Symbol on my person

Snaotheus ribs me about my subject matter, which he says is restricted to my dog and my mother, but the dog park is actually a pretty interesting place. You get a rather astonishing cross-section of ‘hamsters and it’s almost as much fun to watch them as the dogs. Instantly, I can recognize the Beast Folks, those who love and know animals well. The recognition mechanism may be something like that a gay friend once told me about; he swears he can walk into a room full of hundreds of people and immediately pick out those like him. Might be something in their loose-limbed stance, too—ready for anything.

I am convinced that some sort of signal shows on or about my person that facilitates recognition. It may be a color that only dogs and small children can see, like the neck feathers on a budgie, or maybe it’s my not loose-limbed stance. But what the symbol says to these critters, in the invisible equivalent of huge neon letters, is “CLUMSY PERSON.”

Today, for instance, I brought Blue back through the dog park after an off-lead hike up the mountain (more later) and walked over to the cluster of people who always seem to stand in the middle, right in the muddiest spot; I don’t undestand this, but they do. (I had a question for one of them; otherwise, I’d’ve stayed away.) Around about four of us raced six or eight mud-clad, long-haired dogs, including two Newfies and a Bernese mountain dog puppy about nine months old. These breeds are both bears in training. Their fur looked like dreads coated with clay.

I hadn’t even stopped moving when the Bernese raced over and rammed right into me, then jumped up to wipe seriously muddy paws on my formerly reasonably clean pants. (Remember that horrid, hateful Hazen kid in that parent-kid soccer game, Snaotheus? The one who knocked me on my ass and broke my glasses? It was like that!) The Bernese’s (ineffective) owner kept saying, “Off! Off!” but not enforcing it, so guess what? He kept jumping on me, running off and racing back to ram me, and :||. Pretty soon, the Newfies decided that looked like fun. I didn’t get to ask my question, but just left. I was tired and wet anyway, even before the mud bath.

I don’t know what the symbol is, but I sure wish I could get rid of it!

In other news: I took Missy Hound about half a mile back into the hills without her lead, second time we’ve done that, and she behaved beautifully the whole time. Came when called, didn’t stray too far, didn’t get into it with other dogs or people we ran into. I was exceedingly proud of her. It might have had something to do with the freeze-dried lamb bits in my pockets… but whatever works!

Posted by wordsmith

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