – or so we’d like the girls to believe.

            As you know, we all have a hierarchy of needs.  And after I’ve been exercised and fed, I also feel the need for artistic expression.  The humanoids corralled their pups at tables set up where the paths meet.  Long rolls of kraft paper were unrolled along the sidewalk, and the humanoid pups took turns splashing colour all over.

            Well, of course they wanted me to participate – they just didn’t understand it at the time.  So when I walked across the wet paint and added my own paw prints to the colour, I’m sure that the more artistically discerning among them recognized a work of genius.  The scrolls will be displayed at the field house over the coming weeks.  Watch for the one with the multi-coloured paw prints.

            By the way, after making my artistic contribution, I drank up some of the water they use to wet the paint brushes.  It was surprisingly good actually.  I detected some fruity notes along the bass of my palate, but the aftertaste was a bit metallic.

            We’ll form a committee for next year and make sure there are even more events for dogs.  I know that Dancer, Arthur and Lucy were on the organizing committee for this year – or at least, their humanoid representatives were.  We’ll make sure more dogs are included next year.

            I saw many of my friends from the pup kennel at the park that afternoon.  I don’t think you have any pups among the humanoids in your pack – you have a cat, which has challenges of a different sort, I suppose.  But among those who have humanoid pups in their pack, this is a time of year for the great gatherings every morning at the pup kennel up the hill. 

            Some of my old friends – dog and humanoid – are still there this year.  My friend Lily is usually there in the morning, and we hang out at Starbucks waiting to see if Big Murphy is going to come by.  But there are newcomers as well – Ruthie and Rosie and a black dog named Purple.  I’m sure we will all become good friends over the next months – once we’ve established the pecking order of course. 

                        Loving this time of year, when the air gets cooler and the shadows longer,