“It’s a nice day. Why don’t you get some exercise and go walk the dogs. Take Ling Ling, too,” says the GM of Finance.
Walking the 100-pound semi-deaf, going-blind Moosedawg by himself is easy enough. Sure, for the first 100 yards or so he tries to drag me. But over the last 13 years, we’ve developed a system.
I say: “Buddy, you’re pulling me. Buddy, you’re pulling me… Dammit, Buddy slow down! Are you listening to me? FINE, THEN!”
I jerk just hard enough to make the choke chain nip his huge neck. Now that I have his attention, the rest of the walk is lovely.
Our finely honed system works.
Crack Puppy Walkies
But if you bring Ling Ling the Crack Puppy along, the complexity of walkies increases exponentially. Why?
First off, she is eight inches tall and will not walk in a straight line. She zig-zags, paying no attention to cars, me or the Moosedawg.
Plus she slams on her brakes frequently, requiring me to watch her at least 100% of the time. Because if I were to step even gingerly on the Crack Puppy, she would squoosh like a sausage. And the Moosedawg and I would be banished to Australia.
When you have a Ling Ling dog, you must always be on RED ALERT, even when happily walking along lovely Mission Bay. Danger is everywhere.
In the distance, we spot two power-walking geriatric women. They are traveling at speed, wearing Gucci Track Suits, matching silk headscarves and iPods.
Each has a dog that is 300% bigger than the Crack Puppy. And since the power-walking rich women have those stupid, automatic, free-spinning, 30-foot-long leashes, both of their dogs are freewheeling straight for us.
The Crack Puppy thinks she is dinner for these jackals. She resorts to her natural defenses, rolling into a ball, looking like an armadillo wearing a mink coat. I scoop her up like a fumble, side-step the jackals and move to safety, then try to calm the GM Finance, who has had a heart attack.
Eventually we continue walkies. But we remain on high alert, scanning land, sea and especially air for predators. Because if you own a Malt-Tzu designer dog, a seagull could snatch it with a single claw and peal it in mid-flight, like an after-dinner mint.
And if you didn’t have the drag set properly on your automatic leash, the line would snap and you’d have to re-rig and re-bait with another designer dog.
JERK! CHOKE! GASP!
That was the GM Finance yanking our choke chain. Because we DO NOT JOKE about Ling Ling Sweet’ums being an in-flight snack.
The other problem with walking the Crack Puppy is personal and revolves around “the look”.
As a man who is well over four-feet-tall, we are used to “the look” people give us while we walk the Moosedawg. The look says, “Short men ALWAYS have huge scary dogs to compensate for their inferiority complex and small dangly bits.”
We could tolerate that back when the Moosedawg was young and savage. When, on occasion, we might accidentally drop our leash, allowing the Hound of the Baskervilles to scatter all other life forms like terrified coveys of quail.
The “look” that we do NOT like is the one we get at the outdoor mall, while we are seated on a bench, holding the Crack Puppy, wearing our fedora, and waiting impatiently for the GM Finance. That “look” is judgmental. It says, “Why is it that all short, round, gay men have tiny designer dogs and wear hats?”
Not that there is anything wrong with that, per se. But it greatly annoys us.
All this notwithstanding, our greatest concern when walking the Crack Puppy is that we will return home one day and she will be broken. She will have sprained a tiny fuzzy foot, scratched her adorable little nose, or, God forbid, been savaged by a wild field mouse or a cricket.
And we would be dead.
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