For all my efforts to begin thinking and living outside the box… my most recent pup lesson has reminded me how joyful and exciting and, yes, freeing, it can sometimes be inside the box.
This week, they created a small dog park where I live. I had been told there was one in the works when I was shopping apartments. It didn’t really matter to me, initially, because I associated a dog park with lots of dogs and, truth be told, for all my dog’s wonderful and awesome qualities… she does not always play well with other canine children. The reasons behind this are varied: part inexperience, part submissive personality (which, a dog trainer explained and I can attest, is not to be confused with passive) from having been the runt of her litter….but probably mostly attributable to a freaked out OCD mom loving, but at times irrationally overprotective, moi when she was a young puppy. From Callie’s tutelage (her cat ‘mom’) she does, however, do very well with the cats in the area who approach her. Go figure.
So, fast forward. There is now a smallish enclosed fenced area that will be a full fledged dog park, by some residents’ standards, once the water source is operational and they get the bench in (I assume this is for the humans? For now, it’s just a nice fenced in grassy area located in a spot where a few residents used to routinely let their dogs off leash.
In addition to our long daily walks, I’ve taken Keeva to the new park three times. Each time, she enjoys herself more… we both have enjoyed ourselves more. And, as usual for my writer’s brain, I have been stepping outside this picture and contemplating my potential human application.
Regardless of the time I’ve driven or walked by the area, I’ve not witnessed any dog parties in the park, but, instead, individual owners with their respective dogs. And they’ve all been doing what Keeva and I have been doing, once in the park…which is playing, to our hearts’ content, in a safe area where there is no worry about an errant dash across a busy street or the approach of a dog-fearing jogger or bicyclist. She plays fetch almost endlessly (this may have something to do with that last word in her breed, labrador retriever). We play keep-away and our version of tag… we romp around like we were, both, years younger. ♥ And, no, I’m not ashamed to say that I openly admit to “romping” at my age.
Many boxes, self-imposed or other-imposed, are stifling and breaking out of the box is to find true freedom. But I’m learning that sometimes, when it is of our choosing, utilizing a box can be useful. Sometimes a box is simply an area, defined by healthy boundaries, which can actually empower by the freedom created, within.