Sunday, December 15, 2013

Running partner

It's 27 degrees. The sun is shining. And I am wearing Spandex.

I try to ignore how many ways this combination is wrong as I search under the bed for my most colorful footwear.

Ah … found them.

The dog dances around me as I lace up the sneakers. She knows where I'm going and has every intention of getting in my way.

She pretends this isn't futile.

The dog calms down as I gather more things. Gloves. A hat. Earphones. My smartphone.

She sits and stares at me. She's no longer panting. Her head has lost its cocked-to-the-side cuteness. She is as serious as a security dog.

Something is missing. Hmmmmm … Where's the armband that holds my iphone?

I look over at the dog. She couldn't have had anything to do with its disappearance. Yet, she seemed to be giving me the malocchio – the evil eye. I wasn't about to let it intimidate me.

My dog is all bark and no bite.

Anthropomorphism that's all. The application of human emotion to a hang-dog stare.

I don't feel sorry for her. The dog had enough chances, and, on more than one occasion, proved she wasn't up to the challenge.

First, there is that neighbor dog she can't ignore at a quarter mile.

The hydrant at the first turn.

Laying down at the start of mile three.

And who could forget the chaos in the last stretch. ... I've since dubbed that corridor “squirrel alley.”

She might be a good runner, but she's definitely not a good running partner.

Now. What to do about the missing armband?

I feel like a mother of invention as I snip the toe off an old wool sock and snake my arm through. I slip the music device into the pocket created by a single fold. This will do.

The dog skulks away as I slip out the door. I can see her fogging up the window with her breath. She doesn't waste any of it barking. I wouldn't hear her anyway. Not with the panes sealed up tight with new weatherstripping.

I start off slowly. I know it will take me a while to find the place where a quickened pace feels as comfortable as walking. Usually it turns up a little ways past the first mile, but sometimes not until I get sight of squirrel alley.

I imagine my personified pooch would feel pleasure knowing the wind had burned my thighs into pin prickles and numbness. She's much better equipped for this outdoor running business … what with her fur coat and youthful joints.

Not that she'd rub it in.

She'd rather redecorate in celebration of my return.

Plastic bags are shredded hroughout the hallway and into the kitchen. A roll of paper towels has been nibbled at each end and sits upright on the floor. Pencils, chewed to the eraser, are in splinters all over the couch.

I shouldn't be surprised when I walk through the door but I am. She only seems to use our things as chew toys when I go running without her.

Oh lord, she's found Ittybit's collection of flavored lip balms and eaten up the waxy sticks of lemon and grape.

Wait until your girl gets home,” I sing ... 

She slinks off into her crate before I can say another word.

Soon I hear the soft sounds of neoprene and vinyl being torn into tiny pieces.

Ugh, my armband.

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