I sometimes forget that our Dog Park is not really an official dog-walking area and that others use the land without even a thought about us and the dogs. For example, the boys who tried to build a tree fort in one of the live oaks along the creek. During the Christmas break, they hauled in sheets of plywood from God knows where (and how?) and hammered away while dogs and their owners streamed by on the path only a few feet away. It pained some of us to see idiot children nailing hunks of wood into the trunk of a venerable old tree, but who are we to complain, fellow trespassers on state land? I did want to shake my fist at them Grandpa Simpson style and shout "You darned kids!," but I figured they would only laugh at me. And yet, predictably, the project was abandoned as soon as school started again. The kids' gift to us is a mess in our midst—a tree filled with scraps of wood, not to mention paraphernalia of ill-spent youth, bongs and food wrappers and beer and soda cans. I hope somebody had fun.
And yet, in the field just across from the aborted tree house is evidence that someone with a sense of humor and plenty of time to kill once passed through our Park. It is the rock sculpture. A year or so ago, maybe a dozen of these little monuments popped up all over the Park. Most were only a foot or so tall, but a couple were quite impressive, tall and precarious structures that inevitably got knocked down by rambunctious dogs. No one knew who built them. No one ever saw them being built. Like ant hills, they would appear overnight. This one is the last of the lot. It's like a remnant of another era. You can see how the grass has grown around it. My friend Sarah threatened to kick it over after I took my photo. It annoyed her for some reason, but then she relented. It's good to have these little mysteries around us, if only to remind us that we and our dogs are not the center of the universe. Although the dogs would disagree, I think.