I have never been a fan of walking my dogs. When Rainy was younger, I would run with her. She was terrible on a leash and it was difficult to control her when she would pull towards other dogs, people, birds, squirrels, and anything that would capture her attention. Rainy, on a regular basis, would pull me to the ground and drag me until I was able to get back on my feet. I often returned from our outings bloody with road rash.
Jazzy, on the other hand, being much smaller doesn’t have the power to pull me over, but she still pulls hard on the leash. She now wears a special harness, because she has injured her trachea from her desire to lead on our walks. Jazzy is also terrible when she encounters other dogs. She wants to attack them with every fiber of her tiny, bulldog, rage filled being. She is brutal and embarrassing and she froths at the mouth during her numerous attempted rampages. She lunges right for her victim’s face/throat area, and my apology for her behavior never seems sufficient.
Walking them together has its challenges because Rainy feeds off Jazzy’s targeted anger. Maintaining control over both dogs is sometimes difficult. It doesn’t take me long to become overwhelmed. They have no appreciation or consideration for me as I try to be a good neighbor and attempt to pick up their crap while they are both pulling hard in different directions to unknown destinations. It’s a miracle I do not come back shit covered from our walks.
I have never been that person who unwinds after a long day during my evening walks with the dogs. I feel I am on the defensive the entire time. Constantly looking ahead to see if other neighbors are out walking their dogs and pre-emptively crossing the street before Jazzy gets ugly. There is nothing relaxing about it. My mind fixates on how long I will be carrying this big bag full of Rainy’s steaming turds until I find the next garbage can. I tend to get resentful when I have the leashes with the dogs pulling in one hand and a bag of shit in the other and my nose starts to itch. Sometimes I tie the bag of shit to the leash of the dog who owns it. When it’s tied to Rainy’s leash it tends to hit Jazzy in the face, as they walk side by side. Jazzy just quietly endures it. As funny as I find this, she doesn’t deserve this. Feeling bad, I untie it, and decide to carry it myself and resent it even more. In spite of my intense dislike of the walks, I committed to walking them this past spring on a daily basis because my dogs look forward to this daily outing. Sometimes my daughter joins us.
I am not sure how it happened. Sometimes I am not sure how I get from A to B on certain things. However, I realized I have somehow become fixated on Jazzy’s asshole. I can’t stop staring it during our walks. When my daughter walks with me, she has noticed me doing it. I have found it difficult to explain to Ella why my eyes are drawn to Jazzy’s sphincter. I surmise it’s because of the anxiety knowing that it is just one more thing I cannot control on this walk. I’m sure I would be staring at Rainy’s too, but her tail thankfully blocks my view.
This past Mother’s Day I received a card from Ella. When I opened the card Ella made for me, it had three pieces of fabric with string attached, taped to the top of the card. Ella asked me if I knew what they were? It took me a few seconds for it to register, but the laughter that erupted between the two of us was so amazing at the realization of what she made. Ella, knowing me the way she does, made me Jazzy butt-hole covers for me to use during our walks. How lucky am I to have the most thoughtful daughter in the world and to try to offer a solution instead of judging the neurosis that she witnesses on the daily. Ella shared that she tried to buy butt-hole covers from Etsy, but they were sold out. You heard that right. They were SOLD OUT. It makes me feel a bit normal knowing that I might not be the only one afflicted with the unwanted past time of Jazzy A-hole viewing.