I know I joke about my little town a lot. Kearney Nebraska. But really, I love this town. It has a lot going for it. It continues to thrive and grow despite all, and is a clean, safe, nice small city. The city has an attractive and busy downtown area, a major hospital, one of the three University Of Nebraska Campuses, is home to the Museum of Nebraska Art, and is proud of its pioneer heritage.
We have many schools, one that houses the Merryman Performing Arts Center, where I saw Hal Holbrook perform his delightful Mark Twain a few years ago, and screenwriter Jon Bogencamp now calls Kearney his home.
You have heard me talk about Cruise Night, one of my favorite events, but that’s just one of the many fun things this town has to offer. This weekend, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the movie The Sandlot, the movie was shown in the amphitheater of our newest park, and the director, David Mickey Evans, was on hand to speak and sign autographs. Click here to read about it in our local paper.
Kearney is very family friendly, with many beautiful parks. The parks are meticulously maintained. Litter is not tolerated, and each one has a post with a dispenser of doggie-doo-doo bags to keep the parks clean. Kearney in fact has a park just for dogs. This weekend, the public pool for the little kids closed. Before they did, they had the annual Puppy Plunge. For the low low price of $8, you could take your dog to swim in a nice clean refreshing pool. The $8 fee went to fund the Kearney Dog Park.
Well, of course we HAD to take our little fuzzball fairy princess to swim! All the cool kids were there. How could Daisy ever show her face at the dog park again if we didn’t take her? This is the event on the canine social calendar.
So, I squished Daisy in her little traveling kennel, and we went to Centennial Park. Home of the Puppy Plunge. She is a very social dog, and had a great time meeting the other dogs and charming their owners while we waited to be admitted. Of course, not just any mangy flea-bitten mutt can get into this posh event. Shot records must be up to date and checked prior to admittance.
When we got inside the gate, Daisy was all excited. There were a lot of people, dogs, kids, music, splashing and laughing. I know I was having a good time. We left her on her leash and gently tried to lead her into the water, which starts an inch deep and gradually gets deeper on the shallow end, like a beach-at a lake-which she HAS swum in before-sort of. I guess the lack of juicy seaweed to eat and puke on the way home was her first inkling that this wasn’t going to be her thing.
We could tell after much dragging and whining that our little baby was taking to water like a fish to hot asphalt. There was a little kidney-shaped island jutting out of the water where it’s almost knee-deep for adults. We took off her leash and set her there. Dogs and kids were splashing and jumping in and out of the water having all kinds of good clean fun while Daisy screamed and cried like her stubby little legs were being amputated. People were feeling sorry for this poor whimpering puppy. You could see yet another complex creeping into her psyche. She eventually jumped off and ran out of the pool as fast as she could.
I wasn’t convinced yet that she hated it as much as she appeared to. I just knew she would have fun if she could conquer her fear. Dear husband gently picked up the baby and put her in the water.
Right to the edge of the pool…
And stomped off in a huff. …..
Maybe next year.