Whenever I don't write for a while, I get called on it. Then I must remember that not only to people that know me read this blog, but that people who read this and know me in this way read this blog.
Most often the reason for not posting is due to being busy, either specifically or in general. Sometimes it's a type of inertia. It's hard to get the fingers going again when they're feeling a bit rusty and thick.
It's tempting to paste a bit of a response that I wrote to one person (and sometimes I caution/threaten to do so, because cannibalizing a fine bit of writing saves time and energy and I hate to waste thoughts that still have legs), wherein I explained all that was going on lately. I did mention a certain quote as part of the reason I wasn't writing too. It's not entirely accurate, it's not exactly like I've been on some expedition - but some of the things I've been doing deserve posts of their own with links and backstory and future updates, and this one has been months, and well...it feels like it's been a far-out trip.
This Hemingway quote (from the Esquire magazine in our bathroom - I certainly don't have time to read Hemingway lately) "Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. Well, he would not have to fail at trying to write them either. Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting." was the one I was thinking of.
Now, I don't even have time to write this well this morning. I have things to do. But here it is, written well, or not.
When we moved into this house, it wasn't long before I found a nearby park to use with our old dog, Beauty. We were big fans of the off-leash area at Withrow Park, and it's still close enough that we could use it. Fun fact: Beauty and I, among others, used to use the park at the same time Bruce Mc Culloch was with his dog Chelsea, and the goings-on there became the basis for the movie Dog Park (though the movie was filmed at Trinity-Bellwoods Park). After Beauty passed away, and Molly came into our lives, we realized that with a hound who wasn't a hundred percent perfect when it came to recalling her, that we needed a fenced in area until her training improved. And so, it was back to Hideaway Park.
The status of that park has been decided, for now, though there has been much protest from one segment. I'm finished talking about that for the sake of here. I think we did well. But there have been meetings and meetings and meetings and meetings and emails galore. Can I also say that the fact that some of the parents on the committee - the ones that oppose the dogs, you know - are parents of children that Josie goes to school and daycare with? Nice, huh? I'm anti-social enough without having to engage in faux-polite conversation with officious ninnies; and it sure was hard to keep my dealings away from Josie's feelings of friendship for their (as one person who shall remain anonymous brilliantly referred to them) "dullard spawn" (I still chortle whenever that pops into my mind).
What happened as well, was that the city offered a new space, and some of the other dog owners did the official bits, and now we have a new off-leash area for dogs. And that is one particular reason why I've been busy.
The Carlaw-Gerrard Off-Leash Area has been dubbed, by "us" C and G Leash-Free. It has a website, even. And, today, we're having a fundraiser (if the rain holds off - it's decided by 10:30 today). So, when we talk about "the things we do for love", we can also talk about how Steve helped us with the logo design, and helping us to make cute buttons to sell, and how a bunch of other people (listed on the Thank Yous page) and how Josie helps by understanding that by doing such things, we make life better not only for our dog, ourselves - but for some of the estimated 250,000 dogs in this city who only have about 32 off-leash areas to serve them.
Here is the flyer (click to embiggen):
When I look at it, and at our new "Ikea" dog park - that will someday, due to fundraising and the city's efforts, be a McMansion of dog parks - I'm so proud of what one small group of people could do. It's not just for the dogs, it's for our own well-being. One person dubbed it "dogtopia" and it's been great.
And that's why, though the teenager that still lives inside me cringes and blasts some Joy Division when it thinks of it -- the grown-up in me knows that Joe Strummer would be proud that when it came time to talk committees, our local Councillor mentioned me as a potential member, saying "Why don't you ask Marla Good to be on the committee? She's a civic-minded parent and dog-owner." - my friend was able to respond "She's already on it."
And now, after a coffee I'm off to the park -- then off (fingers crossed go away rain) to the fundraiser. If you see me there, I'll be wearing my Dogs of Leslieville buttons, and my invisible "Civic Minded Parent and Dog-Owner" hat. And then I'll be asking the Councillor to come over and look at the disgusting mess a nearby parking lot is in. I've got three complaints filed with MLS, and I'd rather be holding warm squishy poo at the new park than having to email the developer one more time, and she's going to hear about it...