My walks with Duncan are not always as picturesque or inspiring as they sound. Yes, there are the incredible sunsets and cloud formations over the Rockies, the small, marshmallow mounds of snow collected on tree branches, the dragonflies flirting with the willows, the wind whispering secrets to the bees frolicking among the lavender. But there are also the mornings I step in someone else's business and curse my way back up the stairs where I have to scrape it off in the garbage. There are the occasional dead bunnies left to decompose along the fence line, the smell of rotting fish at the lake, and the times we are witnesses to nature's grandeur when a hawk takes a screaming squirrel or a pack of coyotes maul a goose on the golf course. I have seen and heard and smelled many things I never expected over the long miles we have trudged hither and yon but I have never I witnessed anything like the incident we encountered yesterday at the park.
It was an ordinary walk in every way. The soccer hoards had infected the park and the high school marching "band" was butchering their way through some abysmal tune never meant to be performed on a football field with tubas and clarinets. The rabbits were out in record numbers, the baseball fields were packed and the sun was shining down on our green grass and leaves. Everything seemed to be in its rightful place, with the exception, that is, of one woman and her alien-looking Pug.
She seemed like an ordinary enough person, early fifties, sandy blond hair cut short in a messy bob, a tan canvas jacket. The Pug was... well, a Pug, so there's not much to say. It was a snorty little thing, more pig than dog, sniffing and huffing in the grass, grunting when it found its spot and hunched up to tend to business. The woman turned her back and watched the soccer kids, as numerous as gnats, kicking and chasing the balls across the field. When the dog had finished it yipped a puggish sort of yip to catch its companion's attention. The woman immediately reached into her pocket and withdrew a tissue, which she used––to my astonishment––to wipe her dog's bottom. She gave it one or two good swipes, looked at it and tucked it away in her pocket. I don't know if if she had some strong opposition to the numerous garbage cans strategically placed all around, or if she planned on saving it for later., doing her part to recycle and be environmentally responsible. All I know is that I would've killed to have been there later when she decided to wipe her nose.
"Don't get any ideas in your head, mister," I told Duncan sternly as we gave the two a wide berth. Frankly, I think he was just as confused as I was.