I realized this the other day as my dog jumped up from the total snorefest she was enjoying by the picture window and eagerly pranced over to me with ears erect just because I shifted a bit in my chair. She detected movement within her delta waves, assumed I was getting ready to take a walk, and hopped right up to let me know she’s totally up for it. Too bad for her that I was just executing a subtle Lean Right to open up room for a fart dissemination. The chair creak gave me away. This didn’t stop her from staring at me for another ten minutes with this hopeful anxiety expressing itself through an exhausting pant. It looks a lot like this:
I will do this until you walk me.
Then, I started nervously pacing the house out of sheer restlessness (and boredom). My usual intra-home itinerary consisted of living room, kitchen, check food shelves for something to eat, swing by front door to verify things were still fine with the driveway, and back into living room to change a handful of channels aaaaaand repeat. I noticed my pooch, eyes intently following, would meet me at the front door whenever I veered that way.
“What’s the matter, pup, is there a fire in the barn?!” I’d condescend and ruffle her rigid ears.
-No, asshole, I want to walk. Outside. Like the other dogs I see going by my picture window while you pretend to not watch Teen Mom. Ever hear of an umbrella?-
It was drizzly out. No hard rain. I could have thrown on a poncho and took her for a walk. I had lots of energy to burn. I had missed my weekend long run due to excessive amounts of youth soccer games, rain, and 35 mph winds. After several laps, I realized that not only did the dog want a walk but I needed a run. I could totally sympathize. I was way too energetic for a normal Runday afternoon. Here she was dependent on me for some energy-releasing, high-quality walking. And here I was staring out the window at 35 mph winds, rain, and stuck at home with a 9 year old that would be left unsupervised if I made a run for it. Literally. And this is no regular 9 year old. Ever read Junie B. Jones AND Judy Moody AND Ramona books? Yeah, put those characters together plus some Dennis the Menace and you have the impish qualities of my pre-teen firebrand. She cannot be left alone or there really will be a fire in the barn. We don’t have a barn but I’m pretty sure she could make one and then burn it down before I finished not watching Teen Mom.*
So, I continued to pace; the dog continued to meet me at the door. She didn’t get her walk; I didn’t get my run. I looked into those increasingly sad, brown eyes and said, “I don’t think it’s happening today, girl.” But I wasn’t sure if I was talking to her or to myself.
We both let loose a deeply disappointed exhale and wandered back into the living room. Before long, we were both curled up contentedly licking ourselves.
My dog and I are a lot alike.
* I really don't watch Teen Mom.