Dog Park

We went to Charleston last weekend to attend a wedding that Brittany was a bridesmaid in. We also went to meet her new puppy, see her new apartment, oh, and meet the boyfriend.

 

I overheard Brittany’s phone call to John a few nights earlier. Brittany, “Dan is nervous about meeting you.”

 

John, “Good!”

 

I told him that wasn’t the attitude he should have going in to the weekend. That if this guy did happen to be “the one” whether he felt comfortable with us would seal the deal on how often we’ll see Brittany in the future.

 

And I reminded him, “We only have one kid, so holiday dinners could get pretty lonely!”

 

John was on his best behavior. And the wedding was beautiful and fun. It was a little weird hearing Brittany call someone “honey” though. And more than once!

 

Brit introduced us to the caterers she knew from her hotel job, to all the wedding attendants and their parents, to the photographer, the minister and on and on. I caught myself thinking, “She really IS an adult now and has made a life for herself!”

 

On Sunday we four went to church and out to lunch. Then we picked up the puppy, Charlie, to take him to the dog park. I didn’t really know what a dog park was. I grew up without dogs in my family and I pictured a regular park where people walked their dogs.

 

I was totally unprepared for dozens of dogs in every size and shape running unleashed in every direction within a large fenced in area. So fast you could feel the wind when they went by. Some looked like they were going to mow you down, but managed to miss at the last minute.

 

But what I had the biggest problem with was how rough they were with little Charlie. He’d be galloping along side of a dog three times his size and then the big dog would trip him so he’d roll in the dirt. Every time it happened I’d instinctively step forward to save him. And Brittany would just as fast put her hand on my arm. “He’s ok! They’re just playing.”

 

As his beautiful black and white coat became brown and black and I still kept waiting for him to get hurt, I finally asked Brittany, “Don’t you want to take him home and keep him to yourself? Aren’t you worried about him at all?”

 

She said, “You have to let him loose. He’s having fun! Don’t worry, you get used to it.”

 

Really?

 

My immediate thought was, “Not if you’re a mom you don’t.” And it dawned on me I would always feel this way about Brittany and her new life. Protective. Concerned. But most of all watching with love.

 

Nancy Geiger is a freelance writer in Hickory. If you want to read all of her Brittany articles they are now on the blog, “Our Empty Nest” at http://thenestempties.blogspot.com/

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