Life is like a grapefruit

Born free, as free as the wind blows

Apparently, according to Mirto, I write better when I’m tired. If so, this should post should be comedy gold!

I started writing that we’re one day in to our San Francisco life, but I think it might have been two. Between the waking at odd hours and the naps in between brief periods of wakefulness, I’ve already lost track of time.

I do know that last night myself, the wife and Oliver went for a great walk together. We went along the road we’re living on and into the small park next door, Mission Creek Park. It’s a couple of small grassy areas with a path running through the middle and some sports courts (volleyball, basketball, tennis, etc) that runs alongside the creek. On the water are some of the most amazing houseboats I’ve seen. I used to live on a dock in London and quite a few people lived on barges there; these are like mansions to their garden sheds. Some of them are two storey affairs that look as if someone just took a house and dropped it onto the creek, hoping that it would float.

Anyway, just past the little park is an off-leash dog run. It’s essentially a large gravelled area with airlock style gates at each end. To give some background to dog run experiences and us: In Vancouver, everywhere was pretty much a dog run. There was the grassy patch opposite the apartment, there was Kits Beach. Even just walking along the roads, you’d see people with their dogs off-leash and they’d sniff and play and wag. In Singapore, not so much. I don’t want to get too deep into Singapore and dogs because it was, frankly, depressing and frustrating. The essential deal is that as most people don’t train their dogs there, or bother to learn about dog behaviour, and coupled with the extremely strict dog leash laws, and steep fines for breaking those laws, you rarely see dogs off-leash. It’s rare even for on-leash dogs to be allowed to meet, which of course just continues the spiral of anti-social dogs, which leads to dogs not meeting, etc, etc. Anyway, this was a slightly different experience.

There were at least eight other dogs there between three or four owners. Every dog was brilliantly behaved and played really nicely, and were clearly well socialised. Even Oliver, who frankly has picked up some bad habits from Singapore, played wonderfully. He’s been dying to get running for months now and this was his chance. Two of the dogs there were owned by a couple who also foster dogs from Rocket Dog, and I feel compelled to give them a link because their love for their dogs was so apparent, and their drive to help dogs so infectious, I almost offered to adopt one of their fosters on the spot. I was so impressed that dogs who have possibly been maltreated were able to be off-leash in a dog run with other dogs and be so well behaved. Perhaps we have room for a foster somewhere in our family…

Forty minutes later, we had a very tired pooch — more tired than I’ve seen him since Vancouver — who we managed to drag home. He slept solidly all night and has been napping all day today.

The only downside is that when I took him back to the run this evening, as eager as he was to play, his paws are too sore from the gravel to allow him to have fun. We’ll go back there in a day or two when his paws are feeling better, and this time he won’t be playing quite so hard.

It is clear already that this city could not be a better place for him, and that makes it the best place for me.

Posted on 2008/11/07 in personal | Tagged oliver | Leave a comment

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