Friday, July 23, 2004

Not Funny

I've been trying to think of something to end the week with.  But I rummage through my head, turning over this rock, or that one, rifling through boxes of accumulating ideas and memories, which I refuse to sort (despite the wisdom I recognize in Inanna's post about the limited RAM and limited time dilemma), and, sigh: nothing. So, I'll tell a dog story.

This morning -- as I do every morning -- I took my dog, Corrina, a big, goofy, young black lab, for a walk. She gets a raw deal on mornings when husband and I are slow to get out of bed. Not only are we phenomenally boring as we lounge in bed pretending the minutes aren't slipping by -- as she communicates with loud yawns, sighs, and repeated flapping of the ears -- but then, because we're short on time, she gets less attention and a shorter walk. Usually, though, I'll at least make an effort to make it a "high quality" walk. We stick to the alleys, where there are fewer people -- meaning no need for her to heel -- and the smells are more interesting. If the alley's a long one (there are a couple of places where there are no cross streets for three-block spans in my neighborhood -- thus, long alleys), I'll even let her off leash and she runs through the overgrown weeds and ivy along the tire tracks like she's bushwhacking through dense brush in the mountaints somewhere. We stop and pick some blackberries growing on the wall of a neglected garage (well, I do -- she just licks them on the bush). We tease all the other dogs stuck in their yards (well, she does -- I generally toss them a treat and try to move her along). And meanwhile, she bounces along beside me with a big grin.

One night, when she was first with us and I was on the steepest part of the learning curve as a dog owner, I took her on one of these "super-fun" walks, as I deludedly hope she thinks of them, because D. and I were headed out for the evening and she needed some exercise before being left to her own devises. I took her to a local playground and we climbed through some long plastic tubes that snake along the ground. She seemed to be having fun, so we climbed up into the play structure and I pushed her down a slide.

She did not like the slide. At all. 

I guess I'd forgotten that. This morning -- short on time because D. and I had a romantic evening last night with a bottle of wine and a box of old albums and woke ready to be Yoko and John staging a "Love-In" rather than ready to go to work (a rareity by any stretch) --- I took her through the alleys for a blackberry breakfast and ended up at the playground again. Again we ducked through the tube and then climbed the play structure. This time, however, as I see now, she was having nothing to do with being in front of me as I approached the slide, so I decided I'd go first.

It's not a big slide. It's really pretty short. Maybe 10 feet of tunnel, and then another ten, open-air. It went by really fast. For me.

She was howling when I landed at the bottom. I stood up and she stopped and stared at me, eyes wide and wild. "Come on, girl!" I said.

She spun on her heels and leapt down the steps of the play structure and then leapt on me, knocking me down and covering me in kisses for a moment before pulling back to stare intently into my eyes.

"Not funny."

I'm pretty sure that was the message.