Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Terrible Tuesdays: The Dog Park

bi-polar winter
Today it was a beautiful day in Athens, Ohio. For those of you experiencing similar weather, I gush with you about this random spring day in January! For those of you who are still perhaps frozen, I apologize and heretofore stfu.

Anyway, today I had the misfortune of working my long shift, which is open (at 6:30am) to 3pm. It's a grueling 8.5 hour workday without any breaks, sitting, or time to think. And today especially it was super fun making vast quantities of iced delicacies for the thawed masses who decided today was the day to really screw their New Year's resolutions. Luckily, we had the door open, the breeze blowing, and behind the espresso behemoth, it was probably only in the mid-80s. (Side note: I fear summer.) Obviously, as soon as I could skedaddle out of that mess, I did.

As you may or may not know, my parents spent the better part of January on a tropical cruise through the Panama Canal. Yes, I did want to kill them and steal their tickets. But that is not the point. The point is that I was left home to care for my sweet little dog, Zoe. Aside from curing me of any desire at all to acquire a puppy at this state of my life (read: the lazy state), Zoe and I also had quite the adventure figuring out a schedule that worked for both of us. She likes to wake up around 8 or 8:30; I have to be at work by 6:30 most days. She enjoys sleeping on 90%; I require my half at the absolute minimum. And she never listens (deaf dog joke!). Towards the end of our solitary confinement (ask me how guilty I felt leaving her alone all day and then ALSO going out at night), we hit upon the perfect schedule: a quick jaunt around the block before work, a fast-and-furious run at the dog park mid-afternoon, then a long and lazy walk a few hours after dinner.

Well, today it was a gorgeous day, and even though the dog-walking responsibilities are again being shared between three people, I decided we should give our old schedule a go, and Zoe and I scooted down to the West State ballfields.

Naturally, we expected some mud. And honestly, it wasn't too bad. There were a lot of larger dogs tearing up the ground, which made the squish-factor a little higher, but more dogs = more fun.

the tree line of disaster, as it shall henceforth be known
So we tiptoed in, because Zoe doesn't like to make a splash and have all the dogs on her at once. Usually that ends with her getting humped and she is no hussy. Instead, we creep in through the trees while she sniffs at every clump of grass that has ever seen the business end of a dog.

Happily, today Zoe jumped right into the mix, and after nipping a big shaggy thing who was trying to get frisky, she was leading the pack around and around and around. My dog can turn on a dime, for real. Sometimes this is bad, and she'll get knocked down by a dog less adept at the fake-outs, but usually she shakes it off.

Well today, she immediately headed for the trees on the other side and was promptly followed by her adoring fan club. Next thing I know, she's decided to *ahem* leave her mark for all to see. I sighed, because of course my dog goes number two on the other side of the park, forcing me to traipse through the muck and puddles without getting knocked over by an errant canine. I approached the tree line, and got ready to do my dog-owner duty (doody, get it??). But I was faced with a problem: the poo had disappeared.

Listen, I know what my dog's crap looks like. She somehow poops 2-5 times a day, and it is distinctive. I do NOT want to describe it on my pretty little blog, but believe you me, there was no Zoe poop by the tree line. I looked everywhere, including the soles of my shoes. Zoe had moved on with her pack, and I saw a couple of them doing that big stretch-and-kick thing you see cats doing to "hide" their business. Which led me to thinking...

I know a couple disgusting dogs. They eat things they should not eat. They have lived under my roof; I know these truths self-evidently. It's gross. And I had a sneaking suspicion that one of Zoe's gang maybe liked her rear-end deposit a little too much, if you catch my drift. Dogs are fun.

she was just chilling the whole time
And then I was met with a conundrum: I was still with an empty Kroger bag. All the owners had seen my dog's awkward squat; they knew what had happened. Not picking up after your dog is cause for SERIOUS confrontation and ostracizing. I was suddenly nervous--even if another dog HAD enjoyed an afternoon snack just now, how could I prove it? Maybe I was just a lazy kid/college student/person who refused to pick up after their dog! Maybe they were all talking about how I hadn't picked anything up yet! I was about to have to discuss my dog's pooping habits and how I very clearly knew that her bits and pieces were NOT by the tree!

So what do I do? Like any sane, non-confrontational person, I waved my dog over and made a big show of asked her where she left her goodies. When she didn't reply, I made an obvious attempt at searching the premises, before stuffing the still-empty bag in my pocket. Then, I skirted the edges of the park, keeping out of the mud, and away from anyone who didn't have four legs. And finally, after 10 minutes, I made a big show of "TIME TO GO" and we clipped the leash and fairly skipped out of the park. No one said a word. But that doesn't mean they weren't judging me as a bad dog-owner. Can I ever show my face again?? (I hope so, because as we were leaving there was a TINY puppy arriving and I cursed the dog that ate my dog's poop.)

And that, my friends, is the awkward case of the missing dog crap. And just another lovely story of my life. You're welcome.

this is her "wtf is wrong with you,
do your job" sweet
And now, Terrible Tuesdays can go nowhere but up...because how could I possible go lower than a story about poop?

1 comment:

  1. Jon and I call it the phantom pick up. When you can't find the dog poop after searching everywhere we will just grab something and put it in the bad so it looks like you are being responsible

    How does she know you want to leave the park if she can't hear you.