As Monkey and I walked to school this morning, and then as Licorice and I continued on without him, I mused on what must go through the dog’s head on these walks. It took her about two days to figure out that once Otto and Chickadee leave, that means A WALK IS IMMINENT. The resultant excitement means that I get to experience the joy of getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and finding my sneakers all while the whining, wagging, spaztastically excited dog tries to trip me.
Sometimes my favorite part of the day is when we’re ready to go and I hold up the leash and tell her I’m not putting it on her until she sits. She wants to, she really does, but IT’SSOEXCITING and it’s sort of like her legs just dance out from under her even when she’s trying to comply. In fact, I usually just stand there, waiting, until she flops over on her back in surrender. (No one ever accused Licorice of being particularly dignified.)
Anyway, the point is, she does love our morning walks beyond all reason.
And once we set out, there are certain things I can count on her to do, such as:
1) Pull on the leash until she chokes herself. She’ll then stop, cough a couple of times, and then do it again.
2) Desperately want to be petted by the ONE child we pass every day who is deathly afraid of dogs.
3) Stop and growl at the telephone pole that once had a squirrel on it, just in case, you know, that squirrel comes back and needs to know she’s in charge.
4) Try to eat bugs. Tasty!
5) Sniff that one large clump of grass VERY INTENTLY, then bolt away from it like it bit her.
And—my personal favorite:
6) Mentally calculate the distance between available garbage cans in such a way so as to maximize the amount of time I have to spend walking along, carrying a bag of poop.
I’m telling you, IT’S UNCANNY.
And no, she does not poop in the same spot every day. But it’s like we pass a can and then she thinks to herself, “Keep walking… just a little bit further… okay, we’re sufficiently past it that she can’t go backwards, she can only go forwards, and… NOW is a perfect time to drop a steaming pile.” And yea, verily, I spend a huge chunk of my soothing morning walk TOTING CRAP.
I think she does it just to be difficult, I really do.
On the other hand, I was out today, and I needed to get home and get back to the million and one things I’m supposed to be doing today, but I am also making chili in my crock pot and needed a can of pinto beans, because of course I hadn’t realized we were out. No problem! I will just stop on the way home.
But… the supermarket is kind of out of the way, and I don’t want to waste any more time than absolutely necessary. So I started driving home and trying to figure out where I could buy a can of beans without going to the supermarket. Of course, I knew for sure that a Giant Big Box store was close to home, but I really REALLY REALLY hate shopping there, so I thought about other options.
Well, there’s a quick-mart kind of thing, but it’s on the other side of the road, and who knows if they’ll even have beans. Oh, wait, here’s a drugstore. They’ll probably have ’em. I’ll just swing right in here.
Well, there’s a Dollar Store in this same strip mall, I’ll just walk on down there and get one. I’m going to lose some time to walking, but it’s stupid to drive down the strip for this, so I’ll just do a little light jog. No problem.
Finally back to my car, I tried to figure out where else I could go. I thought there was one more option but as I drove up on it, it turned out to be out of business. Fiiiiiine. Giant Evil Big Box Store it is, for a stupid can of beans.
They had beans, of course. I only had to walk three miles to find them.
So I finally made it back home, and the chili is now complete in the crock, and I can’t help thinking about the fact that if I’d just gone straight to the damn grocery store, I probably would’ve been home a lot quicker. Somehow it all just got sort of needlessly drawn-out.
Not on purpose, you understand. That’s just sort of… how I am.
The dog says she totally understands, by the way.