Regal Beagle has been a grace in my life in many ways. He has tested my patience (and won on more than one occasion), challenged me to better balance my life with play, required me to keep my life clean (or suffer the consequences of devoured black pumps or favorite purse), and so much more... but lately, now that I am at home with my parents for a few weeks, he has once again presented me with a new grace.
Every day, we pile into the Subaru and run over to the dog park where he romps recklessly with other dogs, rolls in something delightfully stinky, goes for a sloppy swim in the creek and then collapses in exhaustion, ready to go home and snooze. He inevitably introduces me to people I would otherwise never meet or have reason to engage beyond "hello." Today alone, "we" played with a 20-something Russian woman and her doberman puppy, an old man who takes care of an even older woman's dachshund, and a woman who owns not one but four beagles.
As a special treat after several hours of hard play, I took Regal Beagle for a free doggie ice cream. He greeted two young boys who were spending the day with their big sister with slobbery kisses, a gentle old man who reminisced about his own beagle and a cantankerous woman who seemed rather displeased with the length of the line. All the while, I was given the opportunity to share smiles and a moment of my day with a few strangers...
He's a blessing, this little guy.