Written by Shelley Plett Tuesday, 24 June 2008 15:02
“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.” —Sue Murphy
To the people who live on that one street a few blocks north of me: Sorry!
I took my dog on a walk the other morning. Libby’s not as young as she used to be and as we all do in some way, has lost some of her self-control. Walking gets her bladder going. And jogging? Well, it gets everything else going.
It had been awhile since we’ve done this. The air conditioner makes it hard to get out of bed early enough. The kids haven’t been sleeping well or I haven’t and we lost the leash or it broke maybe and… (insert some other excuse for sleeping in.)
Or to borrow the mother of all excuses once used by a former co-worker of mine: a drinking glass fell off of my nightstand and one of the pieces of glass sliced through my alarm clock cord. Obviously she was the creative one in our group. A liar but still, really creative, don’t you think?
Libby is an unpredictable walking partner. It’s always a full body workout. She pulls and jerks, starts and stops. Sometimes she leads, sometimes she lets me. Some days she can trot a straight line. Other times, she tries to do figure eights between my legs. Since she stands up to my waist, those are the “bad walks.”
Anyway, back to my apology.
On the aforementioned street she skidded to a halt in the middle of the street and did her thing. It happened too fast for me to stop her, not that I could have anyway. And I wasn’t packing a plastic baggy. So I watched helplessly then kept going with every intention of driving back with a baggy and taking care of it.
On the way home we passed a couple of anxious dogs on chains, slowed down to stare down a few cats and made two more potty breaks in the grass (for her, I mean). All of this took my mind off of her deposit a few blocks back.
By the time I remembered, it was two hours later and I was half way to work. So, I’m sorry—my dog did it. She’s sorry, too. You should see her, lying here in her guilt. It’s eating away at her, I can sense it.
I’ll carry a baggy next time, promise.
Libby turns 8 on the Fourth of July so we are used to her little quirks. Even though dog years has her pushing 60, I think of her as more of a pre-midlife girl. She’s still springy with lots of energy. She may be rounding out a little in the middle, takes longer naps and doesn’t care to bark at every single thing that moves every time it moves.
Lately she reserves that for the things that move really fast like kittens and tall weeds.
She’s mellowed in the last couple of years, even taken up bird watching. As a Labrador, she’s technically a bird dog but we haven’t told her yet. She’s a lover, not a fighter anyway. She would rather kick back and watch a couple dozen grackles descend on her pen and pilfer her food kibble by bit. She shows no shame in sharing with her natural born enemies. She’s all about the love.
She barks too loud, sheds a small dog’s worth of fur every season, eats for sport, wrestles too rough, spreads her, umm…love…on any given street and smells like a dog.
But she also loves like a dog and that’s worth all the money we spend on lint rollers.