All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and who to be I learned at Dog Park. Wisdom was not in the local elementary school or middle school or even at the nearby high school, but there in the gated enclosure of Dog Park.

  • If you bring a squeak toy to Dog Park, you will share it.
  • Greet everyone even if you must go out of your way.
  • Don’t bite.
  • Dogs come in all shapes, sizes and mixes.
  • You can’t fit more than one ball in your mouth at a time.
  • Sometimes, the best ball is dirty and cracked.
  • Treats can be found in unexpected places.
  • It’s good to run and play.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Mud feels good on your skin. Rub it all over.
  • Sometimes it’s important to keep your ball in your mouth.
  • Remember who is friendly and who is not; avoid the grouchy ones; run from the annoying ones.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. Boundaries, tolerance, humility, sharing, health and making good choices. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – welcomed everyone who came into our sphere and discovered the good in what at first glance appears to be dirty and cracked.

And it’s true, when you go out in the world, you should always be on the look out for treats. Because you really can find them in unexpected places.

(Major shout out to Robert Fulghum)