This morning started badly. It wasn't anything catastrophic. I mean, I didn't have jury duty or anything, but it was still pretty bad. In fact, this whole morning was a poop dance. Let me explain...
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and every other Sundays are my days to take the dogs out in the morning. Yesterday was my day, being a Wednesday and all, but I had to get up so early for jury duty that the dogs were not ready to get up yet. Emma especially just looked at me like, "what, are you nuts?!" and went back to sleep. So Jess took them out at their usual 8:15am (they're so regular, they put things like Activia to shame), while I was already 15 minutes into my waiting period in the cattle room at the courthouse. So long story short, today became my day instead of yesterday.
Old Man Sparki started shuffling around at probably 7am this morning, and I wanted to throw my pillow at him. The only thing that stopped me was that I knew I wouldn't reach, and then I would be out of a pillow to boot. I could hear his tags jingling around as he got a few drinks of water and walked over to the gate to our bedroom just to stare at me. I could hear his thoughts projecting and boring into my soul, "get up and take me out! I have an old man bladder and have to pee real bad!" But it was way too early, so I told him to go back to sleep. Miraculously, he did. This was the last favor my dogs did for me this morning.
Emma started singing to me around 8:30, so I got up and we all went outside. I figured it was a little later than they usually get up, so it should be quick. I didn't bother to take my retainers out, change my candy cane pajama pants, or even put a hat on; I just put on my shoes and coat, leashed 'em up, and off we went.
As it turns out, that extra 15 minutes did make a difference; just not the one I had expected. There is a daycare 2 houses down from our apartment and 8:30 is apparently THE busiest time for kid drop-off. In addition, it's also apparently when all the big dogs in the neighborhood go out for their morning walks. As we were crossing the street, I saw the disaster unfold: Emma is afraid of little kids and sometimes barks at them when they move quickly. Sparki is afraid of and aggressive towards other dogs and hoarsely barks and lunges at them as soon as he can see them. This was going to be challenging.
I tried to pull them close to me before they started stiffening up and barking in that sudden, explosive, "I'm a crazy terrier" kind of way, but to no avail. Some poor kid was running across the crosswalk towards us with his mom, and I think Emma made him probably shit his pants when she barked at him. I got her to calm down as the mother ushered her crying son to the other side of the street. As we crossed the street, Emma was playing with Sparki and biting at his ears. This held up traffic on our very busy road used for many a morning commute. I dragged them both across the street amidst honks.
When we finally got to the park, Sparki immediately saw the other dogs and went ballistic. We were batting 1000, and there wasn't even any "business" to speak of yet. Great. The owners of the other dogs gave me a look (did I mention I was in candy cane pajamas, an over-sized coat, and had wild, dishshevled bed head?) and, thankfully, escorted their well-behaved pups to the other side of the park. Sparki, still angry, did his business to show the other dogs who was boss.
Emma, on the other hand, is much more selective in where and how and under what conditions she will "evacuate." She circled and circled this one area for about 5 minutes, and finally peed. I figured poop was about to follow, as usual, and waited for the poop dance. Nothing. Why? Because it was windy. She doesn't like the breeze to hit her netherregions. She sat there, looking up at me stupidly, and I said "go ahead and poop!" We walked into the field a little bit, my vans and the bottoms of my candy cane pants getting quite wet. "For the love of God, just poop!" Nothing. At least now I was talking crazy to match my crazy ensemble. To add to the mess, all the while, my allergies were succeeding at pissing me off: My left eye would not stop watering (to the point where it looked like I was crying) and my nose was running so badly I was contemplating a farmer blow.
After about 25 minutes of waiting for the poop dance, I gave up and we returned to the apartment. I jiggled the handle to find that it was locked. My landlord who lives on the top floor had been out there (she was one of the ones with the dogs in the park) and returned inside before us. She must have forgotten we were out there, however, and locked us out. I rang my own doorbell as it started to rain, and waited.
Jess let me in and said "good morning" and I handed her the leashes and said "she didn't poop and it's raining and I can't get my eye to stop watering and there's snot dripping down my face - watch out!" and ran to blow my nose. I'm sure in that moment, all she could think of was "I'm so glad I'm marrying such a class act." I know I would.
So you see, this entire morning was a poop dance. I guess it can only go up from here!