At lunch, I try to cut through the dog park behind Christ Church in Old City because seeing the puppies play always makes me smile — especially when I’m having a crappy day at work.
Today, there was a lady using a Chuckit! ball thrower to play fetch with her dog. He was a medium-sized black dog with pointy ears and stubby legs (probably a corgi mix). I had my lunch bag in my hand and smiled at the lady as I was walking, but didn’t stop or acknowledge the dog in any way.
As I walked by, the dog, for no readily apparent reason, and apropos of nothing, ran up to me. His curved tail wagged furiously as he dropped the slimy tennis ball at my feet, punctuated with a sharp bark.
The lady said, “Oh Buddy, he doesn’t want to throw your dirty old ball.”
And I replied, “No, it’s alright.” I petted the dog on his head and picked up the slobber-soaked tennis ball. Then I gave the spit-soaked projectile a good toss across the park, with a quiet, “Good boy.”
Before he took off after the ball, I swear that dog nodded once as if to say, “See how fun this is? Why bother being sad?”
After that, he returned the ball to his owner as if nothing had happened. I wiped my hand off on my paper lunch bag and kept walking down the alley to my office, feeling renewed and calm.
It was exactly what I needed to cheer me up.
Dogs are awesome.