The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer

The gap in my blogging can be attributed to the fact that I got a new job that is making me roughly 1,000% happier than my last one. I’ve been a bit busy getting settled into the new gig but it’s been a rewarding, exciting experience thus far. My coworkers are fun, my bosses provide great guidance, and I’ve been given a lot more responsibility.

The job has a couple of notable perks, too:

  1. The CEO has completed several Ironman races (dude has an endless pool in his garage for training. for crissakes) and thus understands my dumb-ass hobby. The executive team is very encouraging of fitness, meaning I can come in a bit later if I’ve worked out in the morning, take a mid-afternoon break to run, or leave early if I’m meeting my team for a workout. This is great news for Moobecca as I am currently trying to get back on the training bandwagon, having signed up for a mid-September marathon in hopes of posting a respectable run time as well as shedding some of this flab that has suctioned itself onto my ass. 

I love dogs to the point of rescuing a milky-eyed derp dog during a hill repeat workout. Every time one of the office dogs strolls by, I am incapable of resisting the urge to scratch behind their ears and pet them for about four straight minutes. Since my grinch boyfriend won’t let me get a dog of my own, I’ve resorted to living vicariously through Skipper and Madison, the two pooches who come to work on a regular basis.

Speaking of Skipper, this is him:

He lives a ruff life. /dogpun

He lives a ruff life. /dogpun

He’s the CEO’s dog. Oftentimes Skipper looks very forlorn and sad, as if he just spent 10 hours listening to “Cat’s in the Cradle” on repeat. I always try to give him some good scratches to coax a smile out of him, but he is like an emo goth teenager trapped in a dog’s body.

My boss, Brendan, casually mentioned one day that he took Skipper for a run around Lake Union. I perked up and said, “So he’s a running dog?” and Brendan said, “Oh yeah, he loves to run. You can take him sometime if you want!” And that was when my job transitioned from being “pretty awesome” to “supremely awesome.” You bet your balls I was gonna take Skipper for a run.

On Monday, when I realized Skipper was at the office, I drove home and grabbed some exercise gear so I could take him for a run. He was lazing about all day but when I entered the room decked out in run shorts and a tank top, he bolted up and ran over to my feet, wagging his tail with a level of excitement I had never seen from him. I was so pumped. LET’S DO THIS, DOG. (Random aside: that previous declaration highlights the importance of comma placement in sentences.)

As I was making my final pre-dog-run preparations, I asked one of my coworkers who’s also Brendan’s nephew about the one running-with-a-dog wild card: pooping.

Me: “Should I bring a bag or something in case he poops?”

Conor: “Nah, he probably won’t…weeeeell, actually, you should bring one, yeah. Just in case.”

Me: “How many bags should I bring? He’s not going to be like a Play-Doh Fun Factory of poop, right?”

Conor: “I would think one is enough, I dunno.”

I brought two since I wasn’t innately familiar with the inner workings of Skipper’s butthole.

We left the office and I proceeded to trot up the street. I was a little nervous since I had never run with a dog before and didn’t know if Skipper would dart all over the place or bark at people or try to impregnate every dog in sight. As soon as we started, my internal monologue went something like this:

Me: “Woooooo, this is gonna be so much fun, Skipper! We’re gonna run all the way to oh you’re stopping already.”

He made it halfway up the block before he stopped, sniffed a tree, and peed on it.

Me: “Okay, well you probably had to pee since you’ve been inside all day. No biggie, let’s get going oh you’re stopping again.”

Another sniff, another squirt. This happened a couple more times before he looked up at me as if to say, “Okay, now I’m ready.” Happy to finally get going, I ran him across the freeway and up 10th. It was a lot of uphill to start but Skipper trotted along at my pace, panting happily. I started to relax, thinking, “Hey, this is going pretty well now that Skipper’s bladder is drained!”, when at the one mile mark he stopped again, sniffing intently under a tangled mess of ivy and shrubs.

Me: “Oh come on, how many times are you going to mark your territo–nope, nope, you’re shitting. You are shitting.”

