The dog days of August

I’m hoping that August will bring many sunny days and pleasant outings for the Dogs of Edmonds
By Joanne Peterson | Aug 02, 2012

July edges into August, bringing warm summer days, multi-colored sunsets and perfect pale half-moons. It’s a grand time of year to live in the Pacific Northwest—especially in Edmonds.

The Dogs of Edmonds are out and about on their leashes, smiling, no need for their doggy rain slickers or cleverly tailored fleece jackets.

Big dogs and little ones walk their people all over town, stopping for occasional naps by the outdoor tables at local coffee shops while their owners visit and sip mochas.  Outside shops, store owners provide water bowls with refreshing drinks for dogs.

Of course, the Dogs of Edmonds have gotten the word that no longer are they welcome at the local Saturday market. They’ve heard that last Saturday was the final day they were allowed. I meandered through the market that day, making it a point to greet some of the dogs, knowing I wouldn’t see them there again.

The market rule forbidding dogs makes me sad, although I do understand that some folks have legitimate complaints—leashes tripping them up, big dogs pushing against them, quarreling animals causing a disturbance, tiny dogs getting underfoot, nippy dogs frightening children.

Safety is a most important consideration, of course, and that’s reason enough for the ruling, even though I know that most dogs at the market have been good citizens and well-behaved.

On her final day at the market, Olive, a gorgeous black Cocker-Cavalier spaniel mix, nestled in her person’s arms, calm and sweet-natured, letting me stroke her long silky ears. (This reminds me, I am appalled at how many parents allow their children to approach strange dogs—or other animals-- and attempt to touch them. That’s a lesson little ones need to learn early and never forget —don’t touch someone else’s animal without asking permission.)

Brody, a big golden retriever, enjoying his last Saturday at the market, demonstrated for me how well he responds to his person’s command to SIT.  A block away from the market, I met a small Malti-Poo named Rusty, a fuzzy bundle of energy and sharp baby teeth, bounding about at the end of his leash, wildly celebrating life. In contrast, I thought of my little dachshund friend Happy, at home recovering from some sort of puppy flu. I hope Happy feels well soon.

It’s been a few months since I lost my dear cat Benjamin, the big orange boy who was my loyal companion for many years.

I’m not ready for another animal, but visiting with various Dogs of Edmonds and their people last weekend caused me to reflect again on how much animals enrich people’s lives, bringing not only great pleasure but improved health.  This isn’t simply the judgment of an animal lover; research supports my opinion.

I’m hoping that August will bring many sunny days and pleasant outings for the Dogs of Edmonds—just not any more visits to the Saturday market.  Possibly they can coax their people to spend an extra hour at the dog park.



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