Friday, March 25, 2005

On our daily walk through the park the dogs and I will stop and visit with one of the friendly park gardeners named Jack. Even though dogs must destroy his flower beds and he has to clean up nasty messes left by irresponsible pet owners, he hasn’t allowed any of that to harden his heart toward dogs. He adores them and keeps a big bag of dog biscuits in his gardener’s cart. Spoon and Billy are crazy about Jack and about ¼ of a mile away from the park Billy will start straining and pulling at his leash in this frenzied, frantic way to get to Jack. I believe he pulls on his leash like that also because he's a dirty little auto erotic asphyxiater.

To Spoon and Billy there is something magical about a complete stranger handing out treats. Dogs are apparently capable of generalizing because now they consider all the people of the park their personal treat dispenser. They will often run up to strangers with this entitled expectation of a handout. Oftentimes this person is some raving homeless person I recognize from the library and with whom I’m desperately avoiding eye contact. I will have to give the dogs a mean little jerk on their leash to get them away from them.

Jack and I share a lot of the same patrons, many of whom spend their nights in the park and then wander over to the library during the day to bathe in the sink, nap, and use the facilities. We exchange stories and compare all of the different nicknames we have for all of the characters. I recently found out through Jack that at the park, Stinky is known as Johnny Low Pants because the crotch of his jeans hangs around his knees in perfect, even though accidental, super fresh ghetto rapper style. He often marks his territory in the park by spraying diarrhea all over a certain section of a retaining wall.

The other day Jack and I were talking and I looked over and noticed that Billy and Dixie (Fisher’s blind black lab that I had taken on the walk), had both had decided to take matters into their hands and were trying to break into his garden golf cart to get at the treats, ramming, pawing and jumping at the cart like they were big black bears in Yellowstone. I was mortified by their manners but Jack just laughed and rewarded them with more treats.

Oh, yes, dogs have a nose. Our dog's best friends (a lab mix and a springer spaniel) sniff my pocket each time they see me, because a few times over a year ago, I'd put small milkbones in my pocket.

I like the way you write, Foxy. :) You have a way with words.
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