Thursday, May 1, 2014
I stopped by Debbie's place this morning. To walk her dog (this is not her dog, it's Albert). Debbie sports a neck brace these days (temporarily), and cares for three dogs (permanently), assorted cats, and who knows what else -- Debbie has a big heart.
I got there at 9 am; it was 80 degrees and climbing.
Her Kirby, a yellow Lab-ish, is a favorite of mine. The guy's got charm -- which is a good thing, as he's not a perfect gentleman on the leash. He pulls -- something I would normally correct, but he has a gammy leg, which means I can't in good conscience do the Albert-jerk. I can't do much but try to reason with him. "Kirb, please," and "Kirb, give me a break," and "Kirby, mind the shoulder."
The first three blocks, he shows no mercy. Kirby's in command, and we move onward, upward, forward, side-to-side; explore every fresh scent, piece of paper, blade of grass, mailbox, tree stump, and whatever teacup pup lurks behind a fence. Until about block five.
By block six, it's 10 o'clock and 90 degrees. That's when Kirby decides the death march is over. He starts to limp. Suddenly, I'm the bad guy, it's all my fault. He turns to me with moist, accusing eyes that say, "What sort of monster are you, anyway? We're frying out here, and I'm a veteran."
So we stop to rest on someone's wet lawn, get his heart rate down. We pass the time, chatting about this and that.
"What do you think about this NBA Clipper thing, Kirbs?"
"Throwing your hat in the owner-ring?"
"Ready to go now?"
"We're just a block away, soldier. Whaddya say we march on -- there's a water dish with your name on it."
"Allrighty then. We'll wait here until you give me the word."
Mark Twain, or maybe Teddy Roosevelt, had the best dog quote ever, and I can't find it, or even recreate it. But it's something to the effect of -- if you want to know how little power you have in this life, try getting some other man's dog to sit.