So today I was thrilled when the kids went to a friend’s house and I could go for a run. In shorts. With my iPod. The way I wanted to run the whole time I was at the beach. My time was pretty limited, and I also had to walk the dog, so I thought I’d just take him with me. It was warming up, but it wasn’t hot, and there was a nice breeze. Great weather for both of us, right?
Well. I could handle the fact that he stopped to pee or sniff every five seconds. I could handle the fact that he sometimes wanted to cross the street when I didn’t. I could handle the fact that I had to carry around a grocery store bag of poop with me.
But I couldn’t handle what he did after we turned onto a busy street, the longest stretch of my usual route. He started to pant heavily. Then he started to slow down. Then he started to walk. Then he gave up all pretenses of continuing and just laid down on the grass.
You might think you have a willful child…but nothing compares to my 90 pound Lab. He wasn’t going anywhere. At all. No forward movement, no matter what I did. I couldn’t bribe him, beg him or threaten him (all of which work with my kids).
I let him pant to cool off. He stared at me. I gave him some water from a hose to quench his thirst. He smiled and slurped. I said, enthusiastically, “Okay, buddy, come on!” He rolled over on his back so I could scratch his stomach.
I jumped around on the side of the road, holding the bag of poop, trying to psyche my dog into standing up, for twenty minutes. People driving by were laughing at my ineffective but obvious pleading. They honked their horns at me (which I rewarded with evil looks). He laid there, tail thumping, clearly saying, “I wanted a walk, not a forty minute sprint. You figure out how we’re getting home.”
My run was totally foiled. The dog won, hands down. When that victory was cemented, and I had stopped jogging in place and sat down in the grass next to him in defeat, he eventually stood up and strolled home. If I moved from a walk to a slow jog, he immediately laid down. He wasn’t falling for that trick again.
He is clearly the boss.
And I hope my life takes an interesting (but not mortifying) turn so I can stop telling you stories about the dog.