Taking The A-Hole For A Walk

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.


This week was brutal. At 5 o’clock on Friday, I look the same in the mirror, but on the inside, I am merely just remnants of the person I was on Monday. Still, my day is not over as I grab a shopping cart and walk into my local grocery store.  I am on the hunt for dinner, but my crushed ego and spirit pull me to the ice cream isle. I grab a pint of chocolate, peanut butter sundae and head to the checkout line.

As I put the container on the belt in preparation to pay, I find myself not being able to take my eyes off it, and I flirt by wiping a piece of ice that’s hanging off its handsome lid. I know it’s pretty forward of me, but I cannot resist the urge to have contact with this beauty. On the ride home, it’s quiet between us, but electric with anticipation. I park, walk inside as I softly cradle this sugary gem in my hand and grab the only accessory that will bring us closer, a spoon.

I dig in softly and try to play off the huge greedy spoonful I lift to my lips. The rush of sugar almost makes up for the beating that I took this week and before I know it I go in for scoopful number two, and then three. By bite seven, I feel my ass already getting bigger, but don’t care, and then I lose count of the dipping and the raising of the spoon, realizing a third of the container has already vanished.  

I try to talk myself into slowing down, but the impulse and desire to be filled overrides all rationale. My pace gets quicker and more deliberate as I jam spoonful after another into my mouth. I try not to let my mind veer off to judge my actions and try to remain present, but mindless in this act of selfish gluttony. And just as quick as it started it was over, the pint expelled all of its contents into my stomach.

The feelings of guilt are almost immediate. I feel so ashamed and disgusted I went all the way on the first date. I was hoping to savor this pint, getting to know it slowly over the week to come. Understanding my behavior needs to be punished, I already start the mental trial that must convict, sentence, and punish me for my lack of control. I decide my sentence is 5 to 10, not years, but miles that I will force myself to run in the morning.  I take the container, the empty carcass, and place it softly into the trash can. I take a moment to honor it for its service and place the lid over top.