a dog story

My favorite place in all the world is behind a dog. There’s simply nowhere I’d rather be, unless, maybe, my balcony. That’s pretty swell, too, but only from April through October. Well, come to think of it, both spots — the balcony and the other end of a leash — are pretty bleak in winter. Inside, behind a mug of coffee is good or under the heat lamp in the bathroom is also quite lovely.

But I digress; back to the dog.

I recently took possession of a chihuahua / Jack Russell terrier mix named Sparky, née Melanie. This is a bashful dog, somewhat aloof and skittish around outsiders She doesn’t bolt, she isn’t headstrong or heedless or impulsive. In a word, she’s docile, so I keep her on a pretty loose leash. Or did. I’ve since learned to hang on tight.

One lovely spring evening we went for a stroll, as we often do. The sun had fallen low, a soft breeze was afoot, birds chattered in the trees, and Sparky sashayed along with an unhurried nonchalance. My mind wandered to other things, like penguins and circus clowns. Why are people (meaning me) afraid of them, I wondered. Neither can give chase — one because they have no knees, the other because their shoes are the size of swim fi–the leash flew from my hand.

The dog had legged it. She was a nine pound bullet barreling after a wily, nimble squirrel. I froze, astonished, and, for a split second, admiration bloomed as I watched Sparky’s furry little self hurtle toward dark, shadowy, tick-infested woods.

I snapped out of my daze and called her name. She kept going. I called her name louder. She kept going. So I hollered her name, and she stopped so suddenly, so abruptly her front feet locked and her rear end rose off the ground. She was forced into a clumsy, dancing handstand. Feet pedaled furiously in midair until she regained control and brought her back-end down for a bumpy four-point landing.

I didn’t know whether to applaud or scold. Applause seemed like encouragement for bad behavior and punishment too hurtful, so I settled for casual indifference and patted her on the head. Her head, by the way, is the size of a billiard ball. I’m fascinated by it. I try to imagine what’s in there and picture a brain the size of a Milk Dud. No genius, perhaps, but she’s good-natured and agreeable and loyal. Plus, she’s fastidious in her, shall we say, toilette?

May we all be so well-mannered.

copyright © 2018 little ittys

4 thoughts on “a dog story

  1. And today when they saw a bunny they froze in their tracks for about two seconds and then simultaneously did backflips. 360 degree circles in the air. I am not exaggerating. Lucky for me this strange move tangled the leashes around them so it was easier to hold them back. Bunny skipped off and we were able to move on without incident.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so brave! Walking 2 big dogs would be nothing short of a street luge event —- every time. The medical bills would be astronomical 🤕 Be careful. Maybe you should carry a whistle or a bell, to warn the bunnies and squirrels you’re on the way?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know this scene! I know what it’s like to enjoy a lovely spring walk with my doggies, enjoying the fresh air lost in thought when suddenly a squirrel or bunny causes Roxy & Ringo to go bananas! I can’t let go because of traffic, and they’re stronger than me. I get yanked and pulled. I have so many wounds to show for it…plus it’s embarrassing! I wish they behaved like Sparky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know the anguish! I had a dog who bolted every chance he had. It was impossible to catch him. I’d search and call and search some more. He’d either come sauntering back in his own good time or someone would call when they found him — usually animal control. But the intervening hours or days were desperate, panicky times 💔 Sparky is such a nice relief.

      Liked by 1 person

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