“Bark in the Park”

OK, I guess this is the good place to start:

It was a beautiful Sunday morning.

Vicky & I slept in a bit later and got up with just enough time for coffee & the newspaper before our big outing – Bark in the Park – a charity dog event at Turner Field with the Braves playing the Washington Nationals as a backdrop. $18 buys you, the human, and your dog, seats in the far end nosebleed sections of 420 & 422 overlooking left field. I figured it would be a lot of fun, the dogs could socialize, and I could get Vicky to finally go to a Braves game.

In anticipation of the event and a desire to have my Boys looking their best, I sought out Braves caps for doggies. They did not exist anywhere in Atlanta. I found them online somewhere in Texas and bought two sets of baseball caps and a bandana, sizes Large and Small.

I tried a little dress rehearsal earlier in the week and was delighted at my dogs’ enthusiasm. Dash, my Golden Retriever, loves the pomp and circumstance and was like an excited eight-year-old trying on his Cub Scout uniform for the first time. Tico, our Long-Haired Dachshund, was equally excited – but not for the same reasons.

My friend Jimmy Smathers was here last week for a visit and got to spend some time observing Tico with our Golden Retrievers (he has Jessie, Dash’s Mother – and Tony Soprano, Dash’s alphatosterone brother. they all played together during Jimmy & Judy’s visit.)

“Robert,” he later tells me, “Tico is no innocent and docile little lap dog – he’s running with a serious agenda; I think he needs a cigar in his mouth – he’s the Edward G. Robinson of the canine world, for sure.”

Jimmy pegged Tico perfectly. Vicky & I have laughed and laughed over this….

So yes, Tico was excited only because Dash was excited. “Hey! What’s in it for me ? ” I could hear him say with his Edward G. Robinson accent. I wondered how he kept that stubby little cigar from burning his whiskers.

As I put Dash’s hat on, Tico barked incessantly and aggressively nipped at Dash’s legs. He couldn’t stand it that Dash was getting something that he didn’t have. I next pulled Tico’s little cap out and he was so excited that I could not keep him still to put it on. I had to put him up on the center island in the kitchen where his movements would be limited. He calmed down and I adjusted the cap.

He looked at me with a hint of disappointment: “Hey! So, Pop, what’s wrong with that wool fedora we bought at Finklestein’s in Chicago? Why can’t I wear that one? What’s it to ya?”

I didn’t give in.

He looked up at me as if to read my eyes and gently wagged his tail: “Fuck it! I’ll dress like Mary Poppins if it gets me on a serious outing somewhere.”

Tico on his way to Bark In The Park

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