Most of this weekend I've watched poor Abby (yeah, I say poor now) get all excited when she thinks she is finally being taken out for a walk. She hears my sneakers on the tile and automatically assumes she will be accompanying me outside. After watching her reaction a few times before leaving for the gym, I decided to brave the heat and take her for a walk.
For the most part she is well behaved. Ruben has taken a lot of time in training her. Tonight, though, I believe she had a momentary lapse of reason.
Near where we live is an area that was built for walking, running, biking and other outdoor activities. There are two cement pathways that run diagonal to a canal. The canal of course, is a man made structure consisting of another cement trough that is filled with a few feet of water, and is about 3 to 4 feet wide. The fields still use these canals for water. I usually like to take Abby down this way when we walk. Tonight, however, Abby spotted a toy poodle being walked by a couple on the other side of the canal. I would also like to point out here that this little poodle was dressed in a pink sweater. This may not sound odd to some but when it's 110 freaking degrees outside, one has to wonder about the sanity of it's owners. The woman with the dog was dressed in a heavy sweatshirt. I can only conclude that the two of them have some kind of dog and owner temperature sensing disease. I mean, why the heck else would a sane person be dressed like that? And their dog. In Phoenix. In July.
Abby is now pulling at her leash to get to this little cotton ball in a sweater. A little boy riding a bike suddenly appears behind me. I stop to let him pass and he stops, too. His parents are on bikes as well and are lagging way behind. I hear them yelling to the little boy to stop and wait for them. I'm holding down the button on Abby's extenda-leash to keep her from jumping all over the little boy, and quite possibly knocking him off his bike. Suddenly Abby seizes the opportunity and lurches forward. My thumb nail bends back, drawing blood, and out of reaction, I let go of the leash. Once she realizes her new found freedom, she darts towards the sweater sporting little curmudgeon on the other side of the canal. So I'm thinking that she'll stop as soon as she realizes there is water between them. I never could have been so wrong. What does she do? She floats gazelle-like over the canal and lands gracefully on the other side. Baryshnokov couldn't have done it better. I give chase, screaming my head off for her to get back here this second! And I thought the woman and her dog were quite the spectacle. The man with the woman (who is dressed reasonably in shorts and a t-shirt, I might add) scoops the poodle up. The woman stands on Abby's leash. Now I'm at the canal. I place my water bottle on the edge, back up a few steps, and just barely clear the canal. I catch up to her, apologize to the couple, and scold Abby. She is crouched on the grass looking up at me with those pound puppy eyes as if to say, 'I'm a bad, bad girl.' She knows she's in trouble.
We walk back down to the canal and I'm hoping I can get myself back to the other side. I can see my water bottle sitting on the edge. I take a few steps back to get a running start when my sneaker hits the edge and I am tumbling down into the water. The couple and their dog don't notice (thank God). I pull myself out and say outloud, 'apparently this is not my day.' I am tempted to toss Abby in as well. After all, she's the one that got me into this. Now I'm covered in mud, algae, and a myriad of sludge. My knees and elbow are bleeding. Worst of all, I'm still on the wrong side of the creek. I abandon any future attempts at crossing the canal and retrieving my water bottle. So there it will sit. At this point I just decide to walk home. Blood is now dripping onto my new white workout sneakers. It feels like two sponges have been attached to my feet when I walk. They are drenched. I am completely dazed and after about 10 minutes or so I realize that I am walking in the wrong direction.
When I finally do make it home, Ruben answers the door. He is staring at me with his mouth open. I am almost too angry to explain. When the words finally come, he starts giving me advice on what I should have done in that situation. I say, rather astutely, "Well now, this is not the time to be giving me dog handling advice there, Caesar Milan.'
Earlier in the day I had given Monsoon a bath. I couldn't help but wonder if my involuntary dip in the canal was some kind of karmic pay back for the shampoo mohawk I gave her. Or maybe it had something to do with that old Catholic adage about humiliation bringing one closer to God. Oh I was close to God alright. I'm sure He and all His buddies were having a good laugh over that one. I can hear it now: "she made quite the splash, didn't she?"
At least I can laugh about it now, but man, am I sore!
Ruben and I sat outside enjoying the last few hours of our long weekend. Abby was of course oblivious to the earlier events of the evening. She is the type of dog that will never tire of a game of fetch. She brought her ball to me and as usual, she will dart out into the yard in anticipation of the volley. I threw the ball and it beaned her right off the head. I swear I did not mean it. Ruben laughed. "Yeah Abby, pay back is a bitch." It really wasn't my intent to bounce the ball off her head. She didn't seem to mind. She just picked the ball back up and brought it to me like nothing had ever happened. Maybe I need to learn to be that forgiving. Maybe this was the lesson to be learned from all this. Too bad I had to fall into a canal to figure it out.
I've just taken two ibuprofens and now I'm going to drag my tired and aching butt to bed. My one wish is that I'll be able to get out of bed without a huge amount of effort in the morning. I am so darn sore.