I am completely busted tired. I am not even certain I will be able to finish this blogpost, but I am going to give it my best try. I hope I don't blather on. The reason I am so tired is because I was dogsitting for my neighbor's mutt Diva. Diva is a Beagle/Great Pyranees mix. This is something I don't like to think about. But so you can picture her, she has the coloring of a Beagle and the appearance and size of a Great Pyranees. They call her Diva because she likes to have her face in the place. She is quite beautiful and of a pleasing temperament. She likes strangers and she never barks except to say hello. I think she would also bark to protect her loved ones, but thankfully she has never been tested. The only really gross thing about Diva is she is a drooly dog. Her tongue is always hanging out and she drips slobber everywhere and it makes me gag. I know...this speaks ill of me, but if it is any consolation, I didn't like it when my kids were drooly either. I'm not down with drool.
The problem really is that I don't have a dog and so the whole drooly walking of them is something I am really not thrilled about. It was raining yesterday like the Holy Flood and there I was with Diva out in it and you know what they do when they get wet right? They shake. And when a drooly dog shakes it's water, hair, drool, ugh. It is not pleasing. This drooling and walking of dogs is the entire reason I don't have one. I don't even walk my daughter to the busstop in the cold and rain. I wave from the door and watch from the window. I figure the whole rest of the neighbhorhood is out there anyway and so I'll be the bad mommy. I watch for Mrs. M and when her green van pulls up, I send my child out. Mrs. M is a dutiful and good mommy. She's out there in all the weathers. If she had a dog, I'm sure she would be one of those who walked it 5 times a day and fed it organic. I forget to feed my children. I wish they could filter feed like whales but from the air.
On Saturday I took Diva to the outdoor Mall and like I said it was a really beautiful day and Diva is a really nice dog, she smiles and everyone stops to smile back. My kids are like that, too. So together, we weren't getting very far, a few steps and then we stop and on and on. L asked if she could hold the leash and being that we were moving so slow, I figured what harm? This is why I have not been picking up the phone or answering email. I am hiding out still after the incident on the mall...
Diva, being a diva, likes attention best. After that she likes frisbees, white socks, and sunglasses. She talks to us. L, being quiet and watchful, really does seem to understand what she is saying. Which is why when Diva started bark and whine and to to run pulling L along behind her and when L started shouting, "NO, DIVA, NO, THAT IS NOT A FRISBEE. NO!!! HE DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY!! STRANGER DIVA STRANGER!!" I should have reacted faster. But, Diva is three times faster than me, even pulling L, and I was wearing these stupid sandals that were slippery and my heels kept sliding off the sides. K is twice as fast as me, which made him nearly as fast as Diva pulling L, but by the time he caught them, Diva had mounted the brick wall and was partaking of the man's head. They could not pull her off of him. K and L together do not weigh as much as Diva.
So Diva had pulled L along the brick walk, jumped up onto a brick wall that separated the restaurant tables from the central walkway and was licking a bald man's head as he sat at the table having a plate of pasta with his horrified family. Well, the family wasn't originally horrified. They were normal until Diva planted her front paws on his shoulders and began a thorough slathering of his head. She was fondling the sunglasses he had perched there while her tongue went to work. As I ran toward them crying out, "DIVA NO DIVA NO," I had to note that his sunburned head with its narrow rim of reddish hair looked like a frisbee and that his sunglasses were the added temptation.
The man was unable to move because Diva weighs something like 160 lbs and she had nearly her full weight on his shoulders and he was in a seated position. His luncheon companions were fussy old ladies who just scream and are of no use. My children were leaning back pulling at the leash and I ran up and threw my arms around Diva's hips to try to yank her down, but imagine it: it's a big brick wall which Diva has leapt atop and on the other side of this wall, peaking over the top was the man's red, bald head. I can't get up on the wall, my kids can't get up on the wall, Diva isn't moving.
So I have to run AROUND the wall leaving my kids to hold the leash, I push through the bald man's fussy tablemates and pull and push at Diva to get her attention. She looks up and says something that sounds like a creaking door. From over the wall, L shouts out, "She says, 'What?' "
The man of course doesn't know what to say and he's sputtering about suing!! I'm wondering if he has just cause, because you know...I'm not litigious, but I'd be pissed too. Likewise, what are the rules for dog behavior?? Can I be fined for letting Diva be held by my 8 year old daughter in a public place? Can I be fined for not noticing any frisbee shaped heads, any accessible sunglasses? It is quite obvious, I felt anyway, that K, L and I were doing our best to rectify the traumatic situation.
It didn't help that as I looked at this man, my eyes kept drifting up to his pate which was not only glistening with slobber, but which also had great white foamy patches, like he had been put through the car wash but not rinsed off. I kept gagging. This is not within my control. I have a shallow gag reflex.
His sunglasses were askew, but still perched up there. His collar was wet and bent. I noted...his collar was white and rolled and looked just like a pair of sweatsocks resting over his shoulders. Trifecta. I pulled my eyes away and began rummaging around in my mommy bag and brought out some tissues. I began to pat his head while L called out from over the wall, "Now she's saying, "Can I have one."
"Tell her she's had enough."
"She doesn't mean head, she means tissues."
"L, please control the dog."
I reached into my bag and gave him my whole tissue pack and then laughed nervously pulling at my sleeves. "Well...okay then."
"Can I have your contact information. In case there is any follow up required."
I laughed nervously again and handed him my business card, which I accidentally printed sort of upside down and backwards. It has my jacket cover on one side and my face and website and a review blurb on the other. If you hold it so the cover is right side up and flip it, my face is upside down. I made them myself. I hoped he would find them charming and that it would show how silly and innocent I am.
This is true. I am silly and innocent.
He said, "I'll make an appointment with my doctor and be in touch with you. Your dog needs discipline."
I said, "She's really very sweet. I am sorry. It is awful that she licked your head."
"Your children need discipline too."
From over the wall L said, "Diva wants to know if she should come up there and lick him again." Suddenly Diva was looking better and better.
The man looked alarmed.
I called over the wall, "Thanks, L. I'll let you know if that becomes necessary."
She called back, "Diva says, okay."
I said goodbye to the bald man and tipped my head. He tipped his head forward to. "Your daughter is a regular Dr. Doolittle."
"Indeed. It's a wonderful talent. Don't you think?"
He grudgingly nodded and sat back down and I went back around the wall and the four of us went home.
So far the guy hasn't contacted me. Keep your fingers crossed.