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My Sniveling Whiner

July 31, 2007
Instead of the usual late evening walk, this morning, early, 5:00 am exactly, I took the dog out. The air is nicer before all the morning commuters have a chance to muck it up. Pines seem to dominate the aroma in the predawn hours whereas the honey suckles rule the late evenings. If anyone doubts the theory of Pavlov’s dog, he or she needs to observe my little sniveling whiner. He is a backyard dog. Under no circumstances does he come in the house. However, this morning instead of making noise unlocking the side gate and moving all the camouflage barriers the smoker of the house has installed to hide himself from street people looking in, I hurried the dog through the house and went out the front door. I do try to make him feel as much as part of the family as an outdoor dog can feel, so I leave the patio door open, but the screen door closed. He knows when I am awake and comes to the patio door to wait for me to give him a morning rub.

Because he starts sniveling and whining and crying when he thinks we are about to go walking I try to get ready without him knowing but it has been almost seven years and I have yet to managed it. Once he hears my sock drawer open, he perks up and starts whining a little bit, and then, once he hears the closet door close it is all over. He starts sniveling and whining so loud, fretting in place, jumping up and down and scratching at the screen door. It is quite pitiful really. I have to back out of the door to prevent him from jumping on me while I am trying to turn around to leash him. When I get real serious, he will sit still but it is more of a revving kind of still.

I am not what one would call a dog person. If I had to choose, I would have a cat and it would be allowed in the house. Cats must know dog times because we never run into a cat in the evenings. We do run into other dogs often. The ceremonious sniffing each other’s ass takes place if the owner of the other dog is not too particular. Not expecting anyone or anything to be out so early I was completely caught off guard when the dog went chasing a cat. Four houses later, another cat then a little more way, another, good thing the leash is only thirty feet. It made me realize how much I miss the little sneaky bastards. I have had a cat for most of my life but not one in recent years because of the dog. A dog that was brought home without my opinion, one that soon became mine because left to his original parent he would die in the backyard from boredom, starvation and dehydration. Sigh, the life of a martyr.

Nevertheless, after the third cat sighting I started reminiscing about some of my old cats. In the 90’s I had two, Beauty and Peaches. Beauty was a few years older than Peaches. My daughter had a dog, a German shepherd named Casey but he lived in the country with my mother and only occasionally visited our apartment. The three animals would get along, more so when Casey was no longer a puppy. When it was time for my daughter to get out of school, the four of us (Beauty, Peaches, Casey and I) would walk across the apartment complex to a gate that led to an open field that was in front of my daughter’s school to meet her. From our front door to the field was roughly an eighth of a mile. By the time we got to the gate, Beauty and Peaches would already be panting, but they would not rest until we reached the field. From there Casey was revving to go. So him and I would leave the two cats waiting at the gate and make it across the field. When we would come back they would be waiting and then walk back home with us. Those were the days.

  1. Professor Zero permalink
    August 1, 2007 2:00 pm

    A great story. I loooove pets!

    I only have a cat but I would like also to have chickens, a donkey, and a llama. I’d like a lion too but I realize that is a childish fantasy and not at all practical. The others would fit in my yard, I think. And eat the plants (they need it).

  2. momo permalink
    August 1, 2007 8:33 pm

    A cat we had when I was a kid used to have a morning route in which he visited the neighbors, many of whom gave him treats. We only found out about this by accident when one of them told us about his regular visitations. I’m sure he timed his walk around the dog walking hours.

  3. Chris permalink
    August 3, 2007 3:18 am

    I took Trevor to the McClung museum on campus last weekend. When I saw mummified Egyptian cats, I have to say it really creeped me out. It makes “Church” from Pet Semitary (sic) look downright normal:)

    I’m a dog person, myself, but will never own one again after my last dog did damage to this house that took us two years (time/budget issues) to rectify. From now on, I’m sticking with lizards and chincillas!

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