We took our cocker spaniel Leaf to the dog park over this autumn weekend. During our other visits to what we call “Dog Park Heaven” near the Mississippi River, we have always found our favorite spot to sit on the beach. Our spot is also next to a low-hanging, thick tree branch where Leaf likes to climb. He can lie down on his tree branch with his bouncy ball in his mouth.
This time though, Leaf didn’t stay on his tree branch alone. Several small children looked at our little rescued dog and said, “There is a dog in the tree.” Then they immediately climbed Leaf’s tree. Leaf looked befuddled. Joining the children, their little black retriever climbed up after them.
Overwhelmed by this abundance of visitors, Leaf jumped off his branch on to the sand. Holding his ball tightly in his mouth, he walked over to us and glanced toward his tree. Then he looked at us again.
Linda threw the ball toward the edge of the river. Leaf gave chase to retrieve his ball but then was not sure what to do. He would normally have climbed back up into “his” tree with the ball. Finally, he decided that he could share his tree with the kids and their dog. He climbed next to one of the children and dropped down on to the branch. He was sweet and nice but still wanting his spot on the branch.
Yet he shared something that was very important to him. Leaf knew from experience with us humans that our attention spans are not the greatest. The kids would soon be off to other dog park adventures. He was right. Within a few minutes the children were exploring other trees and trails.
When have you had to be patient while waiting for others to release something?