I just came back from a visit to the dog park with my Chow-Chow/Border Collie mix Shadow. There is something about watching dogs running on a field with unbridled joy that immediately lifts the spirits of us humans.

Who can keep a straight face watching those four-legged furballs tumbling and toddling and stumbling over each other?

There is the Golden Retriever who carefully sidles up to me and sits on my foot. Just because he can. The French Bulldog sporting a green knit vest who chews up a tennis ball with utter dedication. Two Labrador Retrievers barreling after a stick, oblivious of the fact that they run over a little Papillon. My friend’s Barbet taking off into the distance because there is a particularly good smelling spot where she needs to roll herself for a good 10 minutes. The regal Doberman Pinscher who doesn’t quite know what to do with all those little fuzzy dogs that try very hard to sniff his behind. The Bulldog who sits obediently, tongue out and neatly rolled up like a strawberry fruit-roll-up. The Goldendoodle puppie who found a friend his age and chases him in nonsensical circles. And my own dog, who daintily jumps over muddy spots because he doesn’t want to get his paws dirty. Meanwhile, a dog of undetermined breed comes running back from the little creek where he apparently had a grand time splashing, covered in mud, but very happy!

Simple joys, immense bliss! I love dogs!

Dog Photography – Nosey – by Grainyman

Puppy Portrait – Gea – by SatyrikonLab

Bright orange leash for joyful dogs – by davir

Fading away – man and dog – by shashamane