Saturday, March 22, 2014

Boo! Corner

Character defect Number 883:

I'm walking Daisy and Emmett.  Daisy is as high strung and unedited as Joan Rivers.  It's quite possible her bark has a Brooklyn accent.  She has something to say about everything, every one and, especially, every dog.

I am told that when she walks with other people, she does not rattle on about Lady Gaga's Vomit Artist or someone's clothing choices.  She saves her bad behavior for me because she knows she'll sleep tight up against me come night, weighting down the blankets and I'll love the weight of her too much to protest.  In other words, she plays me like a violin.

Emmett is also high strung.  He proves to me that dogs do not understand each other's barking because he reacts to Daisy's nattering and demanding by whipping around on his leash, looking for Satan, the Joker, the Yellow Claw.  He is paranoid schizo-affective and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.  In a split second, a fire hydrant can turn into the Yellow Claw or a man with groceries can sprout horns, a tail and a pitchfork.  Daisy's barking sends him into a frenzy.

Really insecure dogs have a habit of looking back at their possible enemies once they're past them.  I spend a lot of time hiding behind cars with Daisy because she thinks it's fun to bully up to the bulldog, but once the bulldog or, especially, Wheaton terrier has gone by, it's out of sight, out of mind.  Emmett is one of those dogs who keeps looking back, singing and humming his distress that the Bad Bad Dog is only a half a block away.

That being said, there are a couple of rules dog owners and walkers need to abide by.  Walkers tend to do so because we know how our dogs react.  One of them is the right of way.

If I have two dogs and you have one dog, you cross the street.

If I have a big dog and you have a Yorkie, you cross the street.

If I know you and happen to be walking a dog I know will get into a fracas with your dog, or vice versa, and I happen to be near your house, I cross the street.  And vice versa.

Never, when walking a dog, come up behind someone else who is walking a dog.  Cross the street or give fair warning.

So there we are at Joralemon and Hicks Streets, a tight, narrow corner that tends to collect buggies, strollers, mothers and nannies. 
I'm coming up the hill, headed toward a kiddie klatsch.  I have Daisy and Emmett on short leashes because where there are strollers there are Cheerios and sudden hobgoblins.  It's a blind corner, with a hedge to my left.  As we circumvent the kiddie krowd, I see a man with a Kerry blue in what will be my path.  He stops and glares at me.  I stop and reconnoiter my options as he waits.  It's clear that I want to go where he is but he's not budging, he's letting the Kerry's leash remain slack and he's looking at me like I'm scum.  I tell the dogs to follow me into the street and I begin making a big lopsided circle around him as he remains standing and glaring.  I manage to not get us hit by traffic or to allow one of my assholes to bite off a two-year-old's hand and I haul the dogs up onto the sidewalk behind him.

Emmett is humming.  Daisy is not liking the fact that it's a Kerry blue.  She's known two of them and they have bad connotations.  After we're safely six feet away, the man begins to walk and I mutter, rather loudly, "I've got two dogs and you have one and can't help out here, asshole?"

Oooh.  I just love it when I'm right.  I just bathe in my own moment of judgement.  And then I hate myself as much as I hate whoever has just done something rock-stupid with their dog.  Why do I have to turn to sarcasm and name-calling?  Is it possible I could say, "Hey, could you move your dog -- I have two and you're where I want to be?"

No.  Because all my rage of my marginalism comes up in that moment.  I'm wide, my dogs make a wider load yet, we have no rights.  I get so tired of walking in the street because people won't move for a dog, but when someone with a dog doesn't assess the situation and help out -- all my best potty-mouth words bubble to the surface.

It's Saturday.  I'm tired of thinking.  I think, however, that I should think some more.  Find more words, ask more questions, do more research.  But I'm craving oblivion.  Am I due?  I'm sitting here slack-jawed now, all my words used up by the week of blogging, doing My Other Life, carrying on cheerfully when I have the financial horrors.  Feeling like I did at Boo! Corner but unable to make the circle around the guy with the privilege for the sake of my own progress...


Hilary said...

Thanks, Frances, You have me smiling as you often do even though I know it must be very frustrating. I'm not a pet owner--never have been. My brother has a cockapoo and when I visit and the three of us go for a walk or he takes us for a walk rather, we wonder if Dexter will ever be a calm dog--like some of the ones we see--and then we say, "Nah, never!" I don't know what he'd do with two dogs. I come from parents who didn't want pets and never had them, and so I grew up with no particular desire for them. My brother was the baby of the family and he did ask for a dog once and was turned down. So after he married and his wife wanted one he agreed and now he's a widower. He says that he doesn't know what he'd do without his dog now. When he has anxiety, Dexter makes him feel less alone. When my daughter talked about pets, I, like my mom, said, "Not in my house." Now she's a cat person--just lost her 16-year-old cat to kidney disease. Had been with her since college. I know your dogs are a comfort to you although walking them does sound like a BIG job!

Nanette said...

Nah. . .just stand your ground and tromp right over that motherfucker.