Yesterday evening we went to the Monon Community Center’s annual “Doggy Dayz,” a fabulous and fitting end to the summer in which dogs are invited for a swim before the pool is closed down for the season.
There were at least a hundred of them in the pool area when we got there, and another hundred or more lined up (with their owners) waiting to get in. Every kind of dog you can imagine—from Chihuahuas to Greyhounds, and every incarnation of Heinz ’57. Some were on leashes, their owners up to their knees in the water; others fetched Frizbees or balls, and carrying them, triumphantly, back to their owners who were waiting on the side. A lot of dogs played together, running and splashing and occasionally getting a little out of control. Little dogs ran under the legs of the bigger ones or paddled around happily, some wearing life-jackets. A few sat with their owners, tails in, reluctant to take part in the festivities.
This would have been our dog, Louise, who is—to say the least—a bit neurotic. So we left her at home and watched our granddog, Fergus, a deliriously happy, wonderfully dumb mutt, who seems to have no neuroses at all. He sat on the side awhile, checking out the scene, but was pretty easily lured into the water with some treats and, once in, joined one of the dog groups at play.
The image of all those dogs swimming, fetching, playing, shaking themselves silly would work nicely as the dictionary definition of “joy.”
Who, with any sense at all, wouldn’t want to be a dog? Or second best, watch a swimming pool full of them having more pure fun than any human being is programmed to be able to experience?