Sunday Gratitude: More Alike than Not

Yesterday, I went to a Dog Pool Party. I have always wanted to go to one, particularly when I had a labrador named Caju (“cashew” in Portuguese) because that one was a Dock Diver. Alas, Katie Puppy, K9 Ranger, is afraid of large dogs and has been known to knock people down while fleeing danger, so she had to stay home.

The party was hosted by Kate and John, new residents of Weston. They arrived late last year when most of us were pretty locked down. They have a beautiful baby boy named Henry, who unimpressed by the comings and goings of a multitude of wet doggos, slept through a very fun party. I actually empathize with that plan–I have slept through a few parties myself. Kate and John chose Weston after the western fires pushed them out last year, finding a place that worked for country and city mouse partners (this is similar to the Owl story), and they have an Idaho dog named Garrison Keillor, which is more perfect than they could imagine. Because when a neighbor and I said to each other a couple of days ago that this dog party idea was amazingly nice, we agreed that the hosts must be from the midwest. And so in a funny way, that was not true (they are from California) but maybe Garrison has some Minnesota ways. (Update: after I published this post, Kate contacted me and mentioned she was born and raised in Michigan–go Blue!-so we were, in fact, correct! :))

And so, this new family, before closing up their pool for the season, invited (by facebook community post) everyone to bring their dog and themself to their pool for a last canine hurrah (well, okay, Cat Rock is still hurrahing but that’s different). And I tagged along without Katie, and I am so glad I did. I saw some old friends, met some new ones, and laughed so very hard at the antics as some dogs kah-flumpfed (it’s a word maybe) into the pool, others delicately walked in by steps, and another reached out one long paw to try to pull the tennis balls towards the sides. One small dog, lots of labradors, Attila, of course, Poker the Bernese, a German shepherd and a golden or too. Maybe a doodle–hard to tell with the hair wet down.

Another party guest (a human one) termed it as “the nicest thing ever done in Weston” which we laughed about as being a positive and negative remark. I do think we are nicer that we look, Weston, as yesterday was not about the topics that divide us, but those that unite us–we talked football, WCCA, Maine, commuting and dogs, of course. When things got too serious, some wet dog or another would brush by or shake off or narrowly avoid knocking a toddler into the drink, and we returned our thoughts to the absolute pure joy of dogs and water.

My Sunday gratitude is plural today–for Kate and John who don’t mind dogs digging up all the pachysandra and depositing it in their pool, for “old” neighbors I haven’t seen in a year, and the new residents I met who are energized by and love our town and their new yards, too. And of course, I am grateful for the silliness of the canine residents of our town–they are all so different, and yet more alike than not.


  • This is so great! I love a good dog pool party. If either of my dogs were swimmers we would have gone. BTW – this is the 4th family I know of that moved to Weston from CA in the pandemic – our family being one of the 4.

  • One of my favorite of your Owl write-ups. I could sense the joy in being there. Kudos to the new Westonites for showing old dogs new tricks!

  • This must be a Midwestern-and-beyond thing. I told my Cleveland relatives about it and they were thoroughly unmoved, kind of as if I’d said “they had Christmas caroling!” or “they had a BBQ on Memorial Day!” Like, “doesn’t everyone do that?” Happy to have them bring a “new” tradition to the frigid Northwest!

    • I think we are actually in the frigid Northeast not west, but not sure if you mean NW of Boston… and yeah, it turns out Kate is actually born and raised in Michigan so it all makes sense now!! ahahaha!

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