I’m becoming that man.
The crazy neighbor man down the street that takes out his dog 10000 times a day. Or the other crazy man that stands on his driveway waiting for you to walk by so he can ask a question about your dog.
That is me. I am becoming those men.
Why? Because I work from home and sometimes my only connection to the outdoor world is the excuse that I need to take my dog out. I’m not sure why but I find myself thinking several times a day that I need to take Boss outside. Part of it is that this dog may only be 9 pounds but he is 9 tons smart. He is not falling for the tether-me-to-12-pound-dumbbell-in-the-backyard-and-call-your-dog-mom-duties-done trick any more. Nope. He’s on to me. Big.
Instead when I do tether him he gives it about a minute before he begins his siren call: BARK. Lots of barks, repetitive in nature and growing louder with each one I ignore. Inevitably I go back outside, untether him, return him indoors to be with me.
But this is not where he wants to be. He wants to be outdoors. How do I know this? Because if I open the door a sliver without blocking the sliver-sized exit with my leg he darts out the door. Where does he go? To the field. For crazy laps.
So I take him outside. Not once, twice, three times…we’re talking several times a day. And I walk circles with him in the field while he does his crazy laps. Or eats the clover. Or chases the bees. Or picks up the rotting food that SOMEONE in the neighborhood insists on throwing back there (I blame crazy Peapod grocery deliver with alien child neighbors next door). And when that is not entertaining enough, he plays with a stick. We have a new game called Toss The Stick. Try it with your kids. You find a stick, you break it up and you toss it many many times. Turns out this is more fun than catch the ball but less fun than dart out the door.
The neighbors. They’re on to me. They know I, like the man with the whiteflufferdog, have a problem. The cannot-stop-taking-dog-outdoors problem multiple times per day. But that’s ok. The neighbors are part of the fun. In fact, I kind of like running into them. Nevermind they are all retired and twice my age. When we bought the house there was no sign that said this is a retirement community. It’s not but I’m telling you no one around here works and everyone has white hair. Myself soon to be next. With the hair. From all the swimming in the pool.
So each time I take Boss outside I know I will run into someone. The aliens that live next door. The man across the street that lives in the garage. The man with lots of beer. The guy with the red car. The lady that talks really close. Today I walk to the end of the street and familiar neighborhood character is out there. He is the “Is that a Chihuahua man?”. Why? Because every time he sees me he asks the same thing.
“IS THAT A CHIHUAHUA?”
“Yes, that’s what they told us. He’s a Chihuahua.”
“THAT DOG IS TOO NICE TO BE A CHIHUAHUA.”
“Yes, he’s a nice dog.”
“CHIHUAHUAS ARE USUALLY NIPPY. THAT DOG IS NOT NIPPY.”
“No, he likes people for sure.”
The conversation played out like that several more times. And it always plays out in CAPS and BOLD because the man talks REALLY REALLY LOUD. When he was taking out the trash, pulling into his driveway, sweeping his garage – he asked the same questions (see above). But once he threw the conversation for a loop when he was driving in the car with his wife:
“LOOK, THAT’S THE HAPPY DOG. THAT’S THE LITTLE CHIHUAHUA I WAS TELLING YOU ABOUT.”
I had to lift Boss up to the window just so they could be sure. Conversation played on again and again.
But now I’m on to him. Some days, it is a Chihuahua. Some days, it is not. Why? More importantly, why not? Something needs to bring excitement into my day. Convincing this man my small dog is part poodle, part pit bull, part goat – these are all very fun things.
So today when I was walking Boss to the field for the second time, there he was. The man. Washing his car.
“IS THAT A CHIHUAHUA?”
Haven’t we been through this before?
“Yes, he’s a Chihuahua for sure.”
There’s a new one.
“Yes, 100 percent pure bred. Top of the line.”
Boss is so not top of the line.
“HE’S TOO NICE TO BE A PURE-BRED CHIHUAHUA.”
I know. Trust me, by now I know.
This will happen again.
There are also small children in the neighborhood that really like Boss. We ran into them the other day. They were on their tricycles. Small child dismounts, small child then approaches my smaller dog and Boss becomes submissive waiting for a belly rub but instead gets an ear tug and pull of the fur.
Boss says ouch!
And then Boss becomes nippy. Hey, guy down the street that needs to know what Boss is – where are you now? Turns out if you pull and tug at the world’s nicest Chihuahua he will try to bite. Not so nice anymore.
And such is the routine a few times a day when I run into the men or the children. So you could say that Boss is a big part of my entertainment every day. And that’s good because working at home gets lonely. There is only so much listening to the radio you can do before you realize the people talking…are not really there, in your home. Honestly that is one of the things I miss about working outside of the home – the conversations, business and non-business related that make up your day. I have conversations in words and internet but it is not the same. I want to hear words out of my mouth sometimes. Short of talking to myself I turn to Boss for my comedy and my conversations.
With that I think I will take Boss again outside. I hope the man at the end of the street is there and asks me what kind of dog Boss is. My response this afternoon shall be Labradoodle Mastif Mix. I got the runt of the pack. World’s nicest dog. Go ahead, tug at his ear and give it a try.
PS – Rachel confirmed – once again – that Boss really is an adorable small dog.