Switch Hitter

Yesterday after Leta’s two-hour mid-morning nap (Ah HA! She submitted! Not without much pleading and bribing and strapping her to the crib with bungee cords) Beth and I went on a walk. The weather has been uncharacteristically warm lately hovering at temperatures high enough to melt snow but still not warm enough that residents of LA wouldn’t sue Mother Nature for breach of contract if they had to endure this type of weather. The policy now is that if the temperature reaches 50 degrees or above the dog gets to go on a walk, all for the sake of his anal glands and making sure no one has to squeeze them and then tell me about how they squeezed them. I AM ONLY HIS OWNER. I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW.

Since Leta had just had a nap she was taking a break from her terminal grumpiness and refrained from making her usual dying animal noises or demanding that she be picked up out of the stroller and carried in my arms the rest of the way. Beth offered to walk Chuck, and since she already knows that FIX IT doesn’t mean a damn thing to the dog when he gets tangled up in his leash I decided to spare her another disadvantage to Chuck-walking. In the short one-block distance from our house to hers he had already emptied his bladder, so I told her that if he lifted his leg to mark anything that she should just keep walking because he would be marking with imaginary pee.

Our walk was pleasantly uneventful until we reached Starbucks when a giant, hairy bear galloped toward us. “That dog IS BIGGER THAN I AM, OH MY GOD,” shrieked Beth as she tried to gain control of Chuck whose tail had gone missing and who was watching a movie of his life flash before his eyes. Beth’s exclamation wasn’t one of fear, though, no. It was a declaration to the owner of the beast that she was about to enter the territory of two women who are not afraid to tell you however subtly or not so subtly what an idiot you are being.

A frantic woman came running after the bear, what had to have been the most gigantic golden retriever ON PLANET EARTH, but she couldn’t gain control of the dog. As the beast continued to growl at Chuck the owner sort of stood there saying, “Come here! Come here!” And Beth looked at me like, “Is this really happening? Cause I wasn’t aware we were entering Bear country.” The woman finally got hold of the dog’s collar and pulled him away. Without even apologizing she sort of shrugged and said, “He’s like a little barn animal!”

No, barn animals eat hay and moo. Sometimes they wear bow ties. That dog was going to put my dog’s whole body into his mouth. The circulation in Beth’s hand was cutting off oxygen to the rest of her body as Chuck’s leash gripped more tightly around her palm. “A LITTLE BARN ANIMAL?” Beth said more than asked. “That dog IS BIGGER THAN I AM. Good thing he didn’t EAT YOUR BABY, HEATHER.”

After cooling off with an iced tea Beth took charge of Chuck again and we headed back home. Not even a half block on the way back we encountered another dog, this time a funny looking mutt who came running at Chuck from out of nowhere. There was something really off about this dog, and by off I mean HE WAS MISSING A FRONT PAW. “Aw, Limpy!” Beth cooed. “LIMPY! Where did your foot go, little fella?” And then she took out her phone to take a picture.

You have to imagine this scene: Chuck circling the three-pawed dog in an attempt to sniff his three-pawed butt, Beth holding a tall iced tea in the same hand she was using to hold Chuck’s circling leash and using the other hand to steady her camera phone, all while screaming, “Limpy. LIMPY! Hold still, Limpy. Stop. Hold still. HOLD STILL, LIMPY.”

People, that woman can multitask. Just look at the moment she captured for you, The Internet: Chuck licking Limpy and Limpy not seeming to mind one bit.