Our normally quick around-the-block morning business trip took a bit more time today.
We were out for an hour because this wee little otherwise adorable dog decided, two doors away from home on our first go around, that he needed to desperately poop. He even tried to find a spot on our own front lawn and that is practically unheard of for him, so it must have been urgent. With a sigh from me, we turn around and go back to the field and he spins and runs from place to place to spin some more, but no joy. Before I become too addled with morning brain, back home we go for a 2 minute stop so I can pour myself a traveller of coffee for the torturous task ahead.
Back to the field and he’s spinny/running looking for just the right under-paw temperature and depth and subtle shrubbery for perfect privacy. The
tweaker fine gentleman who goes down to the grocery store when it opens in the morning to hoard all the half-off meat they put out first thing so nobody else on a limited income can get some is on his way and starts yelling at us across the field.
“Hey Patrick! Hey Rix!” he cries and something else I don’t get because I refuse to look at him. Rix does though, with great interest. Distractions like that are his kryptonite. Or maybe they’re mine, because he seems to really dig them.
At that point there’s no sense in turning around and going back over the most likely spots in the field for him to do his thing, both because of the distraction and because I would have to turn around and acknowledge half-off meat hoarder guy, so we move on to the church parking lot and one more time around the block.
Thank God for the traveler mug, and the warm coffee in it that had already finished brewing before we’d even walked out the door. At one time I had tried to take my coffee with me every morning but for whatever reason that didn’t work out, so now that mug serves only for desperate times like this one. I should put it behind glass with a little hammer and a sign that reads: Break In Case of Emergency.
Halfway back around the block now. He’s peed a couple more times, stared at the front doors of homes he has friends, hoping for a second time that they’ll appear, but they don’t, and I’ve decided if there’s nothing emerging on this stretch we’re not going to continue. There will be no frustration, no arguing, no negotiations (and dog people know exactly what I mean by negotiations). We will simply go inside where I will calmly remove all the gear and the one boot that is giving me blisters so I limp now but they’re the pair that my ice cleats fit so I wear them. I’ll pour the coffee from the traveler into my Wicked mug. I will change his water, then I will sit at my desk and see what deeper hell the world has become while we slept by perusing my Facebook feed.
But then he hops over the berm left by the snowplow yesterday into a fresh, untouched bit of snow. I don’t expect much, even though he begins the Dance of The Many Spins. When he actually starts to squat while spinning, I furl my brows just a titch but don’t give into hope just yet. I do not under any circumstance look directly at him, because even the slightest, seemingly insignificant moment of eye contact will throw a spanner into the works, so I stare down the street with his black fur against the white snow just barely in my peripheral vision.
Then, holy of holies, he stops spinning.
I risk a sideways glance. He’s still squatting.
Anyone watching this spectacle from the comfort of their warm homes, maybe with a ceramic mug of coffee nestled between their palms rather than an aluminum take-away sippy cup in a mitten, would have seen this man in his bright orange winter coat and that funny looking toque with a pom-pom on the top start, very energetically, jumping for joy before doing a little happy dance, all while pulling a dog poo bag from the roll he always kept in his pocket.
So Rix Rocket The Rescue Dog and his trusty sidekick The Poo-Bag Kid head home, the Kid carrying that bag like a well-earned reward, being sure to make it plainly visible to any of those nosy ninnies watching him strut from the relative security of their front rooms.
Once divested of that blister-making boot and the funny toque, I pour my coffee into the Wicked mug and settle into my chair. I begin a Facebook post of our adventures this morning, but when it reaches 250 words inspiration smacks me in the face and here we are as a blog post instead. There is no moral to this story. There is no deeper philosophical meaning attached to it, though if you find one, you are welcome to it. A slice-of-life was my only intention, a Keillor-esque visit to my own little Lake Wobegon and an exorcism of both my lingering frustration and my chagrin at letting it get to me so much.
Thanks for visiting. Don’t mind the dog hair.