Posted by: Jim E | January 6, 2011

Dogs…Man’s Best Friend…And A Plastic Bag…

Owning a dog seems different here in Little Rock, AR…Oh, I think there are “leash laws” all over…but I do notice how many dogs there are here…and how many of the owners walk their dogs…it happens every day and all times of the day…I’m sure it is exercise for the dog…but also for the owner…this is how they get their walk in everyday…I don’t know the percentage of people who have dogs but it has to be high…

We see a couple walking along a sidewalk near us…and they are walking with five, count them, five dogs…all the dogs having a leash and the couple struggling to control these dogs…not small dogs mind you but fairly good sized dogs…it is a sight to behold…but in my eyes, at least they are taking care of them…(I do wonder what their house must look like…and how many hours in their day is taken up with “dog care”)…but it is laughable to see them struggling down the sidewalk…there is no way all of them can fit on the walk…so they bubble off this side and that, as they trundle along…it is humorous to see, all the dogs seem to have their own ideas on how to get from here to there…amazing…

Now I like dogs, don’t get me wrong…we have had a few in our family over the years…and for the most part it has been a good thing…some not so good but overall the arrow on the meter is pointing at the “good” mark…not bad, not great…but good…that is an average mind you…we have had our ups and downs with dogs…like “Rip”, now he would be on the negative end of the dial…(aptly named for I wanted him to “rest in peace” from the beginning…but the kids loved him)…he was a mixed breed, mostly Wire Fox Terrier…but mixed, meaning he was full of energy and uncontrollable and I nor anyone else had the time or patience for his formidable wild behavior…he would run off anywhere and at anytime…whether we were at home or in the middle of a trip, hundreds of miles from home…and then of course it was up to “The Dad” to get this “loved” animal back in the safe arms of the kids who loved him…now let’s enter it here…I did not love him…he was a pain…causing me untold problems…we farmed him off ultimately to a “farm”…we thought he might make it as a “farm dog”…aah, we were wrong…he went after neighbors chickens, etc…he didn’t make it on the farm either…and closely quoting “Forest Gump”…and that’s all I’m going to say about that…

But then along came “Muffin”…a Shih Tzu…a lap dog…compliant, friendly…just wonderful to be around…he was everything Rip wasn’t and he lived out his years with us…loved by all…here is a picture when we first gave him as a Christmas gift to Jeremy…and Jeremy still talks about Muffin as if he is still around…and as a matter of fact we have a statuette we found in a store that looks just like him and we have him in our living room…no doubt, Muffin was special…we tried but didn’t find a match for him…the hardest thing about a pet…is we usually outlive them…and it is like losing a family member…so it is always a thought to keep in mind when getting a dog…

There are things about a dog that are unusual…for example…if the dog is normal…(Rip was not)…when you come in the door…they are happy to see you…I don’t know why…but the bark, the wagging of the tail…the excitement…most family members would love to have that from the rest of the family when they come in…but for sure they will get it from the family dog…it is truly amazing…

And the last thing about Little Rock and probably elsewhere…is the “ubiquitous plastic bag”…I sure hope the political correctness people don’t outlaw the plastic grocery bags…what in the world would all the dog owners do without their dog leash in one hand and the plastic bag in the other…now, when we had Muffin…he just went out in the yard and did his thing (we had about a half acre)…but when people walk their dogs here, and I suppose everywhere where people are living close…they have to pick up after their dogs…but you know, there is just something wrong with a man or woman watching their dog do their thing…and then with one hand on the leash and the other inside the plastic bag, pick up the dogs doo doo…now there is just something wrong with that scenario!!!…(I often think of the number of bags I have gotten at the store with a hole in the bottom…need I say more???)…

Now dog ownership is wonderful…but for other people…I remember all the effort there is to take care of a dog…do we miss it from time to time…sure…Muffin was wonderful and we do miss him…and we look at pictures of him in all his glory once in a while…but then I think about Rip…and I rest easy in the fact that the next one could be “a Rip”…and then I settle in to watch other people and their dogs…woof, woof…bark, bark…”Judie, where did I put that plastic bag?”…

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