I just finished adding the bread ingredients to my larger mixer. (Fran bought me a 7-quart KitchenAid mixer last summer as my little one was tired from heavy use.) Before I could attach the dough-hook and start the initial mixing, I heard,
“Daaaaaad! Gotta go!!”
“Just a minute Rosie. Let me start mixing this then we can go.”
“No Dad. I don’t mean I have to go soon, I mean I have to go now. Like, right now!”
Sigh. “Fine. Let me get my coat with the hood and your leash and a poop bag. Then we can go.”
“Suit yourself. I am just trying to help. I am a good girl. But hurry!”
“Yes, you are a good girl, and thank you for that. Ok, all set. Let me clip the leash into your collar, stop dancing, there, let’s go.”
The rain started the night before and had not let up for hours. It wasn’t one of those South Florida downpours, just one of those steady soaking California rains. I knew my garden would be happy, but also knew my Rosie would not be. She doesn’t like wet. I turned the deadbolt, opened the front door, and let Rosie out first, closing the door behind us.
“Hey Dad. The sky is crying buckets. I’m not going out in that.”
“It was your idea, not mine. Man up, or puppy up, I guess, and let’s get a move on so you can go.”
She instantly stopped prancing, dropped her head and pouted. Can dogs pout? I almost had to pull her along. This was not her idea of fun.
“C’mon Rosie. This was your idea remember.”
“Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it wasn’t so urgent after all. Yeah, yeah, that’s it. I was just kidding. Let’s go home so I can go back to bed.”
“No, we are here, bundled up, you are already wet now, so just do your business, then we can go home.”
“I don’t like you anymore,” she said under her breath.
We walked up Scenic Drive, turned right and crossed at the crosswalk. She looked both ways as well as back towards home, then across Newland Heights, apparently seeking some sort of rescue. She kept her head down, maybe mimicking me, and ignored each lawn and leaf we passed. Seeing her, I realized I was hunched over, trying to shelter my face from the rain, so I reset my shoulders, pulling them both back and down. The Pilates instructor always say,” put them in your back pocket.” It really improves your posture. Rosie kept her head down in a sulk. It wasn’t until the last patch of grass that she stopped, squatted and peed.
“Finally,” I thought. “Maybe we won’t have to go all the way around the block in this rain.”
Scenic loops around, starting and ending about a hundred yards apart on Newland Heights. It’s always a little confusing for people unfamiliar with the area to find us. We direct them from Crest Drive and tell them to take the second Scenic Drive left, not telling them it is the same street as the first Scenic Drive left. See? Confusing. The tip, or middle of the loop is much lower than either beginning so no matter which way you go there is always an uphill to return home.
We walked down the far side of the loop, the first Scenic Drive.
Rosie kept her head down and at every house or two would stop and shake, as if that might help.
“I cannot believe he is doing this to me,” she thought angrily. “I could have held it for another hour or two, or maybe until tomorrow. This is just so unfair.”
“C’mon, Rosie,” I urged, “once you go you can go home. But I will have to dry you off before you can go back to bed.”
We were by the tip of the loop now. This was about as far as she normally walks without “it” happening.
Suddenly, “Oh man,” she cried. “This is it!”
As soon as we passed the hedge on our right she pulled the leash tight and struggled to the grass at the next house. The grass was covered with red, orange and brown leaves, but that did not dissuade our intrepid hero from the task at hand. She hunched over, rather than squatting, and I knew the time had finally come.
“Ah, ah, ah, aaaahhhhh!”
Moments later, she was finished, scratched the sidewalk with her back legs and waited for me to clean up after her.
Patting her, I cooed, “Good girl, Rosie. That is such a good girl.”
She thought to herself, “Man, what a fantastic gig I have. This may be the best job ever. All I have to do is poop and I get my reward. Now, which way to bed?”