It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter (in all senses both literal and metaphorical). The arrival of spring has us all but dancing around with cartoon wildlife. Never has a return to normal life and pleasant temperatures been more highly anticipated than this year, I’m thinking.
And never has there been a happier canine than one Spoiled Rotten Licorice, who is reaping the benefits of our spring-drunkeness in spades. The nice thing about a tiny little mutt like her—12 pounds of terror, man—is that she doesn’t HAVE to have a daily walk. She’s not an insane breed whose brain goes berserk without proper exercise, plus (let’s face it), at her size, we can toss a ball in the house or let her out into her run and she can get all the exercise she really needs. Still, walks are ZOMGEXCITING and lately she’s getting a walk every day.
Is there anything more soothing, more American, more simultaneously meditative and invigorating than clipping a small animal to a rope and then alternately dragging her/being dragged around outside on a beautiful afternoon? THERE IS NOT.
It has gotten to where as soon as anyone starts putting on shoes, the dog starts dancing around in little circles.
At first, Chickadee and I would take the dog out, together. Then one afternoon I was still busy working, so Chickie took her on her own. And something interesting happened: Chickie discovered that she could listen to her music and text and walk the dog all at once. (She’s a talented multitasker, my kid.) This led to endless admonitions about wandering into traffic while texting, but either she really is good at multitasking or cars are swerving to avoid her. Who knows. Anyway, this further led to my darling child deciding that she likes walking by herself, just her and the dog. And her dozen closest friends with whom she’s texting. Whatever.
So I’ve been missing these walks, some, but I like that the dog is getting out and Chickie seems to be enjoying things, so for the most part I’ve just waved at them on their way out. (Recently I’ve also added, “Try not to get lost!” owing to an incident from last week where someone missed a turn and ended up quite a bit further away than planned.)
But yesterday it was BEAUTIFUL out and I needed a break, and so I announced that I was going with them. Chickie was all, “No, that’s okay, I don’t mind going alone, in fact I kind of like it,” and I was all, “That’s nice! Let’s go!”
I’ve noticed that on a good day, I’m all Sunshine! Birds! Trees! Lovely! But on a day when I’m a little less… shall we say… delighted… a walk has the potential to mellow me out and cheer me up, but my point of view is definitely shifted.
Like… I notice the cars that drive way over the speed limit on residential streets, and also the cars that have no business being on the road in general. (Why no, we do not have compulsory vehicle inspection here, that would be big government keeping muffler-free rustbuckets on giant wheels off the road and that is UNAMERICAN, you commie.)
I notice that our dim little doggie wants to walk wherever you’re walking, like right in front of where you’re walking, like HEY WHY DID YOU KICK ME I AM SAD PUPPY NOW infuriating repetitive creating-her-own-trauma walking. Hey, Licorice! Might be time to rethink your life choices, girl. You may in fact be contributing to your own unhappiness, and there’s PLENTY OF ROOM TO WALK SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN UNDER OUR FEET. Stop being such a victim, Licorice. Take control of your life. Geez.
I notice that we are apparently the only dog-owners who pick up after our dog. And I don’t know, I can almost give it a pass when we’re talking about edge-of-the-forest, sort-of-wilderness areas, but when we get into giant piles of poo on the edges of people’s lawns, I find I have rage. RAAAAAAAGE. It’s like the ultimate “I am the most important person in the world” dick move, letting your pet shit on someone else’s lawn and then just leaving it there. I don’t understand. Further, there is exactly ONE giant dog in our neighborhood, and it’s not like there’s any question at all about whose dog is leaving the 5-pound poop mounds around the block. I get it, no one wants to have to wear a backpack and a gas mask to manage their pet’s excrement, but maybe you should’ve thought of that before buying a great dane, buddy.
I cannot IMAGINE why my daughter doesn’t want me walking along with her all the time. I am a soothing influence, tripping over the dog and pointing out piles of poop and speculating on the parentage of the people who left them behind. YAY SPRING!