There were puddles of rain everywhere, forming small lakes, an interconnected system of fluids that occupied a large area in the center of the park. The storm that had hit the city the night before had been very strong and it was a miracle that all that remained from it were a couple of puddles and some tree branches that workers from the city had already cleaned up, right before the largest amount of people came into the park in the morning.
Some children had already begun to enjoy the mud in the puddles and the parents let them be, seeing it was good they could at least go out to the park and have some fun.
Pet owner Loretta had decided too that her small dog needed to breath after being kept inside for the duration of the storm, which had lasted about three straight days. The poor dog didn’t really like to live in an enclosed environment and would get really annoying very fast. Loretta walked the poor Roger all around the park, enjoying the mud and the wet trees and the large amount of other dogs that had also come out to play and were visibly as excited as Roger to be in the park.
Loretta decided to let him off his leash, as she knew he wouldn’t go very far. She had trained him to follow only her voice and it seemed to work some weeks ago when they visited a relative of hers in the countryside and Roger would come back after having scared every single sheep possible.
So the dog went away with other dogs as his owner chatted with the other humans. The first thing the dogs did was going to the large area where everything was mud. They enjoyed it a lot as they could play with one another while feeling the refreshing scent and texture of wet dirt. For a dog, that combination was a winning one and it was really difficult to explain why. Maybe it was because it reminded them of their most basic instincts; of the jungles and forests their ancestors had gone through, hunting, before their domestication.
After almost covering their entire bodies with mud and under the close surveillance of at least one of the humans, they ran to the place where all the fallen branches had been put into a big pile. It was a very big mound made of sticks and leaves. Each one of the dogs tried to grab a stick to play with but most of them were just able to pull some leaves out of them. The branches were very thick and it was after several minutes struggling that they realized the mound was full of bugs.
There were some beetles and worms and a myriad of other little creatures that had come down to the ground when the storm had pulled every single one of those branches down. The whole ecosystem of the trees had been messes with by the storm but that’s something neither dogs nor humans care about. The dogs barked at the branches for some time at which point one of the owners had to come with a special whistle and distract them away from the pile and closer to the rest of the people.
The dogs obeyed for a while but then they left for the other side of the park, where the real lake was located. The geese and ducks that lived in it were nowhere to be seen; possibly resting in some of the homes humans had built for them. The dogs normally loved to chase them; barking at them and making them run like crazies. But the surface of the lake was now like a mirror and the water was as cold as it was normally in the winter.
However, the dogs encountered a group of elderly humans entering the water. They were doing so through an area that looked like a tropical beach but without the palm trees or the warm climate. Yet, there were about nine men and women there, dressed up in their swimming outfits, about to enter the chilly water.
Somehow, the dogs felt it was something that had to be seen and, besides, they knew elderly humans were mostly kind to them and loved to pet them and feed them. So there was probably no problem if they got near.
The humans slowly entered the water, laughing and complaining. But after some time they were all inside, asking others how cold it was and saying the water felt really good all around their bodies. The lake also had many branches and leaves and felt dirtier than usual but that didn’t bother them
The dogs got bored fast and decided to move on into a square were many events took place. There were fountains, from where they drank some water, and many children that would come and pet them, some softer, some harder. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs like children. Some of them loved the firm hand of an adult human instead of the hesitating one of a child. They were too insecure for some of them and dogs needed reassuring instead of hesitation.
When one of them started barking to a girl, who instantly began to cry, one of the owners came and took him away. With humans, if you overreacted in any time, you could lose all the privileges you enjoyed, so the smartest dogs tried to be as calm as possible, only sounding the alarm if something really didn’t made sense to them.
The pack went on to the only area of the park they had not explored that day: the forest. It wasn’t really a proper forest, instead a small area covered in the former woodland that had been present in the area before the city started to grow without control. It had been preserved because some birds would rest there in the spring and in the summer and even in the months leading to winter when every single flying creature escaped to warmer climates.
The best thing to do in those woods was to smell the ground and everything around it. Some branches had been picked up here and the dogs were eager to try and pick them up, as a present for their owners. At least half of them, eager to show some proof of how much love they had to give, had already grabbed a branch and left the woods to go their masters and show what they had found. That would probably begin a whole game that could last for hours.
Only some of them remained, of them was Roger. He was not the type of dog that liked branches. He loved the toys he had back home, the kind that made a wheezy noise when he grabbed them in his snout. Branches were not that big for him so he kept on smelling the floor of the forest and noticed something almost right away: the smell of piss.
He instantly went crazy, eager to find out the source. But as he sniffed more of it and other dogs followed him, he realized that odor had not come from a dog. Actually, it hadn’t come from any other animal. He recognized it as the smell of human piss. Roger knew it well from his adventures in Loretta’s bathroom. He noticed, though, that the smell was a bit stronger this time and decided to follow the trail, because there was one.
The dogs then arrived at the thickest part of the forest that was located by the perimeter fence that enclosed the whole park. The odors here were strangely stronger and it was very particular because the storm was strong enough to clean up all of that. Any human who had pissed around those trees, had to have done it after the storm was over, very early in the day, even in the dark.
Then Roger began to bark. Others dog did the same. What he sniffed next was not pissed and it was something he knew was bad. So he barked loud and clear. The human that followed them came first and remained speechless for a minute, then left yelling, probably asking for help. The rest of the owners and many others came in, including two humans in uniform. They got closer to Roger and other dogs and checked what they had found.
It was the body of a male human, all covered in leaves. His pants were still wet and his mouth was covered by some kind of plastic. Roger kept barking until Loretta came and took him away. Apparently some humans did not like to stay indoors, just like him.