Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Marked Man

I was late getting home. First I had my boot camp class right after work, then I was forced to stop by the store to grab the pack of Nutter Butters I've been craving all week, and then, because I didn't go yesterday, I had to run to Hero's to pick up food for Duncan. By the time I got home it was dark and Duncan was more than ready to walk.

It was a lovely night, warm and windless. The sky was deep purple, tinged with city-light orange on the horizon but clear and starry deep in its middle where it counts most. The elms, white and stark, and almost completely naked, rose up around the park's perimeter like giant skeletal hands pointing out the lowering Dipper and returning Orion. Far to the north, and just beginning to peek over the western mountains, is the front that brought sleet and snow to southeast Idaho this morning, the same one that will make tomorrow cold and wet. But tonight was perfect and even though my legs were already stiffening up and I desperately needed a shower, I didn't mind an extra long walk with Roo around the baseball diamonds, up to the lake, and then back down to see the bunnies.

Not long into our walk, though, we ran into The Shepherds, who have formed an alliance with every other shepherd and their companion who walk the park. They travel in an enormous pack, sometimes exceeding six or seven dogs, not all shepherds but almost all of whom are big and off leash. So far none of the other dogs have been hostile, but I still feel nervous when our paths cross, especially since it's obvious they've all been told who I am.

The pack split up, but one shepherd and a poodle remained. They trotted up to us and immediately leaned into me when I knelt down to pet them. Duncan sniffed each in turn while both dogs happily licked my face and hands, sniffed my pockets for the organic wild boar treats I keep in there, and doted on me. Roo paced nervously around us, trying to step in, trying to win back my attention, but when that didn't work he did the only thing he could thing of: he raised his leg and pissed all over me.

Not them. Not the cinnamon shepherd who smelled like lavender and wanted nothing more than to press herself against me while her companions watched. Not the black poodle, who kept thrusting her Frisbee into my hand in the vain hope that I would toss it for her to chase after.

No, Duncan stood right next to me and let fly with a hot stream of urine, which zigged up my rib cage to my neck, zagged across my arm and chest, and then dribbled down onto my legs.

Both dogs instantly backed away and Duncan moved right in, rolling into me, pushing his face into my legs and sliding as much of his body against the dry side of me as possible.

He is not mine. We are not each others.

I am his.

Point made.


Lori said...

In retrospect, you probably realize you should've seen that one comin', huh? 'Twas the Tinkle of Love.

Scout and Freyja said...

Been there - done that. Little cocker spaniel of mine just lifted his leg and peed all over my feet when I was talking to a friend who was walking her schnauzer. I wondered why my feet were feeling so nice and warm!

Sue said...

That is too friggin funny. Sounds like he wanted to remind you who you belonged to, that's for sure.

caboval said...

Boy, talk about marking your territory!!! Huh? Hugs joey and Kealani

Nik said...

I've never touching your neck, arm and chest, OR legs.

Greg said...

Can't. Stop. Laughing.

CJ/Rick said...

Now I might tolerate that under different circumstances. But... all I can say is that you and Duncan are quite the gentlemen. My Lucy, unfortunately would not have been so gracious from the start and I can't say I would have been in the end.

39 degrees????????? Wow!

bbes tribe said...

He did a good job of marking his territory. He does love you??! We enjoyed visiting and reading about your adventure.
Ernie & Sasha

Kevi said...

...and yet you were uncomfortable with your litlle two year old nephew trying to piss on you three times in one afternoon. You should feel loved.