As usual this morning, I took the brain dead idiots – excuse me, the dogs – on their morning stroll. Only this morning I was told by my lovely wife not to take them off the leash. This is the time of the year, she tells me, for foxtails - for plants and burrs that dig into dogs like insidious barbed wire. I explain that our dogs – doodles; part lab and part poodle – have the coat characteristics – and brains – of sheep. That tails and burrs cling to the outer coat to be washed, picked, licked and chewed off later. She tells me that said burrs and tails can get up the nose or into the ears of dogs and kill them. I tell her that if a dog is stupid enough to eavesdrop on a foxtail or snort a burr, it should accept the consequences.
This doesn’t fly.
Walking one dog on a leash, I suppose, is fun. I see people walking one dog on a leash all the time. They amble along at the same speed; the dog occasionally stopping to sniff, the walker occasionally stopping to chat – it all seems very civilized. One could do it on a
street. And then one could pop by the local bistro, have an espresso and read the paper while the dog curled up under the table and went to sleep at your feet. Paris
My dogs would eat the paper, whiz on the table legs and puke gastric juices on my shoes.
Walking two dogs on a leash is a bit more challenging but do-able. Off we go, a dog on either side – a noble knight accompanied by faithful squires, eager to do your bidding. Two ponies pulling a surrey with a fringe on top – me.
My dogs would tip over the surrey looking for moose sign. Then they’d whiz on it. And me.
Three dogs on a leash, especially my dogs, turns a light, morning walk on a lovely spring day into a death march walk to hell. I immediately find myself wrapped up in leashes as each idiot jockeys for position, trying to decide which side of the noble master they wish to be on. I switch hands as they move, I switch as they move back – a hand gets caught behind me and now I am towing a dog. One dog, making a dash for the post position, gets his legs wrapped up in his own leash and stops, hog tied.
I wish it were his neck.
All the dogs leap to the front and suddenly it’s the chariot race out of Ben Hur with wild Arabian stallions dragging stunt men to their death. I pull back seeking to slow the crazed bastards but I might as well be pulling against three nose-to-the-ground tractors. Abruptly one of them stops to squat. It’s as if someone threw a rock into a fast moving assembly line. Everything shrieks to an abrupt halt. The two dogs that are not yet in defecation mode throw evil looks at their embarrassed pack mate.
Trying now to hold onto three doggie leashes, I attempt to get out a doggie bag, open it and pick up a small mountain of steaming doggie poo. And as the dogs heave and pull and the scent of doodoo fills my nose. I can’t help but think that in
people eat dogs. Korea
It’s true. They’re considered a delicacy. Dog chops for dinner!
Too bad the lovely wife is a vegetarian. Ah, but wait! Maybe when she leaves for Switzerland – another story - I’ll just fatten them up and eat them all by myself. Better yet, the chip off the old block son will join me. Like his father, he’ll eat anything if it’s medium rare. Never ask permission, always beg for forgiveness.
Warming to the idea, I venture on. The doggy days – and the doggy walks – are numbered.
Fate has a way of taking things by the hand.
A short time later, at the edge of the field where the idiots are usually off leash, I see the woman I call “the psycotic hysteric with the boob job” approaching. This is the slim woman in jogging clothes who, when she sees my dogs, always screams out at the top of her oversized sized lungs, seemingly terrified – “control your dogs, control your dogs, control your dogs!!!” This is truly demented as her dog is a pony sized German Shepard and my dogs may be stupid but they’re not dumb. They always ignore her and Rin-tin-tin and move off towards the far side of the field searching for scents and spores to whiz on and disgusting things to roll in.
Today, however, I’m holding the dogs on leash as the hysteric approaches. She stares straight ahead her mouth quivering, as if it galls and infuriates her not to be able to tell me to “control my dogs!!” Her Shepard, who now seems to be smirking. wrinkles an upper lip and growls as it passes, obviously assuming it has the upper hand. As one, my three hounds snarl and in one bound leap to the end of their leashes, teeth bared, slavering and howling. The Shepard leaps away –“Gott im Himmel!", it seems to say. Its retreat yanks the hysteric off her feet and pulls her screaming, two body lengths through the air. The sound of the hysteric hitting the turf is that of a watermelon tossed from a rooftop.
Goddammit, she says. Your dogs --- !
Were protecting me, I say.
God-f*&%-dammit, she says.
Please. Not in front of the dogs, I say.
Motherf*&%$goddammit, she says. She gets up, slaps the Shepard up side the head and stalks away.
Next time, control your dog, I call after her.
F*&%$motherf*&%$dammit! She doesn’t look back.
My dogs watch her go, tongues lolling. They look up at me.
What can I do but smile back. Goodly dogs, I say. Such glorious, devoted, handsome hounds, I say. I scratch their soft, luxuriant ears. I give them each a doggy treat. I take them off leash and send them off to search for rabbits and disgusting stuff to roll in. Go, I say. Foxtails be damned. Live long and prosper.
I have calls to make on my cell phone.