Running Free

Running Free

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dogs and Children

Dogs and children.

These two life elements have somehow, for years, managed to find their way to me. Perhaps it is my smell, or the way I walk; perhaps it is the fact that I hum and talk to birds and insist that four legged and two legged creatures share with others. I am not sure. But it is a phenomenon that has caused some great chuckling around our house recently.

I can, for example, tell you with great certainty that if there is a pair of chocolate covered, mud splayed little hands in the vicinity of the mall, the post office, the bank, the grocery store, the dentist, the coffee shop, - they will find me- even if they don’t know me. I become the rail banister of out and about, with little runny noses and juice stained mouths somehow sharing their artistic creations with me wherever and whenever. I am the human magnet – for messy hands and messier mouths.

As a result, I usually can be found with a tissue in a pocket to help me remove said detritus after such experiences. Now, keep in mind, it is not as if I go seeking these types of mystical encounters. I do not stand in a doorway yelling “Yoo hoo, all little children who have just had a snack or finished making mud pies, come and give me a hug…”

As a matter of fact, I don’t think I do anything except maybe the fateful mistake of eye contact or a smile. Maybe that is it. In any case, I am beginning to do research on the relationship of dogs and children and middle aged moms (a shiver just ran down my spine at those two – excuse me three words…eeesh…who would have every thunk…who is that face in the mirror...) I stray from my story…

Take for example this past weekend. My DH (Dear Husband) and DS (Dear Son) decided it was time for a family constitutional – another word for a walk along our neighborhood three mile hiking trail. It is a nice easy stroll through a platoon of Eucalyptus trees – home to a motley collection of crows, sparrows and parrots. Each of these feathered creatures is in constant competition with its brethren for the loudest, shrillest, most awe-inspiring ‘song.’

The afternoon sky had turned to a soft shade of lavender and the sun was a soft butter yellow, sleepy and warm. We were walking along- the three of us, DH and I and DS on his scooter when from the opposite direction came a golden retriever puppy. His tail was wagging and he was sniffing everything in sight. As he came closer there was an audible groan from my walking companions.

I turned and saw the look of resignation on my DH’s face and a look of incredulousness on that of my DS. For they had been subjected to too many moment s of “Mom moments’ prone to happen especially on walks.

You see, I love animals – well, I suppose I should caveat that with I like most and have a healthy respect for others. The black widow spider who was attempting to make a nest for her babies in our garage had to be relocated. I did apologize to her that it really wasn’t personal, but that well, spiders of her elegance belonged elsewhere- far beyond the steps of our modest home. So I gingerly swept her up and placed her in the back yard behind a palm tree- hopefully she has found a liking for her new residence.

But I digress. If there is a puppy or full grown dog out for a stroll with his parents then I will of course ask if I may pet the canine and if granted, which is usually the case, I become one with my four legged friend. The dog will usually come and sniff my hand or sometimes disband with formalities and hop right into my lap. Depending on how big the dog is, sometimes I am knocked to the ground which I am sure is a very funny sight. Think Lucille Ball with brown hair. I need not say more.

On this occasion though, a new element came into the picture that had not previously presented itself. This aforementioned golden puppy with curious eyes and a black wet nose proceeded to come over to me looked at me with a tilted head. He (I am pretty sure it was a male) sat down in front of me and proceeded to – you guessed it – poop! Right there in the middle of the walking path. As if he were giving me a gift.

Now this had never happened before- at least not to me. And the owner was of course ready with her trusty blue poop bag and my son and husband were in stitches saying “Mom made the dog go poop. Look Mom you have magic poop powers!”

Once finished doing his business the puppy then gave me a smile – or what I believed to be a puppy smile and trotted off with his master. I am not sure if that smile meant, “Thanks I needed that,” or more along the lines,” Lady, you are full of sugar honey ice tea.” (NOTE this is a clean site so an acronym will have to do here…)

In any case, my life is never truly dull. And while this may seem like a farce, I stand before you and say: this is a true story there are three eyewitnesses.

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