Saturday 03 Dec 2016

In the Park with Goalith
AJ Robinson

Although I’m a theatre person, I have to admit, I have no idea what “Sunday in the Park with George” is about. Using it as a little play on words is an excellent way to tell this story. Goliath is as dog well names, a big dog. He’s a Brazilian Mastiff, which is a very big dog.

A couple years back, our friend Sharon got him. He was just a puppy then and quite the tiny pup. How small? He could just about walk under our dog Juliet, and she’s not that big, she’s an Australian Shepherd.

Well, the two of them quickly bonded and became best friends. It was quite funny to watch them play together because our other dog, Romeo, would stand off to the side and bark at them. He was like an old man shouting at some kids at play. You could almost translate his barks into,

“Settle down, you kids!”

“Stop that, someone’s going to get hurt!”

“It’s all fun until someone gets poked in the eye!”

We all would roar with laughter.

Over time, Goliath got bigger, much bigger. He and Juliet especially loved meeting up at the local dog park. The quickest way to get Juliet bouncing off the walls, so to speak, was to say to her, “Juliet, you want to go to the park and see Goliath?”

Those keywords were all she needed. Once in the car, she’d settle down to sit in the backseat, until we drew near to the “special place.” Oh, and then she’d whimper and whine and bounce about the seat. As we’d pull into the parking lot, it was hard to get the leash on her. We’d finally manage, and once inside the park, we’d set her free. After that, she was off, racing and running about the place. She had but one thought in mind: Where is he?

Then we’d hear the bark. Again, we didn’t need a “Universal Translator” to know what he’d said. Juliet would turn, see “The G-Man,” as we called him, and she’d be off!

It was almost comical, like a scene out of some cheap romance film. She’d run toward him, he’d run toward her, yes, they did seem to be doing it in slow motion, and then they’d meet. Leaping into the air, they’d do “chest bumps” and tumble to the ground. After that, it was up and off, and they would play like there was no tomorrow. Bounding about the park, they’d roll in the sand, swim in the lake, and wrestle with the other dogs. Oh, and woe unto any dog that got too rough with Juliet, they’d have to answer to him!

Still, overall, their enjoyment was huge. Sometimes, we’d sit and watch, and just laugh to see the little scenes playing out before us. They were so stereotypical, Goliath and Juliet running along, several other dogs running with them. A couple smaller dogs fast at their heels. Then, lagging far behind, a small Dachshund or Chihuahua would be barking up a storm.

Back and forth they’d run, all of them having the most wonderful of time. Then, when they wore out, it was time to go. Ah, there was a final stop before we left. That was the Dog Washing Station. We’d laugh to see Juliet walk ever so slowly toward her “doom.” She knew what was coming, and she made no effort to help with the process.

It took a while, but we always got her scrubbed and then it was home. For that ride and for most of the next day, Juliet was subdued. She was very tired! Yeah, Juliet dearly loves that big dog, and we know they’ll be friends forever.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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