(I apologize for the . . . .ummm. . . earthy nature of parts of this post but I just came back from a frustrating walk with DaBoys have to vent. If you're eating, you might want to come back later.)
Charlie is a precision poo-er of the first order. I once heard about a guy who taught his dog to poo on command. I will Google this mangod as soon as I finish here.
Forget agility courses and those frou frou canines sporting Neuticles, if the Westminster Kennel Club ever instituted a Precision Pooing category, we'd have ourselves a winner. Charlie has poo'd on a single dandelion growing from a crack in the sidewalk, on the side of a tree and once - in his younger days - on a huge maple leaf even when it required a few sidesteps because the wind kicked up. After intense sniffing, Charlie will assume the position and add a test wiggle to see if this right here is indeed The Spot. Sometimes it's the right spot; sometimes it's not. Sometimes, he will do this for most of our walk completely oblivious to Sammy who wants to Go now! and me, the long suffering Dog Mom, who's been walking for the last 20 minutes with a green biodegradable Pooch Pick Up bag over her hand enduring the angry glares from homeowners who think we left them a present. "Sorry!" I'll say apologetically and give them a little wave. "False alarm!"
Sammy, however, uses more of a strafing technique. He starts at Point A but always ends up at Point B. Or even Point C. The words from that childhood song ". . . picking up pawpaws and putting 'em in my pocket . . . " always pop into my head every time I stoop/walk the length of a treelawn to reclaim our evidence.
One of the reasons Sammy moves around is that he thinks walks are really for checking up on what's going on in the neighborhood. If Mr. Watson put up chicken wire around his garden, Sammy takes note. If the family in the yellow house installed a porch swing, Sammy will see it. And if - oh glorious good fortune! - someone comes out of the house, gets in their car and drives away - Sammy is in heaven watching their every move until they drive out of sight.
Which brings us to Rastus the Squirrel up there. I have had a long history with squirrels including one squirrel named Mario that adopted my father and hated his blond daughters. But that's another post.
Actually, that's not Rastus. That's a picture I downloaded from the internet because I tried to take the picture of Rastus with my cellphone but only got pictures of places Rastus had recently sat. And I don't know that Rastus is his real name but it's what I call him. Actually, in my mind I call him "@#$%^&* Rastus!"
This morning after watching flowers grow, bloom, wither and die while waiting on Charlie to find the Just Right Spot, Sammy decided to do the deed, too, at which point Rastus came tiptoeing into view. Sammy didn't see him at first so Rastus turned his back and snapped his little tail a few times. That got both boys' attention and the next thing I know I'm being drug across the Nealy's lawn, trying to keep my shoulders in their sockets. Whenever he got too far ahead of us, Rastus would stop and do the tail thing, letting us get tantalizingly close before sprinting ahead a few more feet. At the ends of their leashes, the boys looked like plow horses, their plowshare being the hapless human they were dragging behind them. Around the curve Rastus went and along the boxwood, then across the street to run up the big elm in front of the Henderson's house where he stayed just long enough for Sammy to feel sure he was having squirrel for breakfast. But no. . . next, the little creep scampered down and headed back across the street to the oak in the Manley's treelawn where he stopped three feet off the ground, leaning back with one of his little front arms out to the side like he was posing for the cover of "Squirrel Monthly" magazine. By now, I was sure my two yipping/snapping/growling dogs had awakened every one on the block.
And that's when things really got sticky: Rastus was joined by his equally evil brother (Festus, I think his name was) and after making sure they had the full and undivided attention of both Sammy and Charlie, they decided to run up different trees.
My life started to flash before my eyes, but thankfully Neighbor Bob and his cat, Tank, stepped outside at that very moment to retrieve the morning paper. DaBoys took notice of Tank just long enough for me to regain some semblance of control. Never in my life have I been so glad to see a shirtless chubby man wearing shorts.
DaBoys and I were pretty winded so I took a minute to dig their collars out of their neck fur and refocus them. Their little tongues were hanging out of the sides of their mouths. Sammy's eyes said, "WOW!THATWASTHEBESTFUNEVER!CANWEDOITAGAIN??!HUH??CANWECANWE?? Charlie . . . well, he was just plain winded. We had to retrace our steps to find one of my flip flops (which had propped itself safely against a curb) and the poo bag (which was stuck to the Benson's hedge).
I shortened up their leashes and two exhausted but compliant dogs accompanied me home, obediently positioned one on either side of me. As we turned into the end of our driveway, though, I glanced down the street and there, six houses away, was Rastus sitting languidly on the corner.
We'll take a walk again this afternoon.
I'm thinking poo bag in right pocket and rocks in the left.