Thursday, December 9, 2010
Why I am a bad person
Let me just say at the get-go, I consider myself an exemplary dog-owning citizen. . . well, aside from generally ignoring leash laws. I always carry two poop bags and try my darnedest to clean up after Ben on our walks – even when it means risking life and limb to get to his deposits. . . as it frequently does this time of year when there’s snow on the ground.
So here’s what went down Tuesday and why I am a bad person:
I walked Ben Tuesday night – an evening duty that usually falls to the Wonderfully Patient Spouse because I’m whipping up dinner. But the WPS was pulling a 12 at his clinic, so off we went.
As I have mentioned before, Ben prefers terra firma – and privacy – when taking care of his needs – two commodities in short supply with the 8 inches (rapidly melting, I’m happy to report!) of snow we still have hanging around in Bermtopia. Over the last two weeks, Ben and I had some prett-tt-tt-tt-y interesting morning walks as Ben scrambles through snow berms and under shrubs looking for The Promised Land – with me in tow, picking up the pieces so to speak.
So. Tuesday night. We were about half-way through our stroll when Ben purposefully picked up the pace and began scouting a place to “do it.” He hopped into the snow at Mr. P’s and I knew we were on a mission.
A note about Mr. P: Mr. P. has lived kitty-corner to Wilson Elementary for as long as we’ve been in the neighborhood. He’s a rabid Republican. I know this because his lawn is swallowed up by VW Bug-size pro-Republican campaign signs during each election season. On occasion, he still wears an Eagle Scout uniform. He keeps a rotating display of old kitchen appliances and heating duct work in his driveway. All of his shrubs are groomed to topiary perfection. He always stops and gives Ben a pat on the head if he's out working in his yard when we go by. And he does all the snow removal around his house – AND for the building next door where I get my hair done. THANK YOU, Mr. P!
That being said.
Ben lunged into an opening among three shrubs at the near corner of Mr. P’s house and flanking the walkway up to his front door. As the darkness swallowed him, I knew he had found The Spot.
And then I heard it. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape.
Mr. P. was shoveling his porch.
And MY dog. Was crouched within inches of him. In his shrubs. Delivering the gift. That keeps on giving.
And of course. . . .
Relieved and refreshed, Ben popped out of the other side of the shrubs delighted to see his friend Mr. P.
Mr P. didn't miss a beat.
"Why, hello, boy." Pat, pat, pat. And he turned and went inside.
I stood at the corner, fingering a poop bag, and contemplated my options. Ground Zero was directly under Mr. P's over-size livingroom picture window. The snow was easily 8 to 10 inches deep, thanks to 2 1/2 weeks of conscientious snowblowing and shoveling. And it was dark. My tiny flashlight would barely pierce the darkness of the shrub cave.
I was doomed. And so I made my decision. In the words of The Gambler, "You gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em."
I called to Ben and we finished our walk, arriving home empty-handed.
And that is why I am a bad person.
The spirit is willing, but, oh, the flesh is weak.