I like to meet new people and new dogs, so my human takes me to the dog park whenever she can. It’s there that I always can make new friends. Most of the pups that I meet feel the same way. We all greet one another with wagging tails, even though we are all so different! We don’t focus on the differences, only on our wagging tails! If a dog doesn’t wag his tail and is all stressed and growly, we leave him alone. There are brown dogs and black dogs and yellow dogs. Some are mutts like me, who were saved from euthanasia at a scary shelter and then adopted out. Others are purebreds, who came from dog breeders that their humans paid money to, and who have pedigrees (whatever that is!).  We all come from somewhere different.

A few of my friends hail from Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina. You can always tell them from the Southern twang in their bark! And a few come from right here in Maine. Anyway, you know what?  We all get along! Even though our backgrounds are all very different and none of us look the same, we still make it work! No one lays claim to having been here first, or to it being their personal park, or barks at us that it’s only open to dogs with pedigrees. Or brown dogs, or black dogs — or even unusual spotted dogs like me. We all work together so everyone can enjoy.

Now, I’m not saying that it's always easy, but we try our very best! Take the other day, for example. My human was chatting with another human and admiring his pure-bred Aussie named Leo. He’s a red merle and almost as handsome as me. But he’s young and full of himself and just learning good manners. And as my human was standing there, suddenly, Leo comes running over and lifts his leg and pees on her pant leg! Whoa!! What the heck! How rude of him! Yup — I was really upset by it. But I took my cues from my human, who simply laughed and shrugged it off. I also looked at Leo's human and he was quite embarrassed and apologetic. So I calmed down. It's not always easy — but if you try to get along and it's important to you, you most often can!

I'm not sure if you humans understand this. If we dogs can do it, you surely can too. Not about peeing on someone's leg, but about getting along. When my human is at work, I sometimes watch television. I see all sorts of fights about borders and immigrants, fights between Republicans and Democrats, fights between people of different religions. Why all this fighting?  What does it solve for anyone?  It really perplexes me, since it seems like no humans are even trying to get along. Or maybe it’s just that the ones who aren’t trying have the loudest voices. I don’t know for sure. All I really can tell is that it isn’t working, and why would any humans do it and think it would?

I want to help somehow, but how can I? I told my human and she said it upsets her too, but what can we do? So, what we decided is that we must be the best we can be in our part of the world, as kind as we can be to everyone, and make that nice. And we hope that if everyone did that — that all those little parts of the world would add up into one big nice area, and it would continue to grow. One dog park at a time I think, we can help heal the world. Since I know for sure that I love the dog park with all different types of pups. I’m glad that everyone isn’t just like me. That would be too boring! Peace and love to you, from Benny H.