There are two ways to walk my dog, Lola:
1. Put on all of your walking gear. As you put on your tennis shoes, your appropriate weather gear, and maybe your Ipod if it’s charged, she will start jumping up and down. She does this because she is a Jack Russell Terrier and because she loves to go for a walk more than a thief loves a blackout. You sigh — you wanted to walk for fitness reasons–exercise. You know, really crank it up out there, rock it out, pump up the volume, and maybe even jog a bit. You cannot take Lola if this is what you want to do, but if you have a heart, you cannot walk out the door and leave her. With her, there is only walk and no walk. You can pretend that you have to put the wet clothes in the dryer and sneak out the basement door, but she will follow you. She knows things – except English. Skip the long-winded explanation. She only knows a few words and shows no understanding of the phrase, “Sometimes Mommy has to do things for herself.” Head out on your street, but DON’T lose the attitude. You have a heart, but you’re sorry for it. This walk will be very frustrating for you. Having not given up what you intended, to exercise, you will be irritated by her constant stopping and peeing and sniffing and lunging at other dogs (because you are walking so slowly you have time to evaluate your poor parenting skills…she can’t even say a simple hello without growling and pulling…if you were alone not only would you be walking so fast as to get back before you can say, “I need to update my Facebook picture”, but no one would know you are a terrible mother). She can take ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to roll in the Suntrust Bank plantings, but if you take two minutes too long chatting with your neighbor, she will start barking as if she is insane (nice trick if you can pull it off). The entire walk you won’t give up what you intended, you just shelve your dreams (yeah, some more), and kick “martyr status” into full gear. Choose the “Angry” or “Me last, Rest of the World first” playlist…PINK if you got it. That is, of course, if Lola’s pulling hasn’t jerked the Ipod out of your hand enough to make scrolling a nuisance. When you get in the door and someone asks you how the walk was, try to say something dramatic like “a nightmare”.
2. Put on all of your walking gear. Decide if you want to mess with your Ipod. Put
the leash on her and grab up the grocery bags and stuff ‘em in your fleecy pocket. Think that she jumps pretty high for an ol’ girl. Set out on your walk. Be glad that the pit bull down the street can’t jump the fence. Don’t spend too long talking to the neighbors. They know how she gets. Let her sniff all her favorite spots. Let her chase squirrels. Try to keep up. Notice that someone on your street is selling plants now and since your rubber tree is dying from your lack of care, think about buying more plants…locally. Walk her on one of her favorite routes: either by the courthouses and through the little park and down High Street or walk towards the hospital, down towards the cemetery (her absolute favorite place), up Park Street and then headed back home. If you brought your Ipod, pick your chill playlist. Replay “Angel from Montgomery” five times. Don’t make the list in your head. Call it good. Walk home. Let her off the leash so she can take a lap around the house for good luck. Eat dinner.