Once every hundred mornings or so, Pam will sleep in a bit, and will thereafter sit down to her blog a little later than usual.
The dog(s), however, who get up each day at the same time, eat each day at the same time, and get walked each day at the same time, will, on this kind of morning, loudly voice a principled opposition to my wife’s unilaterally imposed scheduling improvisations.
This, you might well imagine, makes it very hard for her to concentrate on her writing.
If I am paying attention then, and if I want to raise the chances of my getting lucky later, I will at that moment volunteer to take the dog(s) for a walk myself.
Somehow, these trips never seem to go off without some small hitch.
Having recently woken up to such a morning, I decided to walk Honey and our foster dog Ginny down to the drugstore, seven blocks away, to get the Saturday newspaper.
Inasmuch as the dog walking ethos in our household involves, in part, providing the dog with ample opportunity to find and circle a convenient spot for about eight minutes prior to relieving herself, I immediately assumed a particularly peculiar predictive practice Pam personally pioneered some years ago.
Yes. In our household, we keep our eyes affixed to our dogs’ buttholes as we walk, looking for that certain telltale convexity (i.e., bulging) that says, “Slow down. She’s gonna blow.” This is what we do.
And this morning, it appeared Ginny was gonna blow early.
So, per the standard operating procedure, I slowed us down to a pace of rigorously enforced leisure. And we continued that nice, deliberate pace almost all the way to the drugstore, Ginny all the while refusing to take any notice of her posterior condition.
That pace was probably why we were a good two blocks away from the cover of the drugstore awning when the cloudburst hit, soaking us all through the fur.
But that’s not the hitch I’m writing about.
Because, you see, our foster did not display any less convexity on the way home than she did when we were outward bound. Nor was she any more inclined to do something about it.
So, concluding that I had been monitoring an unusually long false alarm, I finally decided to get on with my life. Which meant, in this case, giving equal attention to our forever dog. Who, two blocks from home, decided she wasn’t going a step further until she had gotten a good, long sniff out of something hidden somewhere in the snow.
OK, I said to myself, the other part of our dog walking ethos is that we’re out here for them. I will relent.
By this time, Ginny was well ahead of me and Honey was well behind. (Experienced two-dog walkers are familiar with this tableau which repeats itself constantly: Your straining dog; your taut leash; your outstretched arm; your body; your other outstretched arm; your other taut leash; your other straining dog.) Deciding in favor of the dog abaft, I reined in the dog ahead and we all moved backward a step.
As I watched Honey, she put her head down in her chosen spot and plowed forward in that endearing, puppy-loves-the-snow way that make you go “Awww.” So, suppressing my concern over how she would smell when she was done, I went, “Awww.”
A few seconds later, Honey again put her head down again and plowed forward. And, again, I went, “Awww.”
Then I returned my attention to Ginny, who, in the few seconds I had my back turned, had cognitively captured and completely considered the conundrum of her bulging backside.
Lost as she was in deep thought, she had also managed to straddle her one-inch-wide red cloth leash.
And, of course, was now pooping on it.
And I went, “Ewww.”
And as I stand here at the utility sink, washing the leash and treating it with one of those expensive “your-dog-will-never-tell-he-once-peed-here” products, two thoughts keep chasing each others’ tails in my head, getting their leashes tangled and tripping me up.
“Yeah, this is the way my dog walks go when Pam sleeps in.”
“To heck with getting lucky. From now on, I also want chocolate cake.”
Thanks, Mike, for giving us a funny look inside your twisted mind. If you like this, check out
Your Turn: What’s the funniest thing that happens to you on a walk?