Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today little progress was made toward our ultimate goal of canine equanimity. In fact, we have regressed. My Bad Dog was a bad dog indeed.

The last few days have been very rainy in the dark hours, and so we had shorter morning walks than usual. One day there was no walk because I was loathe to walk in the pouring down rain. This morning I woke late, having been out late celebrating the birthday of a friend, and decided that I would walk My Bad Dog in the sunshine, come what may, mail carrier or no, FedEx driver or no. My Bad Dog needed a walk, and I would walk her, full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes.

With a firm grasp on the leash (mine) and a spring in the step (hers), we set off. The first few blocks were uneventful, which I would have enjoyed except the uneventfulness was punctuated by My Bad Dog's experiments in overstepping her bounds, which meant that every few steps I had to stop and tell her to go back to her place by my side.

That was annoying, but nowhere near as annoying as what happened at the intersection. As we waited for the light to change, we noticed a FedEx truck. My Bad Dog became restive, I admonished her, and then she suddenly took offense at a minivan next to us. Once I had her calmed down from that, she started to think that she didn't like the look of the border collie across the street, either.

I walked her away from the intersection, the light changed, the border collie and his people approached us, but the border collie's people then decided that discretion was a wiser course, and so they suddenly crossed the street away from us, the FedEx truck drove on, and--wouldn't you know it--a mail carrier truck took its place opposite us (we hadn't been able to cross earlier because of the FedEx truck and then the border collie).

Backward we went, into the Carrow's Coco's (sorry, all those chain restaurants look alike to me) parking lot next to the field that last month had been full of Christmas trees for sale. As we paced the parking lot, I muttered. Out of the fullness of my heart, my mouth spoke, and the words I muttered to My Bad Dog were not loving.

We went on to the park, walking side by side, not speaking, like a married couple silently arguing. My Bad Dog briefly indicated her disapproval of a passing Rhodesian ridgeback, but I let her know nothing interested me less than her opinion about anything, really, but especially about a dog or a mail carrier, and we kept walking through the neighborhood to the park, where My Bad Dog became transfixed by the squirrels in the pine trees, so she walked forward with her nose skyward, which was funny, because once she tripped over a fallen branch and I am just mean enough to have laughed at her, but then on our way back through to the park, we walked where all the eucalyptus trees are, and flitting amidst the trees were hundreds of Monarch butterflies and it was so beautiful to see the black and orange butterflies flying and gliding in circles that I almost forgot I was still mad at My Bad Dog.

To maintain hope that My Bad Dog will rehabilitate and faith that she is able to is probably crucial to the success of this venture, and yet such maintenance is not easy when the improvements are slight, slow in coming, and quick in diminishing.

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