By Kathy Crabtree, CNA Media Team
If only we could unleash ourselves like our dogs do
As a transplant, I cannot help but notice Portlanders have a delightful habit of sharing most activities with their dogs. Any time of day one can observe them casually walking their dogs along Alberta or, in my case, observe the dogs walking me.
Dog owners seem comfortable hiking, hunting, fishing, paddleboarding and even dining with their canines. As my pups are rather large and furry, I pre – fer they dine alone. The big fella would be table surfing and stealing bread from other diners while the cute one would be shamelessly begging for attention and any morsel available.
But they are perfect candidates to enjoy the off-leash Alberta dog park. As soon as we reach the off-leash area, they are off like furry cannon balls, joining the huddle of sniffers and barkers. We are familiar with most of the other regu – lars.
At the Alberta Co-op gathering, I sat next to a woman who lives close to the RV Park we stayed in last year. I remarked about walking our dogs in the fenced-in nearby schoolyard. She said she did the same, and wasn’t it odd we hadn’t met before?
I described my dogs and she gasped, “Are Mutton and Raven your dogs? My dog is Kayla!” Unbelievably we had chatted frequently at the schoolyard. Yet we didn’t recognize each other without our pets!
It’s the same thing at the dog park. We know each others’ dogs. We stand together and discuss the remarkable contrasts of their features and antics. Amazingly enough, we take pleasure in the assortment of breeds, coat markings, form and breed characteristics and actually enjoy the diversity of the dog park.
Upon reflection, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all play together unleashed from our biases and preconceived no – tions and just enjoy each other like our pets, unconcerned about origins, breed, color or culture? Maybe then we could celebrate our diversities and enjoy the differences just as the pet owners do.
Kathy moved to Concordia last year from the Midwest and, as she reports in CNews, things are a lot different here.