Dogs, Mud and an Aging Hippy

The aging hippy's dog wore a sissy little rain jacket and yellow booties. My dog was already caked in mud and looking for a playmate. This would not end well.

The aging hippy got out of his Honda Insight, a silver ponytail drooping down the center of his tie-dyed shirt, and he picked up a neatly groomed miniature pinscher from the passenger seat. After five days of rain, the dog park was a muddy mess, but it's one of few places in Arlington, VA, where leash-free exercise is legal.

Apparently the hippy's affinity for mud had ended at Woodstock, because his mini donned a sissy little jacket and yellow booties. My springer, Freedom, who is not much of a fashion critic, sprinted to the gate to greet the newcomer.

This, I thought, will not end well.

Already caked in filth, Freedom put his stomach to the ground, thrust his butt into the air and wagged his tail--doggyspeak for "let's play!" The mini responded by tearing off through the mud, confirming it was in fact still a dog despite the hippy's attempts to humanize it. Freedom sounded like a horse as he ran full-tilt toward the deepest muck in the park and barreled through it like a dune buggy slamming through a bog. The mini followed, thoroughly sloshing itself in sludge and loving every second of it. Mud flew everywhere.

The hippy sneered as if Jane Fonda had just cancelled her visit. He cradled his dog, which now resembled a cow pie with four little legs, and walked off. My back was to him as he climbed into his oval-shaped hybrid, so I'm sure he didn't see the contented grin spanning my face. 

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