Little Brook Park, where I walk Sonny Bone’O, is across the street from our Lake City Seattle apartment. The one-acre park is named for a shady brook running through it and includes a kiddie playground plus a track and grassy field.

Bruce walks Sonny in the park before work at 5 a.m. and again at bedtime when it’s dark; I take him out during daylight hours at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Most often I walk an additional hour in the morning, exploring the neighborhood and enjoying spring flowers.

I meet lots of people when I walk Sonny, but I only ask the names of their dogs: Zero the Hero, who is a fluffy black ball of silliness, Cleopatra the commanding German Shepherd, Wally, an always smiling English bulldog, Bozo the congenial bull terrier, and Buttercup, a yellow lab who rolls over on her back whenever Sonny comes near her.

Little Brook is an on-leash park and most people stick to the rules, including the scoop law, but some owners are selfish and leave piles of poop or allow their pets to run free. People smoke cigarettes on the street in front of the park and litter butts on the ground; marijuana smoking is legal and cleaner. Seattle Parks and Recreation pick up animal debris, plus fallen branches and trash.

There is a homeless man who often sleeps in Little Brook Park. When the weather was cold, he created a cardboard shelter around  him, but when it rained his room collapsed. I imagined him soaked to the skin. Now that it’s warm he looks more comfortable, sleeping without a shirt. Someone called the police who ordered him to move along then stood waiting as he gathered his tarp and belongings into his shopping cart. He is not arrested and always returns. He talks to himself but does not appear dangerous.

I did have a mishap on a walk. Sonny needed to go to the vet to be treated for a bad cough, so Bruce left work early to drive us (I had not yet gotten behind the wheel in the big city). Before the visit I needed to take Sonny on a quick walk. Powering down a crowded street, I pulled Sonny too closely to me and toppled over him. My head bounced on the pavement as I fell, and I got the mother of all goose eggs which morphed into a colossal black eye. The young man passing next to me offered his hand to help me up and asked if he should call someone.  Although my bell had been rung, I was okay. After all, I am a hard-headed woman.

Note to self: “Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last…” Thanks, Simon and Garfunkel.

Janis Monaco Clark

Janis and Sonny now living life in Seattle