I love many things about spending an hour or five in a park with my boys. The exercise is great for them, physically and mentally, and by running off their excess energy, their brains calm down and I begin to teach them new things. I also love capturing magical moments in photographs, sometimes playing with shadows or filters or hanging one-handed from a tree to get the best angle. I love watching them play “I’m gonna catch you, just you way and see” or “catch me if you can, you silly, slow-poke doodledog”, depending on each one’s speed and preferred game. And I adore moments like these caught entirely by accident, when they are smiling wide smiles, completely at peace in the little world we’ve carved out for ourselves.
Playing with our dogs is so important. It allows them to engage in normal behavior. In fact, consistent playtime can prevent many problematic behaviors. When we play with our dogs, we strengthen the bond between us. Trust grows both ways, and if we pay attention to them, we learn so many more dimensions to their personalities.
Today, I kinda played hooky from work. It is true that I wasn’t feeling well, but I’m sure I could have pushed myself and carried on for the rest of the day. But I decided to listen to my body, my mind and my heart and I took advantage of some sick time I’ve accumulated. After a nice nap shared with Edison, I hitched everyone up, grabbed some treats and my phone and walked the Gang of Four over to the small dog park. They sniffed, the ran, they body-slammed and they rolled. And I sat back, taking it in, healing myself the best way I know how: by connecting with my boys with a bit of sun above and soft blades of grass down below.
These are just a few of the pictures I took while cataloging our day.