The Dog Days of Winter

If it’s Friday morning, it must be Forsberg Dog Park.

Nestled near the top of Green Mountain in west metro Denver, this five-acre fenced space is a godsend for my take-it-to-the-limit Lab and me. Kaleb, the great young trainer who worked with us ( when I first got Bridge delivered the skinny just minutes after we met:  “Now, the good news, Carla, is that you’ve got a pup most hunters would kill for—big, birdy, smart, strong. The bad news, Carla, is you’re not a hunter.”

Nearly three years has taught me a lot. And the first lesson is, let her run.

Even if we’ve walked miles.  Even if she’s played her heart out with canine friends. Doesn’t matter.  Let her run.

My friend Sue and her Golden Tillie will meet us there.  And odds are good we’ll get to chase and chat with Peaches, a terrier-mix rescue pup.  Might even get to see Shiloh the Siberian, the self-designated alpha and the fastest on the  hill.  It’s a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that this beautiful girl is missing her right rear leg.  Hit by a car, her adoptive dad tells me. Owners never picked her up from the vet. No judgment, there. Probably just a matter of cash flow, he says. We all nod, quietly thinking how the recession has forced choices in our own lives and grateful that wasn’t among them.

Last fall, before the first snow, Al and I brought the dogs up here and happened into the park’s first poop-pickin’ event.  Grabbed some bags and collected our share…and then some.  Signed up for the spring doggie-doo festival, while we were at it.

Seems the least we can contribute to these furred friends who make us laugh and wonder as we walk and connect.

Who make us better neighbors.

“I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren’t certain we knew better.  They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death.  Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying.”   ~George Bird Evans, Troubles with Bird Dogs


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