I love the dog park. Sure, it smells a little funny, and you have to be wary of you step. But the happiness radiating from the dogs is contagious. The dog park brings together an interesting hodge podge of humans too.

When I interned at Google, one of my co-workers told me that the most interesting group of friends she had was her Smoker friends—people with whom she’d hang out on the patio to smoke a cigarette between meetings. I’m not advocating for smoking or anything, but it did get me to think. She said that smoking crosses departmental boundaries. It brings together people with different interests and spans across cubicle locations. She smoked with developers, marketers, managers, interns.

I don’t smoke. But I think the dog park provide some of the same diversity in characters–more so probably. You get to meet all sorts of interesting people–set builders, music editors, art historians, cinematographers, writers.

It’s a good way to start the day, and a good reminder of the world beyond our own.