Last summer, the neighbor people asked me to walk their dog while they were away for a long, three-day weekend. The only time that I had ever seen the little furbag yappy dog was when I was going to fetch my morning’s newspaper and she’d try to disprove Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, where-in the larger, smarter species would squash the crap out of the one-pound, little furry annoying rodent-like animal.
But I’m a lot like Mr. Rogers, but in flip-flops and Jimmy Buffett t-shirts, so I agreed. It would be the neighborly thing to do. Even if they had never before acknowledged my existence until the day that she rang my doorbell to grovel nonchalantly for a dog walker, I agreed to the challenge.
Won’t you be me neighbor?
Jumping back to that first year, I was walking the dog on Saturday afternoon. As I was walking past a house surrounded by cars, I kept hearing my name being called. At first, I thought that I was hearing things, but it was, in fact, a young woman who I knew from back in highschool. She was thinking how nice it was to see me again. I was thinking that this dog-walking thing was a great way to meet-up with girls.
The next afternoon, I went to the gym for my old man workout. As I was signing-in, Katie, a staff member says…
“Hey, Courtney and I were driving past the park yesterday and we saw you walking your dog.”
(hah,hah) NOOOO, Katie, that wasn’t my dog, that furry little annoying creature. If I did in fact have a dog, it would be a dire-wolf–jackal crossbreed…able to police the entire neighborhood by itself and eat this furry-little girly dog at the end of my leash in a single swallow.
“Hey, where is Courtney?”
“Dammit, Courtney, that’s not my dog!!!!”
So, we jump ahead one year.
I am like an O.C.D./Slob hybrid. I haven’t set an alarm clock in over three years, I DO know exactly where I left my flip-flops last night, I can be ready for public review in 21 minutes, and somewhere in the middle, I want everything to be perfect.
And, I’m overly competitive.
I’d never seen the fluffy, obnoxious, yappy dog walk fifteen feet past its owner’s mailbox. Finally left alone with the dog, my very first thought was Olympic Biathlon Training. We managed several successful walks around the corner of the block on Friday night and then again on Saturday morning. All, without firing a shot.
And then the rains began.
I waited for a while, but then spurred by the urge to keep on the perfect schedule, I walked over in a misty rain to take fuzzball out on a short bathroom break.
Successfully succored her by leash, we went outside for a MANDATORY BATHROOM BREAK, determined and scheduled by me. As soon as her fuzzy belly touched the wet blades of grass, she made a U-Turn, and headed back towards the house. It now seemed QUITE apparent that Princess didn’t tinkle whilst it was raining.
So, I went back to a ‘Shameless’ marathon on Showtime, but could never concentrate knowing that the rains were continuing and that dog was screwing-up my chances of becoming “DOG WATCHER OF THE YEAR”.
So, I went back over and failed two more times.
You know how when you have 12 or 14 cinder blocks, but what you really wanted was gravel, so you bash the blocks into gravel with your head because you’re so hardheaded. That’s me.
So, I went back over for a third time that evening, the rain now pouring down in a relentless shower.
But this time I wised-up, as far as men go. I took an umbrella.
After finding a collar amongst the neck fur of the little ankle-biter, I secured the leash and we headed out of the door into the pouring rain.
With the leash in my left hand, an umbrella in my right hand, I sheltered the inbred cabarya from the rain as we walked down the driveway to do OUR business.
And then it dawned on me….God, I hope that Katie and Courtney don’t drive by right now.