Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Joys of Dog Ownership

This morning, I took the mandated twenty-five minute walk with our now almost full-grown pup. She's still a bundle of energy, and it's important to keep her fit and happy, but she also needs the opportunity to go potty just the way she's s'posed to. Every morning when I set out on this walk, I take along with me a plastic bag, usually one that has been used to wrap our morning paper and that is being repurposed as a storage container for her leavings. I always check to see if the bag has structural integrity...meaning no holes...and this one seemed fine.

You don't want leakage, and you don't want stench, even if that means containing the mess in something that will probably still be containing the mess five hundred years from now. Way I figure it, that just increases the odds that alien xenobiologists will find one of the tightly sealed plastic bags on the ruins of our world several millennia hence, and repopulate our world with a giant clone legion of wagging pups. Ahem.

Anyhoo, this morning began more or less according to the pattern of every morning. We walked. She tugged and sniffed and meandered like the puppy she still is. Then, at the farpoint of our journey, she voided her bowels in a more-or-less neat little pile. I cleaned up, and sealed off the bag, and began the walk home. It was a nice morning, and I walked briskly and aerobically, my canine companion trotting by my side-ish. I waved a pleasant hello to several other walkers.

I was in the midst of thinking how pleasant a walk it had been when I picked up a distinct odor coming from the vicinity of me. It had the unmistakable pungency of, well, dog excrement. Huh, thought I, and checked the bag.

All was not well. It hadn't popped, but clearly had a pinpoint hole that had opened up as the bag swayed in my free, swinging arm. It's contents were not contained. The swinging motion of my perhaps overly jaunty walk had brought the bag into repeated contact with the lower portion of my white t-shirt. It was no longer white, but liberally streaked with thick dollops of light brown poo.

I checked my shorts. They had come into far more contact with the bag. "Coated" would probably not be an inaccurate description. The far side of my forearm was similarly smeared.

I wondered how long this had gone on, and realized that this might perhaps be why the last woman I passed had a perturbed look on her face when I greeted her. It's hard enough talking to a stranger, but "Excuse me, sir, you're splattered with feces" never rolls easily off the lips as part of a passing conversation.

I looked down at the dog at my side, sitting patiently, looking up with her big simple black eyes at the strange creature that was now covered in her crap. For some reason, I felt the farthest thing from annoyed. I wasn't even really disgusted. If anything, it lightened my mood.

Particularly after the long, long shower that followed.