Life is hard sometimes. There's conflict, I don't understand things, I repeat mistakes. Sometimes it sucks -- but there's happiness at the dog park.
No matter how awful I feel when I get there, a good hour and a half of watching my two good friends have fun dilutes whatever troubles I have.
Our dog park is huge. It's larger than a football field. Collies love to run but they also love being free. Sometimes, watching them, I can see them in the hills of Scotland, doing the sheepy jobs they were bred for.
They are loyal friends, too; none of this here today and gone tomorrow nonsense. There are no misunderstandings between us. I love them dearly, feed them, take them for freedom and exercise every day and in return they make me feel that life is worth living. I call that a pretty good trade. (Because you and I might not know each other, I feel the need to tell you that it's not that I don't have anything else in my life, it's that I can accept a difficult and troubled world that also has something as wonderful as a collie in it.)
Having walked alongside both my parents through illness and up to death's door, I worry about my own old age. I have one son, whereas my parents had 4 children. So I've asked my son this: "When I get old and you are making my decisions, I don't care where I live. I can live in a cab-over camper on a pickup truck as long as I have a collie." We've both agreed that life, for me, would be a wan and wilted thing without a grand collie dog at my side.