Monday, May 23, 2011

Candy from Strangers

We ended a busy weekend with a nice leisurely walk around the neighborhood.  Most houses on our route are occupied by families, many who take pride in their yards.  There are a few stand-out houses; some show off exceptional green thumbs and some are in the "Hey, at least I mowed" club.  Of the former, one yard on our route is particularly inviting.  It's hard to overcome the temptation to take off my sneakers and run barefoot across this home's immaculate grass.  This grass is cropped to Marine precision, yet looks a soft as silk carpet.  I always take in the dogs' leashes until I they are neck to knee with me when I pass by this house.  The yard is clearly too nice for dogs.

The great thing about going on walks with Two and a Half Dogs, three kids, and various combinations of neighbor kids along for company is that it is never monotonous.  There is always a willing number of dog walkers.  On this particular outing, leashes were exchanged in a manner reminiscent of the game Hot-Potato.  {I dare you to get the Wiggles song out of your head}  Near the end, Ken lead the pack with both Jack and Indy. 

I don't know what it is with dogs and nice yards.  It is as if they are drawn to them by a force much greater than they.  I suppose I could relate; while I am normally a responsible driver, quite capable of abiding in my own lane, if I come upon a narrow shoulder on the freeway or a carwash that requires me to line up my tires I tend to panic.  {okay, I kinda freak out}  The dogs must have a similar glitch in their processing centers which cause them to want nothing more than to stray from the sidewalk onto the beckoning grass.  I mentioned at the beginning that I too would love to run through the yard.  What I don't share with the dogs is their involuntary loss of bodily functions at the sight of such a yard.  (Fortunately nothing like that happened on this walk.)

On this walk, Lucy and I were about a driveway's length behind Ken.  He was just crossing the indentation of the driveway belonging to the dream lawn when I saw him hesitate and smile towards the house.  I thought I heard a voice say something about {treats!  I have treats!} and arms waved between two parked trucks.  I reached my husband and saw that the driveway was empty.  "Um, was he talking to us?"  I asked.  "I think" said Ken, through a frozen smile, hardly moving his lips.  Huh.  Okaay.  We took advantage of the moment and waited for our accompanying kids to catch up.  I am positive this is a fundamental law of the universe: kids will either walk three blocks behind you or in front of you, regardless whether they like you or not.

The immaculate lawn owner emerged from his garage carrying a bucket of dog treats he then set on the hood of his pickup.  "Wow, oh, there are three!", he said, ambling back to the pickup for more.  He returned and offered a strip of meaty goodness to Lucy first.  She looked at him, sniffed the treat, and backed away behind me.  Jack, never one to insult a gift offering, came salivating over to claim the treat.  Indy realized what was going on and came over and gratefully took his share.  The man offered Lucy a treat once more, and again, she leered at the man, then the treat, then scooted away, wrapping her leash around my legs. 

Before anyone could say anything, Jack came in for the kill.  He quickly lunged his neck forward, like one of the Hungry, Hungry Hippos {yes, this makes the second childhood game reference in one post} and snatched the treat from the giver's hand.  "Hoh-kay", the man said, chuckling, "You can have it.  I'm not going to eat it."  Then he handed me the rest of the treats he had meant for Lucy and said, "You can take those and disperse them however you'd like."  Indy was already focused on home, so we thanked the man and his wife, who had come out to join him, and we continued on our way.  Lucy shot quick glances around me at the stranger as we walked away.  Jack happily accepted the remainder of the treats.  I guess Lucy regarded the admonition not to take candy from strangers.  Even ones with the nicest yard in the neighborhood.



  1. I love all these fun stories you share! The way you word things makes them amusing and charming. Your dogs have such unique personalities! Keep up the fantastic work! ;)

  2. Thank you, Rachael! That means a lot coming from you. Yes, the dogs are pretty individual, huh? Keeps life interesting & provides some downright hilarious moments.

    Always glad to see you stopped by,