Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It’s pouring. Again.

We can hear the water hit the building here, hear the cars tear through the river running down our street. But back in the Windy City, we lived in a massive old building on the third floor and the weather at ground level wasn’t always obvious to us. For our dog, the weather was NEVER obvious.

The pooch did not like rain, so on mornings of precipitation, I tried to postpone our walk until skies cleared or rain only drizzled. The word postpone, however, was lost on the dog. She wanted her walk and she wanted it immediately.

And so we’d go—me trudging toward what I knew was ahead, she like a bat out of Hell down three flights of stairs and nearly crashing headfirst into the foyer door.

Her tail fanned, her butt wiggled. “Through this door and out one more to the glorious world of scents and friends and beach and…”

Screeching halt at the bottom of the porch steps. That’s when weather became obvious to her and she made an about-face toward the front door, which is when I would clothe her in a clownish yellow rainsuit that she found humiliating. (I admit it wasn’t the right style for her, but we bought it long before pet couture became a big business and, since we’d paid a small fortune for it, we couldn’t justify purchasing a new one. In retrospect, maybe she would have skipped the histrionics with a style-appropriate coat, negating the cost of it and increasing our enjoyment—or tolerance—of rainy days. Sigh.)

The best thing for the pooch about getting wet was getting dry. It was her favorite game, one we called Mummenschanz. All that was necessary was to hold out a bath towel matador-style and she’d bury her head in it. She didn’t mind getting a body rubdown, but having her front half covered in towel was ecstasy. She’d bounce around reshaping her form beneath the fabric, nose the towel up and down, push it into a human for a head rub, and if it fell off, we were required to start the game all over again. If the dog was especially wet and didn’t get dry, it was only because we had other things to do and stopped playing the game somewhere around the fourth or fifth round. At such times, we brushed her with a lavender-scented cloth (to avoid eau de wet dog) before releasing her to dry naturally.

As fond as I am of those memories, I don’t envy anyone their morning walk today. The muddy-yet-happy dogs pictured are what you have ahead of you. May you stay relatively dry and drama-free.

[Photo by Ron Schmidt of Loose Leashes.]

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