Reading Goody’s Dog Park Diary

My mom just picked up a new book, Dog Park Diary: The Social Round of Goofy Beagle, channeled through author Kim Pearson. She read it to me and I was just getting ready to review it when we saw a comment from Goody Beagle herself on my shoe-chewing entry a few days park diary cover

Wow…comments from celebrities! Maybe Dean Koontz’s dog Trixie will drop by someday.

Goody Beagle, a lucky dog indeed, goes to the dog park every day. Their Bellevue East Side dog park has grass and trees. Our Belltown Regrade Park just has wood chips and cement (and lots of heart).

Goody writes about all the dogs who come there. She’s got a cute way to identify them: their own name and their breed. The first dog we meet is Alice B. Spaniel. B stands for Brittany. Cute.

I’d be Gracie the Mellowmutt. That’s okay, as long as you recognize I’m really Gracie the CUPPIE, the first dog on the planet to be identified as a Canine Urban Princess.

My mom liked seeing the different dog breeds. As a writer herself, she admired the way Pearson interprets Goody’s stories. “She summarizes a dog’s whole personality in just a few sentences. Wow.”

Hmm. I wonder how Goody would summarize my personality.

“So who would you play with?” my mom asked me.

Read page 10, Mom. They have to pass the sniff test.

You can tell Dog Park Diary was written by a dog, not a human. Goody writes dog to dog about the important stuff, like smelling and what my squeamish mom calls “doing your business.” There’s actually a rear view photo of Goody in the act…well, you better see for yourself.

Mom said she’s going to recommend this book as a gift for all the dog lovers in your life.

Personally, I would give a real present for the dogs, like a nice chew toy, cozy dog bed or peanut butter treat. But Mom says you have to give presents to the owners. In her young days, she once brought a package of catnip as a thank you gift when she was invited to dinner. Who knew they wanted wine?

Mom’s much more socialized now and she would recommend adding this book to your holiday and birthday gift list.

“But you have to be a hard-core dog lover,” Mom says. She once got into trouble with her Great Careers Ezine. In those days she had a personal “my life” section at the opening of each ezine, where she wrote about First Dog Keesha and the cats. One mention of Keesha exchanging a “ritual sniff” with another dog and her “unsubscribe” numbers went through the roof.

Save this book for enlightened dog owners, who will want to keep their own copy and buy more as gifts.

Dogs Are Good For People

First, my mom wants you all to know, she does NOT watch a lot of television. She does have a television but she also has a DVR. So she skips through everything: she goes through Good Morning America in about 15 minutes, watching just the segments she likes: skip the music and the weather, she says, and the ridiculous shots of millionaire anchor staff shivering on the plaza.

She actually told Comcast, “Take back the Cable!” But they offered her a deal she couldn’t refuse.

That’s why she’s sitting on the edge of the couch today, watching the WNBA Finals and keeping her fingers crossed for the Phooenix Mercury. My mom Cathy has been a fan of Diana Taurasi ever since she saw Taurasi as a college freshman take her first 3-point shot. My mom likes people who color outside the lines. I can’t imagine why.

But I digress…Mom was watching book reviews on CSPAN-2 when she heard a totally moving story by Heidi Kraft, author of Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in an Iraq Combat Hospital.

Kraft, a Navy psychologist, served in a Marine hospital. She befriended an Army veterinarian who was assigned to treat the K-9 Corps. He would invite Kraft to visit the sociable dogs as a stress relief break.

One of Kraft’s human patients was a female Marine Sergeant. This woman was the only female in an all-male unit, she was in a war zone and she was clinically depressed. Working with the MDs, Kraft arranged for medication as well as counseling. Then for two months, the sergeant was too busy to come by.

Then one day, the sergeant showed up in Kraft’s office, looking much happier. She even wore make-up!

What happened? This sergeant’s unit had adopted a stray dog. She bonded with the dog. She arranged to send the dog home, where her family will keep the dog till she can arrive in her next duty station, San Diego.

Now, said the sergeant, she has something to look forward to. That dog needs her! And the sergeant has applied for a transfer to the US Marine Corps K-9 unit.

When my mom Cathy says (for the ninetieth time), “Gracie, you are driving me nuts!” or even, “Gracie, you are a nuisance!” I just give her The Look. She needs me.