Every Saturday and Sunday morning, they got in a cab on Tenth Street and rode all the way up Sixth Avenue past Bryant Park and Radio City Music Hall, right to the bottom of Central Park. Once in the park, they let Olive off leash and followed her north along the side of the skating rink and up to the carousel, then on to Bethesda Fountain. Sometimes Olive doubled back to hurry them along and got a pat on her warm brow for her trouble. They’d started this when she was barely more than a puppy and kept it up for a decade.
In the beginning, Kate was only eight and she came too. Colin or Kate would toss a tennis ball into the fountain, and Olive, and sometimes Kate also, would bound in after it. Dogs were everywhere, plunging into the lake, swimming, shaking off, chasing sticks, delighting in being dogs. It was hard not to love the world at these moments. Then they’d leave the fountain and cross the bridge over the lake into the Ramble. Its less groomed, wild, closer-to-the-oneness feel excited Olive. Emerging from the Ramble at the castle, they’d look over the great lawn before heading down to circle around it. After that, it was back to the Boathouse for coffee with real cream, hot apple turnovers for Colin and Kate, and a cinnamon scone for Georgina—each of them shared with Olive.
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