I walk two of ours dogs on a semi-regular basis. As mentioned they are designer dogs - labradoodles - part poodle which means they are not dogs - they look like dogs but they have a mind of their own. They are only devoted when they want something. On the days i walk them, their devotion starts around 7 am. They follow me around the house, staring at me.
As I drink coffee, they stand motionless, waiting and staring. They follow me into the bedroom to stare at me while I dress. It is an baleful, impatient unrelenting stare. They stare, motionless and waiting, until finally I sigh, collect "poop bags" which means anything plastic, put said bags in my pocket, leash said dogs up and off we go. This time of year I also sigh and stop and collect my mother-in-law's dog - also a labradoodle. He is not a motionless, starer. Such is his impatience to be walked, he is a whirling dervish who whines and runs in circles at the sight of me, making it nearly impossible to throw a leash with around his stupid neck. Finally, off we go with each dog pulling and dragging and circling, with me trying to keep the leashes straight, shouting heel, heel, to no avail. I might as well be shouting mush to turtles. We are fortunate in that we have a large field near out house. Dogs in the neighborhood gather there is roust imaginary rabbits and to stiff each others behinds. It's telling that I know the name of the dogs - Dakota and Nick, Bluster, Aurora, Ariel, Chance, Timmy and Greta - and Hanson, a joyful lab, who is missing a front leg and so when he jumps up to greet you, usually drives the leg he does have, into one's groin - but don't know the name of the dog owners. But as the dogs, run and poop and whizz and hump one another and in between picking up poop and trying to part the humping dogs, there is often pleasant conversation. Except this morning. For me. Because my three dogs decided it was a nice morning to roll in human feces. Why a human being would shit in a dog field and why a dog would roll in human being shit is beyond me, but this happens. And so I had to leash them up and take them home. We have a water nozzle on our hose and I turned it to jet spray. I turned the faucet to high. And I blasted those f-ing dogs. I took human shampoo which they hate the smell of and I washed them silly. Then I blasted them some more. By the time I finished, my hands and clothes smell like shit. The only satisying part was when I took my mother in law's dog - still covered in feces - back to her house and told her to clean her own stupid dog. My stupid dogs are now in the backyard looking sullen. I could care less. I plan to spend the rest of the staring at them.
Men lives lives of quiet desperation.