Sunday, September 9, 2007

Some Days...

I woke to the sound of gentle rain.

This is a good thing, as our region is as dry as your Great Aunt Martha's fruitcake three bites after your last swallow of milk. Dry as the devil's laugh. Dry as dust. We need this slow, soaking rain.

This is a bad thing because the nine dogs believe that during times of slow, soaking rain, the Human Servant is responsible for providing (a) entertainment in an indoor venue, (b) two miles of dry outdoor area for walks, and (c) indoor bathroom facilities for Canine Americans. They swear it's in their contracts.

I take them downstairs from our bedroom in three shifts. (Trust me, otherwise it is a Great Whippet Race and the kitchen door becomes the starting gate/bottleneck/fighting pit, and I start swearing and when I do get the door open, at least three sets of accelerating Whippet toenails launch from the tender tops of my feet, and I screech obscenities while howling in pain, and right then my sweet neighbors are coming down from their second floor apartment with their first grader and pre-schooler, not fifteen feet from where I'm standing, and the first grader asks, "Daddy what does [insert that really bad word that I just shouted] mean?" and the pre-schooler practices the word outloud to herself all the way to the car.)

So I get the last shift of dogs downstairs, only to see all nine of them huddled up on the breezeway by the edge of the steps to their potty yard.

"Go out in the rain to poop? I think not!"

"It's raining. On us!"

"There is definitely a clause in the contract against this."

"Bad Servant. Awful Servant."

Fanny by fanny I push the disgusted dogs out in the drizzle to do their business.

Later, after dogs and humans break their fast, and I get enough coffee in me to pry one eye open, I decide to walk, rain or no. Bill gamely took his two regulars, sporting a large black plastic poncho which came in its own little pouch from the dollar store for ninety-nine cents and makes him look like a cross between Antonio Banderas and Grampa Smurf. I walk Giacomino and Maria around their one block and they are pretty darn good sports. They poop immediately as they had been holding out for the walk. If they have to "go" in the rain, there better damn well be a walk attached.

Mama Pajama and Fat Charlie are next, and the drizzle has devolved into a mild spit. I notice that all the critters and vermin - squirrels, evil cats bane of the earth, and loose dogs - have yet to emerge and our walk is down right pleasant.

The last walk is five year old Sam I Am and the two yearlings, William and Lindy Loo. The rain has for all intents and purposes stopped and the dogs are in high spirits. We walk the fifty feet from the side gate to my corner garden and all heck breaks loose. There is a cat in the garden. What sort of Darwinian flunky cat thinks my garden is a cool place to hang? Nine dogs bred to chase, catch, and kill small furry things live here, duh head!

Tra la the cat runs off down the sidewalk. Tra la the cortisone injections I got in both shoulders on Thursday are now a total waste of time and money. Actually, the dogs were really pretty good, after they got over their initial instinctual urge to chase. Sam and Lindy Loo turned to get their treats because they didn't bark (good dogs) and William thought about it for a moment, and decided it was more fun to bark. I tried to get my shoulders back in their sockets in order to render my hands useful enough to dig the treats out of my pocket. Oh, rats, I noticed I was swearing out loud. And then I see my brand new across the street neighbor on her porch.

"I hate loose cats, " I explain. "What a horrible way to start my walk." (In all fairness, my shoulders were still screaming in pain.)

"Oh, I hope it wasn't my cat."

(Wonderful. I forgot this neighbor has a cat or two that go outside. Now I've offended.) The dogs recognise the perfect opportunity to fulfill the bad-poop-timing contract clause, and all assume their individual but collective positions. I whip out my baggies, only to see two monsterous poops that some irresponsible citizen with two Very Large Dogs has left right next to my dogs' little gifts. So now I have to pick up after my three, plus the Creep who didn't's. I have sandwich sized baggies, not gallon. Yuck. But if I leave the Monster Piles, my newly offended neighbor will naturally think that it came from my dogs.

Who lets their dog dump and just walks away? It is exactly the same as if you pull your pants down and poop on your neighbor's yard and leave. And people do it next to church sidewalks! You can't change your shoes once you're in church. Some sermons can be long enough, but add the smell of dog poop.... glory be. It is so bad here that it was discussed in the last City Commissioners Meeting. There can be a $10 to $1000 fine for not cleaning up. I'm going to look into the cost of supplying the neighborhood with motion activated infra-red video recording devices. We should be able to pay for them with the fines levied. I think I'll bring it up at the next Commissioners meeting.


  1. Hoo! Yes Ma'am! I can so relate to this!

    Lovin' your blog, Patience!

    Margaret Norkett

  2. Patience, not only is there a clause in the contract somewhere, but I am fairly sure that 'forcing' whippets out in the rain is against the 'Whippet Geneva Convention'

    Basher's Dad


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