The Good Sense to Play in the Rain

Riley and Clancy are half border collie and half lab. At ten years old, they have more energy than many younger dogs leisurely strolling behind their owners down the trail. Riley and Clancy, on the other hand…er, paw…wake every day with the desire to run and herd, and are happiest when they leap from the car and enter the wonderful and many-acred dogpark near our home. So much to smell! Life forms to chase!

Today has been a grand autumnal rainy day, with dark skies and howling winds, shifting to stillness and gray light, and back into heavy rain. The absence of lightning seemed to indicate a trip to the dogpark would meet with the 4-leggeds’ approval, and so off we went. The drizzle occurring when we left home had turned to a downpour by the time we arrived, but they were eager to race into the park, so I followed, and opened my spirit to the adventure.

It was glorious. Their energy seemed to accelerate in the rain, and they jumped, bounded, and flew through the fields and forest, barking their utter joy. On some agreed-upon cue, first one, then the other, would sidle up beside me and shake with glee, then look up sweetly: their way of requesting a “pep-and-energy treat,” before dashing off to explore new territory.

We were quite surprised to meet two other happy dogs and their human, a man who looked at me sheepishly and said, “I thought I was the only goof who’d be out in the rain!” My grin and appearance—Irish oilskin hat and drenched sweatsuit—seemed to assure him he had met a kindred goof…

Somewhere in the vicinity of the park a wood fire was burning, despite the storm, and the sweet perfume surrounded us and infused the moist air, as Clancy and Riley danced ahead and I settled into my rain-walk. The deep metal blue-gray of the sky brought the brilliant rusts, greens, and golds of mid-October into rich relief, and the scent of wood smoke and touch of the tingling rain heightened the sensory pleasure. I felt both relaxed and alert, and deeply at peace, as I watched my 4-legged darlings playing, utterly selfless and in-the-moment. We were drenched and happy as we headed back to the car.

The old saying, “He didn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain,” crossed my mind, and I laughed out loud.

I discovered again there’s something much better for the senses than staying indoors and watching life happen outside. Clancy and Riley reminded me that the world is always beautiful, and joy is always ours for the taking. How grand for the spirit to follow the lead of my 4-legged companions and play merrily in the rain.


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