I have never been, nor pretended to be, a dog lover. The slobber, the shit, the shedding, my sneezing…never really could look past it all to get to the dumb love and loyalty that dogs give. Still, a lot of my favorite people have dogs and so I’ve been having a lot of dog fun lately. Maybe I’m being successfully converted (doubt it).
At a family picnic this last weekend, the activities planners (three boys under the age of 6) insisted on playing Crocodile all afternoon. For the uninitiated, Crocodile involves chasing the boys around the house, pretending to be a crocodile, and acting as if you might actually catch one of the boys. The real challenge is avoiding the two boxers, who will take you down if they think you are actually going to get the boys. Crocodile is, thus, a very delicate balance between running fast enough to make the boys believe you are going to catch them and leaving enough distance between you and them to keep the dogs at bay. During my lap, I sprinted around the front of the house and reached out to grab the little boy and missed; I felt his cotton t-shirt slip through my fingers. A second later, an enormous white boxer had my arm in his soft jowls, a layer of slick doggy-slobber coating my forearm. I can respect such a commitment to protect his family.
Another favorite dog, the Miracle Meisje, has been accompanying me on night runs. Instead of being totally creeped out by dark patches on my path (and the perps hiding there within), I can now enjoy some of the best things about night runs: cool weather, no traffic, fireflies, moonshadows, and the quiet of the night. I am not sure that Meisje could actually protect me if needed, but I believe her presence alone will keep away the perps.
Today, I am grateful for Krueger dogs: they are the only ones who’ve successfully endeared themselves to me and are willing to help keep me in shape!