I have been walking the girls around the neighborhood and taking them to the community garden. We are having a bit of a heat wave here in the city so I saw the playground across the street and saw little Z all overheated. Luckily, one of the good things about this tiny park is that it has sprinklers for the kiddies. Those sprinklers also work for puppies as long as they are on their leashes. So I got the long extend-a-leash and took Z and A into the park where Zoey had a fabulous time. My friend, Debbie had Zoey and watched as she ran around like crazy trying to figure out how it was “raining” in some places and not in others. Abby on the other hand…well she just kind of hung back and watched the spectacle so I got some water and put it on her head to cool her down before our trek to Central Park. Zoey looked like a wet rat.
Abby adores the park. She loves grass more than anything! You understand, Abby is a rescue dog that grew up in the South. This dog is not used to the concrete jungle. You even as much as take her through the park in a taxi and she begins to whimper. So, we get to the park and Abby is shocked due to the proximity and that she is actually at the park after dusk. Zoey, well Zoey just doesn’t understand grass. Abby immediately jumps into the grass and starts rolling over and over in it. She throws her legs up in the air and just rubs her back against the ground twisting from side to side. Zoey inspects her, the ground, and the dirt but doesn’t seem that enthused. She runs around a little but just doesn’t seem to know what to do with this crazy stuff called grass.
I then realize that this may be the first time Zoey has been on grass. She doesn’t know what it is. She doesn’t understand it. I wonder what it feels like to her paws. Does she know she is supposed to pee on it? She has no clue. Maybe she is frightened by it. She just watches as her sister lives it up and she sits there alone and confused. You see I realized then that raising Zoey is going to be different. She spent all of her life (that is until she got us, or we got her) in a puppy mill. She lived in a cage that would have a wire bottom so the puppy farmers (God love them) could spray in their cages some chemicals for cleaning (while the dogs are in the cages none the less) and then hose them out without the burden of ever removing a dog. She went from welping unit to wire cage to transportation truck cage (I don’t like to think about how many dogs she shared a cage with during any of these times). And then to my favorite pet store where you guessed it…cage. To the ICU…cage and then to my home…FREEDOM and Central Park….GRASS!!!!
Debbie and I sat back and watched as Zoey observed Abby in her grass ritual. Zoey continued to walk around and then flop in the grass putting her head in it. Then, it was like a switch flipped and Zoey ran over to Abby to get closer to observe this peculiar grass rolling, turning, rubbing, scratching, digging behavior. She got closer and closer and then she joined her. Abby never stopped mind you but Zoey took one small roll. She got up shook it off and took another little roll…this time just a little bit longer. And before long, there they both are just rolling away in the grass. Zoey had found the joy of grass. It is amazing how we can take such little things for granted. When I first moved here I yearned for trees and grass but how sad is it that my little puppy never knew what it was till she made it to the middle of NYC?