QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Perpetrator

I adore my trusty running partner and faithful canine friend… she trods along beside me for up to 8 miles, totally in the zone, focused on the purpose. Her job is to stay with me. I imagine her little doggie mind is zooming along at record pace, thinking: “stay on the left side of mommy at ALL times. Don’t stop to sniff the millions of wonderful smells that waft my way… ooh…no, no.. put it out of your mind. When Mommy stops, I stop. Don’t go near cars. Cars are bad. I can’t play with other doggies on the run, no matter how badly they want to rough-house or how cute the boys are.” She’s a fabulous partner, indeed; just when I think I’ve worn her out a bit, she takes off after a squirrel and leaves me in the dust, and I know she’s been sandbagging.

She’s an awesome dog; even my husband, who didn’t want a dog (and when I wore him down didn’t want a German Shepherd), admits she’s the best dog he’s ever had.

Every so often, though, she messes up. I came home one morning and she didn’t come greet me. This is a bad sign. When she doesn’t come greet me, she knows she’s in trouble and she stays on her bed with her chin tucked between her front paws, emoting the most pitiful I-didn’t-mean-to-do-it expression in her eyes possible.

“Aww, Soph… what’d you do,” I worried.

Then I saw it. 10 feet to my left was a prodigious mess: banana peels, coffee grounds, meat packaging, Q-tips (bleah), cans the kids were supposed to have recycled, broken pencils (no lead, don’t worry), broccoli stems (I only care for the florets), empty plastic (non-recyclable) containers, and myriad other disgusting items… all at the foot of a tipped over kitchen garbage can.

I couldn’t help it; I lost it.

“FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, SOPHIE !!!!” I ranted… “what the heck did ya do that for?” [here I actually paused for an answer, if you can believe it. I mean… not only did I end a sentence with a preposition, I expected the dog to answer me. Okay – and I didn’t say heck, either].

Sophie tucked her head farther under her paws, so I continued:

“Do you think I need this? Huh? Do I need to come home after an already-stressful morning to find this MESS? Don’t you get it!? You’re NOT supposed to go through the garbage!! What were you thinking, Soph? This is so wrong…I suppose you don’t think about who’s going to clean it up as you slosh happily through the garbage? ‘oh, the maid’ll get it.’ ”

I sat on the stairs and stared her down. I can’t believe I’m lecturing my dog. She didn’t meet my gaze, but I could read her thoughts well enough:

“well, golly, Mommy. You left… and I wasn’t sure you were ever coming back again… and the smell of that delicious garbage can came wafting toward me… ooh. I’m telling you, ma, it smelled sooo good. I resisted for awhile, really I did. I tried hard. But I’m a dog, Mommy… and my gut instincts just took over! I couldn’t control myself! MUST PILFER GARBAGE CAN… it was crazy! I don’t know what came over me…”

Well, the pitiful look wore me down and I forgave her eventually; next time perhaps I’ll give her a more rational lecture.


  1. For 8 miles...that is a best friend!
    Good luck with your marathon tomorrow.

  2. What a nice piece of prose. I can't wait to rifle though your blog for more gems.

  3. Aww. Thanks so much to both Cindy and IShouldbeRunning. Yeah - I didn't mean to take her the first 8 miles, but it was a track workout and she just kept with me. I tried to tie her to a bench to get her to take a break, but nothin' doin' - yelping that made me feel like a dog abuser. She had been 6 with me pretty regularly, so I wasn't too worried. She did take a long nap that evening, though. People would come into the house (like my husband, whom she adores), and instead of her usual fawning, energetic, greeting, she lifted a paw and was like: "yo, what's up."

    Anyway... I should be sleeping... marathon starts at 6:30! llol

  4. Try having cats; they make that sort of mess and then just look at you like, "Uh, aren't you going to do something about that?"

  5. lol. I DO have a cat. Yes - they do have a wonderful sense of entitlement, don't they? In the meantime, I've just come home to my son's library book in shreds from the dog! argh. lol.

  6. I knew you didn't say "heck"...ha ha


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