Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Ponds: A Community Saves the Day

It was a great day to be a Duncan, or at the least a Duncan who lives with me. Not only did the patient pup get a nice long walk in the park, complete with ball throwing and squirrel chasing, but we ventured down the street to a brand new dog park on the corner of Bowles and Platte Canyon. Melissa had mentioned it last week, and I'd even suggested it to some new neighbors who were looking for some place wide and open to take their Boxer, Khan (not sure of the spelling, although I like to imagine they were thinking of the Star Trek character, although they may be too young). This afternoon Duncan and I leashed up and, because it was chilly and windy even though the morning's snow had melted off, drove down the street in search of the grand and glorious park known as Wynetka Ponds.

We found it easily enough and bumped into a woman whose Golden, Raleigh, we'd met a few months back on a cold December morning in the park. I mentioned that this was our first trip to The Ponds and she explained that the vast hillside with its rolling brook and occasional copse of elms and pines had been slated for condominium development. I sighed remembering the northern Chicago suburbs where Ken and I had lived before coming to Denver. Much of the farm country there had been transformed into housing developments in the three short years I lived in Round Lake Beach and I've heard from others since that what little remained has also been swallowed up. The woman went on to explain that she lived in the development across the street and the entire community was up in arms over the impending arrival of the condos so they raised the funds, bought the land and sold it to the City of Littleton on the condition that it be turned into a park and that a sizable chunk of it be dog friendly.

It was an amazing thing for a group of people to do, especially in this day and age (there, I've become my grandfather! I actually used the phrase, "In this day and age!") when people will do almost anything to get ahead. It was a community in action and I know that every time I'm at that park I will silently thank them and hope the universe looks after them for the kindness and generosity.

Duncan was quite a hit at The Ponds, where six little Toto dogs nipped and chased after him while their owners (such an ugly word for a dog companion. Someone PLEASE help me find a better term! Post your suggestions as comments!), two little girls, ran with him, grabbed his head and hugged him, threw the ball for him and wouldn't give him a moment's rest. He wouldn't listen to a word they said, not coming, not dropping, not shaking or giving them five, but bless them for loving him so much and trying so hard. He smiled and played, galloped and cavorted, and I loved every minute of watching him. After a week of not getting it his way, it was wonderful to see him in action again.

And when it was done, after he'd been served his dinner and the sun began its descent in the western sky, I took him across the street to the park where we tossed the ball and rolled on the grass, just the two of us. He smiled and danced for me and once again, as every day, reminded me how lucky I am he is in my life.


Ruby Red Dog said...

More pictures of Duncan, please! He's a very handsome chap. In fact, when my mum and dad first saw his picture, they thought I'd been spending some time in Denver without them knowing.

I've been to Denver. I liked it when Mum and Dad were there with me, but then I had to stay at a dog camp without them. I didn't like being with all those other dogs. It made me very sick. So sick that I had to go to see a dog doctor on the drive home. Maybe we can romp together if I come to Denver again.

Murphy's Mom said...

I am so jealous you have a dog park! And how is it you don't have any snow on the ground? Today we will hit 40 and it is rainy, so I hope the remaining piles will go away, but that also is a call to arms to get out in the garden and clean!!! Murphy has to stay on his long lead that is anchored into the ground when Mommy needs both hands free. He doesn't mind as long as there are sticks involved.
Ideas: Patrons, Chauffeurs, Minions, cult members, partners in crime, parents...I will continue to think on the matter.
love your blog!
love your dog!

Cheryl said...

How about people pets.

Chuck said...

I prefer to be called Moose and Ella's papa. My folks call them their granddogs so that would make me their papa. Thanks for the blog my friend, it's always a good read.

Lori said...

"Companion" is good. I think San Francisco has adopted that as its official "dog parent" word.
"Guardian" is also good, if you look at it in a benign, caring, protective light and nothing angelic.
Working the front desk, I used to say "Ginger's mom is here," but some people don't like this. I had one client who insisted we call her "Maggie's Friend."
Our current receptionist, when announcing someone is there to pick up their pet from surgery or in-patient care says, "Muffin's ride is here," but I think that lacks something, like a relationship!
Your new park sounds wonderful!