This post is dedicated to The Dictator. She knows why.
Some dogs, like our dear young bulldog, Wonderbutt, have a startling habit, which I shall title The Poop as You Walk Habit.
This habit is a somewhat comical sight, or at its worst an inconvenience, when the dog happens to be walking on his own property. You can almost bring yourself to admire the dog’s multi-tasking skills. But it tends to disturb other people when the dog goes off the reservation, so to speak. Especially if the dog happens to choose a neighboring reservation for the deposition of said poop.
Now, this is not really an uncommon problem. This is why many neighborhoods have rules about cleaning up after your dog. Rightly so. (Although I would like to make a side note that this rule is clearly not enforced for anyone else in our neighborhood since we regularly find foreign dog poop in our front yard.)
Anyway, the previous dogs that we have had in our family have not had The Poop as You Walk Habit. Mrs. P.I.B., our golden retriever, has been a model of pooping behavior for most of her 10 years. And, the rest of our family, including my 9 year old daughter, seems to be fairly good at waiting until we get home, too. So, we have gotten out of the Bring a Bag When You Walk Habit.
This is exacerbated by the fact that we have gotten out of the Walk Habit altogether since it is Winter. However, we decided a walk was just what the Firepants family needed on a recent particularly chilly 70 degree day. Cap’n Firepants determined that he should stay behind to guard the house from Indians, so it was up to Dimples and me to protect the dogs from varmints and other dangers during our walk around the block.
Picture this. It’s a beautiful day in Texas, and you and your daughter are accompanying your canines on a happy-go-lucky tour of the territory, giving Wonderbutt much-needed exercise and Mrs. P.I.B. much-needed attention from admirers who are also enjoying the fresh air. (Mrs. P.I.B. has always drawn the most compliments when we walk. Even when Dimples was a baby in the stroller, people would come up to us and tell me how beautiful my dog was, completely ignoring my stunningly attractive infant.)
You are about halfway through your jaunt, and Dimples says, “Uh oh.” You freeze, because you know there are only two things that “Uh oh” in that tone can mean. Either Dimples just passed gas – which really wouldn’t need an “Uh oh” out in the fresh air, or –
“Quick. You can run faster than me! Take his leash!” I yell frantically. We tangle up the leashes for Mrs. P.I.B. and Wonderbutt in our haste. Mrs. P.I.B. is more than willing to run, even with her old arthritic joints, and Wonderbutt is more than willing to continue jogging in the opposite direction so he can finish his business facing the same way he started.
Finally untangled, Dimples begins the dash.
But it is too late.
And, of course, there are plenty of people to witness our shame.
At least it’s not in someone’s yard; it’s on the street.
Where everyone walks and jogs because we have no sidewalks.
Where young mothers push their strollers.
I make a big show of gathering large leaves and collecting Wonderbutt’s piles while Mrs. P.I.B. and the rest of the neighborhood watch me. The Channel 5 News crew televises my crime to the rest of the city and outlying areas.
Dimples and Wonderbutt are long gone around the corner.
After pushing the mess into a nearby sewer grate, I make the shameful walk home with a puzzled Mrs. P.I.B.
Cap’n Firepants greets us at the door, shaking his head, having already surmised when Wonderbutt and Dimples burst into the house, what crime I have yet again committed.
I hate beautiful days.