Must Walk Dogs

by carolyn on September 10, 2014

My morning began with a microwaved 1/2 grande Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was the perfect beginning. I took the dogs out for their quick morning walk where they have a time limit of 5-10 minutes to do their biz before I rush to work. That might sound restrictive but Colby likes to dillydally–ain’t nobody got time for that.  There’s usually tension all around but between the sips and whiffs of cinnamon-pumpkin-coffee I felt atypically at ease. Does PSL stand for Purely Serene Life? Because that’s what I was living.

Unsurprisingly the euphoria continued. I stopped by Whole Foods and Target on the way to work to buy iced coffees, snacks, greeting cards, and, most importantly, pens. Two days ago, I used a bold gel point pen at Sylvester & Co. on Broughton St. and it was a game changer. I always felt I wanted the finest felt pen. And that’s fine for most writing, but I didn’t know what I was missing. That day, in that store, adding my name to their email list, was not unlike Harry Potter finding his wand. We were meant to be. Together we would achieve greatness and banish evil.  I needed that pen in my life. Luckily, Target had three.

Work flew by; I even stayed late as I networked on LinkedIn and tried to determine what my target audience wants to hear from our company updates. The answer? Neither of the posts I wrote.

I arrived home around 6 and fed Colby and Emma. I felt rather sprightly and decided that we should go on an adventure. Never mind that I had eaten literally less than a handful of food that day (work distracted me). Or that I had barely hydrated (we have a weird brand of water at work right now…you know how I am about that).

In a matter of minutes we were out the door. The sun was setting and I was clad in my usual black on black, tank on yoga pant ensemble.  We crossed the busy road where I fell the last time I ventured out of the neighborhood with them…in January. I jumped right back on the horse — eight months later. We were off!

I kinda needed to pee and we ran out of doggie bags before we were even halfway to the trail. We also ran out of sidewalk. So we trudged along the sloped grassy knoll with Colby rubbing his face against the grass for minutes at a time. He either loves the smell of grass or hates his gentle-lead collar. We made it through the marshiest part of the walk where I was slightly thankful for my allergies as they saved me from fully inhaling the signature rotten egg stench of the Islands. I wondered how my dogs with their heightened sense of smell didn’t drop dead from the stink but then I recalled their greeting habits and discerned that one man’s stench must be every dog’s perfume.

Finally we arrived at the adventure part–the trail! It was perfect timing. Single gal. Darkening sky. Uncharted paths. Knotty tree roots threatening to unhinge my slightly staggering steps. All of my past falls reeled through my mind. Broken feet, sprained ankles, and, most recently, the head wound. But I was sober this time. I’m not sure of the difference between the danger posed by a shot versus a tree root, but I hear that sobriety makes falls more socially acceptable. Did I mention I was parched? I imagined the dirty dust sneaking into my mouth and nose, absorbing what little moisture my body had left. Was I in a sandstorm? Paths diverged this way and that and I purposefully took what I imagined were the longest ones. I was still in Adventure Mode.  I came across the occasional male but Colby lunged at each man to the degree that they picked up their pace, ran off trail, and turned back with terror etched on their faces. Colby’s is a face they won’t forget.

I may never get attacked, but I also may never date again. With each heartbreak I endure, Colby becomes more aggressive and Emma gains more weight. I think during this last breakup, she may have actually put on more pounds than me–no small feat. At this point we were an hour in and Emma was lagging behind. I feel for you, girl, but we’re in this together.

Night fell and we were on a path that led us to a road perpendicular to that of our entrance. We were all worse for the wear. Even Colby, the Ironman of dogs, was so over it. I imagined that I might collapse from dehydration and a rare condition where someone really lazy goes for a hike. Admittedly the only thing that kept me going was the sweet sound of Taylor Swift singing her way through all the traumas–and the triumphs– of love. Back then I swore I was going to marry him someday, but I realized some bigger dreams of  mine, too. Like the dream of marrying someone who is at least as romantic as I am and maybe a touch more of a dreamer, with great ambition and height (6’1″+ please) and a kind heart and a clever sense of humor. *Sigh*

Also, I was concerned that if I fainted, Emma would only wait an hour or two before gnawing on my arm or leg. After all, she needs her post-workout protein. Colby would scare off any potential rescuers/knights in shining armor. I’d be done in and done for.

Then I actually applied what I think is something called “math” to my predicament. Regardless of how far along I was on my trail, the shortest distance was the diagonal between the two roads (aka my trail).  And so we turned back. You might say we were Homeward Bound, but you shouldn’t.

I loathe that movie.

Emma and Colby Survive



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