Ok, this is pretty obvious. If you’ve spent more than 20 minutes with me, you know this is a ‘Hot’. But can I just say?

This is not just for people of my dogthusiasm.

Dog parks at prime time are the best. Prime time is obviously at around 4-6pm, when all the dog owners in your neighbourhood have finished school or work or maybe a productive day of freelance playwriting/online-handbag-shopping. All the dog-walkers and dog-stalkers spill out of their respective homes, grabbing their pooch and leash, or their anti-hyperventilation enthusiasm bags. We amble towards the nearest park. The sun is setting between the trees. When you huff up a hill past the homeless guy laughing at you and look at the view of the afternoon sun over the city, it’s pretty magnificent.

But there’s something more magnificent behind you.

Schnauzer al fresco.

Dogs, dogs, everywhere, and you are a FREE MOTHERFLIPPING AGENT TO DRINK THEM. You have no dog of your own ever since the traumatic episode of November 2010 that we don’t talk about on this blog. While this realisation fills you with jagged holes of Schnauzer-shaped despair, there’s one silver lining to being dogless in a dog park:

You are free to go “dog-surfing”, without having to keep an eye on that beloved “surfboard” you keep tied to your wrist (the one that keeps trying to dart away into the horizon and hump a vulnerable boogie board).

And can I tell you? The surf is great.

Today in Sydney Park I saw a beagle, a poodle, a labradoodle, a cavoodle, a spaniel, a German Shepherd, a staffy, a bichon frise, and those are just the ones I remember WITHOUT A NOTEPAD. There were so many dogs, and because I was footloose and fancy-free without a beloved “surfboard” of my own, I could talk to ALL of them, while artfully ignoring their owners, and make conversation with them along the lines of “YOU’RE A SCHNAUZER!” and “YES YOU ARE!” without any need to keep an “eye on the tide”.

That said, dog parks are definitely more fun with a dog in tow. Like life generally.