This little bastard had to pick the least convenient spot to retrieve a trio of dog turds ever. After he dropped his little brown buddies off, he waited patiently while I squatted down with a hand swaddled inside a plastic bag, pawing under the ivy and shrubs like a Claw Machine Game trying to claim literally the shittiest prize ever. I managed to grab turds 1 and 2, but my lack of poop scooping skills resulted in me smearing a bit of turd #3 on the outside of the bag, which forced me to roll up the contents in a manner so I wouldn’t accidentally brush my hand against dog dookie.

I glanced around. Naturally, there was no garbage can in sight. Sighing, I took off running with a bright purple bag of shit cradled in my left hand and Skipper’s leash in my right. As the sun beat down on me and wafted hot, acrid crap to my nostrils, I turned my head and started to wonder if running with a dog was as awesome as I had always envisioned it to be.

One incredibly stinky mile later, I found a public garbage can and deposited Skipper’s scat. I looked down at him, somewhat dejected by the Poop Mile, and was surprised to see that he was beaming at me, looking the happiest I have ever seen a dog. My shit fume-ensconced heart immediately melted and I smiled back at him while patting his head. Running with a dog was even more awesome than I had envisioned it to be! Okay, Skip, you little stinker, let’s finish this run.

Some doggy run stats:

  • Number of times Skipper abruptly stopped to squirt some pee on something: about 44 (this dog pees as often as a wetsuit-clad pre-race Rebecca)
  • Number of times we approached a telephone pole and I went one way around it while Skipper bolted the other way: 2
  • Number of puntable poodles who tried to pick a fight with Skipper as he trotted away, looking disinterested: 1

When we got back to the office, I took Skipper off his leash and he slurped up some water from his bowl before splaying out on the cool front entryway tiles. Conor took one look at him and exclaimed, “He is beat! How far did you take him?!” I said, “6.2 miles” and he said, “No wonder he’s tired!” I glanced at the dog, worried I’d broken him or something and would get fired for killing the CEO’s beloved pet. This is what Skipper looked like:

This is adorable.

This is adorable.

That, my friends, is the look of a dog who has just made a new BFF.

11 Responses to “ “The Dog Days of Summer”

  1. Meredith says:

    This is so good. And the post about the derp dog killed me.

  2. Holly KN says:

    ‘“How many bags should I bring? He’s not going to be like a Play-Doh Fun Factory of poop, right?”’

    I almost snorted water out my nose with that one. And about five of your subsequent one-liners. I don’t especially care for running with dogs (I know, I know – mostly for the reasons you indicate here, though), but this post cracked me up. Repeatedly.

  3. Diesel says:

    Pretty sure my English Bulldog would have died after 1/2 mile of walking. I am getting a running dog next…

    • Rebecca says:

      Actually, probably. I learned from a guest on The Colbert Report who studies running that said small dogs are incapable of moving in a traditional running motion like larger dogs and therefore can’t run for more than a mile or so because they can’t run and pant at the same time. Since they can’t pant, they overheat and could die from heat exhaustion.

  4. Bill says:

    “My shit fume-ensconced heart immediately melted” ahhh, yes been there plenty of times! ?Nicely? put : )

  5. Matt says:

    One quick comment/suggestion: when your dog (or your boss’s dog) poops in ivy, tall grass, shrubs, etc. go for the fake scoop. Bend over, pick pick up some greenery in the bag (something to give it some size), twist it, fake knot it, and get back to running. When you are a suitable distance away from the site of the incident, empty the leaves out of the bag and save it for when you REALLY need it. No shame in leaving a poop no one will ever see, step on, notice, etc. As always, love the blog, but put an RSS on it!

    • Rebecca says:

      Aw man, I had an RSS but when my site went down I had to re-do some stuff and forgot to add it back. I’ll fix it this weekend. Thanks!

  6. jenn says:

    If my dog crapped in ivy… I would have shaken a few leaves and kept on going. You are a champ for digging it out. Ivy is a nasty crap trap!

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