Friday, February 6, 2009

Wag the Dog

I had no plans for lunch, and no where exciting I needed to go, to get me out of the I grabbed my book and headed for the little neighborhood park 5 or so minutes from work.

I've worked here nearly 6 years, and every single time I go to this park over lunch, a little white SUV is parked there. Every day I go. This person goes to the park over lunch and sits in their car, every day.

I don't know why I think it's strange. It's a nice little park.

But anyway......I bought a book a few weeks ago off of eBay, and it finally arrived earlier this week. A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson. I've had this urge to hike the Appalachian Trail for a number of years. I find the desire gets worse and worse each winter. So, when Mel mentioned her son had read this really interesting book about some dude that walked the AT, I had to check it out. The day I ordered it Brook suggested I read the exact same book. I took it as a sign that the universe insisted I read it....and put it at the top of my must read list.

I'm sure the person in that little white SUV in the park is convinced I'm a nut. I've given them ample reasons to come to this conclusion in the 6 years we've been sharing the park. I usually have quartet sheet music and a pitch pipe, that's gotta make 'em wonder right there!! But today, I was laughing, out loud...sunroof open...laughter bellowing into the park.

I'm not all that far into book, but I'm already amused. Not many books make me laugh out loud. This guy writes as a human. As an average, every day person. He makes mistakes, he does dumb things, he's got a very dry sense of humor. He does what I wish I could accomplish. As you're reading his words, you can't help but put yourself in his shoes.

Wow - I've gotten really off topic today. Back to the title of this post...Wag the Dog. Have you seen the movie? Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman. The tag line of the movie is "Why does a dog wag its tail? Because a dog is smarter than its tail. If the tail were smarter, the tail would wag the dog."

As I'm sitting in my car, laughing like a hyena...I notice a man walking his dog enter the park. They saunter over to the ball diamond, where he takes the very blond Golden Retriever off it's leash. The man stops walking, and the dog walks to the middle of the field, turns around and lays down, facing his owner. The man throws a softball out into the field, and the dog watches it, not moving.

I assume this is some sort of obedience training. Don't fetch the ball until I tell you to move. Something along those lines. The man throws another ball, in the other direction. The dog doesn't move.

Finally the man puts his hands out in a "why are you just laying there gesture" towards the dog. The dog still doesn't move. The man slumps his shoulders in a sigh, and walks to each ball...shaking his head the whole time. Once he gets both balls picked up, he walks out of the ball diamond and sits down on a bench, facing away from the field and his dog.

The dog finally stands up and walks over towards his master. The man stands up and they both leave the park together. I swear to you the dog had a look on it's face that said "see, I told you I didn't want to go to the stupid park, and fetch the stupid ball, when will you listen to me?"

No more had they walked out of eye shot, a new pair came into view. This time it was a woman and her German Shepard. These two were walking with a little more gusto than the last couple. They followed the exact same route, right into the baseball diamond. She unhooked the dog's leash, and he sat down in front of her. She threw a red Frisbee (threw is a relative term...she throws a Frisbee like me - which means horribly). The Shepard bounded out to fetch the red projectile. He picked it up and shook it violently.

Then he ran a few steps towards the woman. Stopped and shook it again. Ran up to the lady, and shook it some more. Just when I thought she was going to take it, the dog backed up about 10 feet. He shook that Frisbee one last time, and then THREW it at her. It hit the woman square in the shins.

She picked it up...and it started all over again. At the very end, he backed up ten feet and threw it at her, hitting her in the thighs.

It went like this a for quite a while...but I lost interest and went back to reading the book.

Both dogs, although having completely different personalities themselves, definitely ruled in those dog/master relationships. They wear the pants in those families, not the humans.


Brook said...

Yep, that book is great! Glad you are enjoying it. AND haven't those people ever watched Ceasar? Really! I don't get that at all. My f-i-l told me one day that the only reason I got a dog was so I could order someone around. He could have a point but don't tell him I said so!
PS Finally "taught" Opal(my chi)to lay down! Very exciting for me and it's only taken the better part of 2 years.

Nej said...

We have three dogs. One is a goober, and never sits still. Not the brightest log in the fire. One is old and stubborn. She used to stand on her back legs and spin around in circles when she wanted a treat. That was the extent of her training. The third learned how to sit...then learned how to lay down. Unfortunately, she forgot sit when she learned to lay down. Go figure. I get a dog that will understand one, and only one, command. I should have taught her dust, or dishes. :-)