Wednesday, March 12, 2008

We Are The Shepherds

I fell tonight coming home from work. A good one, with a little sideways dance on a patch of ice. I came down on my left side, wrenching my neck and shoulders, my back and my ribs, and although I didn't hit my head, I had a sensation that can only be described as "a brain bounce." My vision got all funny for a minute, like when you lay on your side and watch TV, or when you were a kid hanging upside-down on the monkey bars and you sat up suddenly. While I spawled halfway out in the parking-lot a woman––who I'm sure is a member of the Juicy Buns Club––drove by in her SUV without stopping to check whether I was dead or merely unconscious, and didn't seem at all phased by the fact that I'd decided to lay down in the road. Eventually it all evened out and I was able to pick myself up and drag myself inside. The world seemed a little strange for a bit––it still does, actually––and so rather than venture out into the park where I was sure I'd keel over in a goose poop-laden puddle of water, I called Melissa to see if she wanted to let Kona play with Duncan. I didn't want to be alone and thought, as A.A. Milne wrote, "It's so much more friendly with two."

And so we went down to The Glen, which––were it not located right on the edge of one of the busiest and loudest streets in all of Littleton, or sandwiched between a parking lot and a golf course––would make a nice, almost passable corner of The Hundred Acre Wood. It's my favorite place in the complex, shaded and grassy in the summertime, warm and glowing in Autumn. It's not so good at winter, with its slushy bowl of a middle and steep hillsides perfect for slipping and sliding down, getting your pants all wet and snow down your boots, but I'm excited to see what it has in store for us come Spring.

Duncan and Kona are good friends, and as such they enjoy rolling and wrestling and gnawing on the spots behind each others ears while making sure to leave as much good, thick saliva in the general vicinity of their heads as possible. They're friendly dogs, eager to play hard with one another and especially excited to welcome new dogs to the area, even if those dogs happen to be on the sidewalk around the side of the fence, for which there is no gate.
While Melissa and I chatted (Melissa kept her eyes on my pupils to make sure they stayed the same size) a woman, who I'm sure is quite pleasant under normal circumstances, happened to walk by with her little white poodle. Kona noticed the poodle first, then Duncan caught sight of them and trotted around the side of fence and onto the sidewalk to greet them. Kona darted right after him and by the time Melissa and I, running, were able to catch up to them, the poor woman had lifted her frightened white ball of wriggling yipping fur into the air above her head (which you're not supposed to do should your dog ever be attacked). But Duncan and Kona were not attacking, merely trying to sniff butts and bump noses and do all the other things dogs do when they greet each other. Obviously this was made more difficult by the poodle's placement on her mistresses shoulder, but Kona and Duncan were up to the challenge and persisted in their efforts at Canine Hospitality.

"Don't worry," I called. "They're very friendly." I grabbed Duncan's collar as Melissa scooped up Kona and the woman, fire in her eyes and venom in her voice spat out, "That's what the last guy said right before his dog attacked my dog."

I didn't know what to say. I felt extremely embarrassed, but, to be honest, also a little annoyed. This was Duncan she was talking about. The famous Duncan. If my Google Analytics is to be believed a superstar in Eastern Europe (way to go Poland and The Czech Republic!) and southeast Asia––but that could be because (prepare yourself for the really bad pun and also slightly racist joke) they think my blog should be called While Wokking Duncan (you knew I'd do it eventually, right?!). This is Duncan, angel of Clement Park, the sweetest, kindest dog in all the world (yes, Chicago Ruth, he is really as sweet as he looks! Head bath thing and all!). How could this stranger, this person carrying what looked like a mop-head on her shoulder imply such things!?!

Melissa and I dragged our dogs back to The Glen. I quickly leashed Duncan and didn't let go of him for the rest of the evening.

"What did she say to you?" Melissa asked. When I explained she got very quiet for a moment and shook her head, fighting the smile that was forming on her face. "This isn't funny, it's terrible, but that's the poodle my boyfriend's dog attacked. And then the other day Kona jumped her again. Just to play, of course!"

The smile was contagious; I felt it forming at the corners of my mouth. "Are you telling me that dog has been 'attacked' three times in a row?"

Melissa nodded. "In the exact same spot."

It was not funny but we sat on the hillside for ten minutes laughing, especially when I pointed out how we'd become no different than The Shepherds, the horrible, barking dogs who've haunted us at the park for the past eight months. I'd become no better than them; my beautiful, handsome boy had become a snarling beast. I know we'll be in trouble when The Poodle Woman starts carrying a cudgel on her walks.


Duncan's Internet Friend said...

Love your blog. Adore Duncan. Re: poodle woman - I relate in the protective manner (for OTHER dogs). My worry is that my dog (who is always on a leash) takes chunks out of other dogs - great with other people always and dogs...after he gets to know them. I think it is a Napoleon complex.

Lori said...

Good thing I was done with my coffee, because the "wok" joke would've made me snort it all over the laptop. :-D

I fell yesterday, too, on the way IN to work! Didn't get my brain rattled, which is good... January 11 was all the brain-rattling I needed. Did jam both wrists, and my right butt-cheek is owie today. But it's supposed to reach **50** today! That hasn't happened since last November (maybe October). Yeah, may be for 32 seconds late this afternoon, but I'll take it!

Amber said...

Better get to know the people who work for animal control :)