Island Park, Springfield

My brilliant system for hands-free transport of my iPod nano in my feminine support garment has proven to be a poor choice, as it expired yesterday, drowned in perspiration. I’ve been meaning to wean myself off the podcast dependency I’ve developed and clear my head of the newsy clutter, but I’d hoped to get to it, you know, later, and with my iPod still intact. Now I’m forced to reorganize my mental feng shui and just be here now. Oh, the rain-fresh morning, oh the black-eyed susans. Oh, the warm poop in a plastic bag. Oh, the house for sale on the corner.

Cat poop consumed: no

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Island Park, Springfield

The anti-anthropomorphists would caution against ascribing too much agency to dogs, I suppose. Their argument being that dogs, like all animals, are ruled by biological impulses, not cheeky personality quirks. But I would swear that Jones had a secret conversation with Ramona to promote the delights of cat poop, which she has taken to eating with as much vigor as Jones. She doesn’t even have to slow down on that particular stretch of sidewalk across from the Bungalow Market. She just lowers her head and inhales it as we go, like a whale trolling for crill. Vitamin deficiency? Increasing reproductive success? The shifting pack hierarchy? Does this also explain her newly acquired love of cherries, and how she and Jones find the shriveled old ones fallen in the backyard and crunch them together in a chummy huddle?

Cat poop consumed: naturally

Island Park, Springfield

Use the following vocab word in a paragraph:  enervate

Okay, how about this, L. said. One of us takes the dogs for a walk and the other goes to Gross Out and gets fig newtons and a frozen pizza. I yawned from my seat on the couch and knew my choice was clear. The thought of getting in the car and shopping makes me feel even more enervated, I said. So I support this two-party solution but can I have the dog walk?

Cat poop consumed: no

Island Park, Springfield

There is no “I” in team. There is also no “dog” in team, a fact of which I emphasized to Jones and Ramona as they pulled me in different directions to pursue fugitive smells down C St. There is, however, a “me” in team, and it’s me, however ungrammatically, that took charge and kept the troops mostly unified as we circled the park.

Cat poop consumed: no

Island Park, Springfield

My stupid ankle gave way in the middle of the block on C St. and I did the usual embarrassing crumple to the sidewalk, which always startles the dogs. Fortunately no kindly neighbors came running out to make sure I was okay. Of course I was okay, just a doofus with a volleyball injury dating back to the ’80s that surprises me every so often and makes me skin my knees. Maybe it’s time to dig out those rehabilitative exercises I once found. Maybe it’s time to stop wearing the go-go boots when I walk the dogs.

Cat poop consumed: no

Island Park, Springfield

Jones woke up groggy with the misery of his dew claw hangnail, which slipped out of its duct tape splint during the night. He lay on his dog bed all shaky and the vet appointment still two long days away. It took me two tries with the little scissors (the first pass made me all queasy, feeling the tendon there) but I snipped it off to a nub. He didn’t make a sound through the whole thing, so I’m going to assume that 1) it didn’t hurt, 2) he wasn’t traumatized, and 3) he won’t hold it against me. We had a very successful walk afterward. He was carefully deploying the magical healing powers of dog spit when I left for work.

Cat poop consumed: no

Island Park, Springfield

There’s nothing like being forced out of one’s stultifying routine to make one appreciate said routine. So it was with the humdrum loop through Island Park this morning, now so comforting after weeks away. It was tuna & noodles with my mom after getting yelled at and sent home in disgrace by my friend’s dad. Slipping into clean sheets already warm from the electric blanket. A soft perch point by a window with a cup of tea and a good book and a little black dog curled into my hip.

Cat poop consumed: no