I threw on some shorts, looked for a plastic poop bag, found none, and knew we were about to go soil the land. A small tinge of guilt joined us for the stroll. The walk to the park was marked by a long pee across the street against the wrought iron fence with a slow, sleepy trot to the grass. Bob has a habit, a compulsion really, to gain an audience when he does his Big Business. He waits with uncanny precision for a tourist family of six, the mother shielding her children's eyes, comes along or on this Sunday, a church lady, and inevitably, it leads to a passerby seeing me hunched over and wrestling doggie shit into my plastic bag-covered hand. Oh, where are the paparazzi when you need them?
He hit the jackpot when the woman in a tailored lime green quarter coat, a silk Hermes scarf, and an elegant sneer came upon us while Bob was in that hunch, his tail up, and the soft serve coming out. Stop, you dog of the damned, stop before…. Her look went from scowl to disgust in five seconds as she curled her mouth and said, “He poo poo.” Her accent was clipped, a product of colonial education. “I know,” I said as I pretended to reach for my imaginary bag from my very real pocket. “I’ll pick it up.” She stopped and waited, arms crossed and her rouge creating clown circles on her smooth dark skin. I scrambled to the garbage can in hopes of finding something to pick it up and the only shovel I could find was a scrap of a Macy’s ad from the Sunday Post. Hurrying back, I wrapped it around Bob’s offense as she stared me down. My eyes met a gaze as friendly as crows on the monkey bars.
We made it back home without incident, took a detour into the garage to find outdoor parking to accommodate an incoming Joe, and went to the 7/Eleven. Bob’s front paws went right up to the lip of the Explorer and as is our routine, I lifted his back legs while he made the bunny hop into his backseat perch. After a few errands, we found a nearby parking spot. I walked around to Bob’s side, pulled the front seat forward, and usually this is the point where he does an absolutely flawless dismount, one worthy of a 9.5, even by the Russian judges. Luckily, this wasn’t a competition.
Well, his front legs made it to the floor but the momentum threw his hind end down with a thud. Bob tumbled out of the car onto the street, on his side, and tried to regain his composure. His back hip injured, he couldn’t find purchase until I carried him to the sidewalk. A woman in her seventies, curlers still in a hairnet, said, “What’s wrong with him?”
“He took a fall,” I said as I was sitting on the ground, almost in tears and hugging him with all of my might. She harrumphed and went back into her apartment. I spoke reassuring words in his ear. Slowly he stood and limped home with me. By the time we got upstairs, his limp was gone, his tail in full wag.
Sunday was just two more examples of Bob hogging the damned spotlight. It’s okay, though. I’m used to it. It’s what happens when you live with someone sexier than yourself.