Tonight I was invited to celebrate my friend Sarah's 30th birthday at Vines, a Wine Tasting bar in Parker, which is only on the other side of Denver, but feels like an eternity away (first you take Santa Fe to C470, then C470 to I-25 South, then take the Lincoln exit and drive all the way across the valley to Parker Road, but be sure to make a right and not a left as directed by my friend Amber). I didn't get off work until five and the party started at 7:15, which meant I had to race home (it now takes all of about 10 minutes, as opposed to the 45-60 I was driving before the move), change my clothes, take Dunc to the park, come home, change again and hit the road. I know he's "only a dog" but he's my boy, so I explained that we'd have a short walk now and then go back to the park and play later. We did a quick circuit across the empty football fields, cut around the baseball quad, then back through the field and home. The park people were already setting up Summerset, which begins tomorrow night, and they'd spray painted little grids and directions all across the grass. Here and there, in bright orange were the words, "BBQ," "GREEK" and my favorite, "CORN MASTERS," which sounds like some twisted porn title. It's exciting to know the park is going to come alive for the next few days, that I can cross the street and immerse myself in all sorts of festivities (I'm thinking of entering Duncan in one of the dog competitions, just for the fun of it), but also a bit sad because it means we won't have any place to play and do what we do.
I had to drag him home, almost literally, and once here, as I changed my clothes again, he was so disgusted with me that he hid under the bed, leaving only one leg sticking out. When I commented on that one leg, he promptly pulled it the rest of the way under and didn't let me see him again until I returned home three hours later.
He's just turned three (on the 3rd), so it's to be expected.
Tonight, as promised, I leashed him up again, grabbed his favorite bright green tennis ball, and marched him across the street, where we had the entire park to ourselves, not a soul in it. The baseball people left, shutting down the big lights and drove away, leaving Duncan and me alone to throw the ball, which we did for nearly thirty solid minutes. Back and forth, back and forth. And when he got tired he'd tuck the ball under him, roll onto his back and make me rub his belly until he was ready for another round. We ran and played chase, but chicken seems to be his favorite. He loves to charge me, the ball clutched in his mouth, snorting like some out of shape horse, and then veer away at the very last second, smiling around the ball, as though he's outsmarted me.
And even though he didn't want to come home again (he literally pulled the leash from my hand and ran tight circles around me for five minutes), I have a feeling he'll crash soon.
I hope. Although I might just beat him to it.