The Things We Do For Our Dogs

You wake up and feel pretty good.  You walk downstairs, look outside, and see that it’s windy and raining, fat raindrops blowing sideways.  Ugh.

Penny is up and alert in her crate, famished and aching to be fed.  You put out food, and she bolts it down with gusto.  In the meantime you conclude that raincoat, ball cap, and umbrella are the best defenses against the crappy weather given what you must do when you are outside.  Already, you are dreading it.

You put on Penny’s leash, open the door, and head out into the elements.  Boy, this weather blows!  Penny, who doesn’t relish the rain, takes care of her first chore straightaway — but there is a cadence and a rhythm to a dog’s life, and the principal outdoor responsibility can’t be rushed.  So she noses around for a seeming eternity, zig-zagging here and there, until canine sensibilities tell her that the right moment and right spot have arrived.

You fish the little plastic bag out of your back pocket, turn it inside out over your hand, and perform pick-up duty with one hand while you are trying, ineffectively, to hold the leash and the umbrella in the other.  My God, what did she eat yesterday?  The familiar, disgusting odor is overpowering.  Then you reverse out the bag and tie it off, rain coating your face and glasses.  While you are performing this delicate task Penny circles around with renewed, lighter than air energy, helpfully binding your legs with the leash.

After you are back inside, one final job remains — toweling off Penny so that you can add that eau de wet dog odor to the fine symphony of scents you’ve endured already this morning.  To add a final element of insult, Penny does the wet dog shake and splatter as you are down in the wipe-off zone.

She trots off, happy and contented, and you stand there, water-coated and nostrils still befouled, and realize that people without dogs are still happily abed.

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