Just a lazy Sunday afternoon, really?


It never seizes to amaze me how much we humans can learn simply by observing; by taking in our surroundings and more importantly, the dynamics that take place in them.

Today, after a week of captivity (or at least it feels this way), I finally left the house. I thought it was due time for Roxy, the Significant Other, and I to hit the dog park. I figured that after our long sabbatical, our furry friends and their humans would long have forgotten our “reputation.”

So off we went. Me, wobbling side to side but finally walking a bit, the Significant Other dutifully carrying my crutches should the need arise, and Roxy tugging on her leash, eager for the opportunity to socialize.

Sadly, there weren’t any furry friends in attendance at the dog park. I glanced at the position of the sun and concluded we had a short wait before we were joined by other visitors.

After a short while, an elderly man and his pup were seen on the horizon. Roxy spotted them easily. Eagerly wagging her tail, she awaited their arrival. I quickly reminded her that she was being given an opportunity to redeem herself; tabula rasa and what not.

The man and his dog came closer and closer. I could see Roxy starting to pant. Deciding it was a good idea that she play freely, I naively took her leash off. I briefed the Significant Other on how he should intercept our little Miss the second she showed any sign of returning to her wicked ways.

Roxy avidly greeted her new friend with a wag of her tail. However, he didn’t seem too interested in her comely appearance. Roxy, not one to admit defeat, danced around him enthusiastically. Yet, this wasn’t enough to illicit a response from the other canine.

Roxy did not give up. She barked, wagged her tail even faster, lifted a paw in greeting, and even tried to kiss him. Nada. Zilch. Nix. Our new furry friend seemed oblivious to little Roxy’s charms.

I turned to grab my camera but stopped midway when I heard an ominous growl. In less than 2.1 seconds, the transformation was complete. Roxy, teeth barred and claws at the ready, had metamorphosed into mini Cujo.

The man, in shock at what he was witnessing, tried to pull his dog away. Roxy wouldn’t have it. She circled both of them like a turbulent tornado intent on destroying whatever lay in its path.

The Significant Other, completely taken aback by Roxy’s reaction, stood rooted to the spot even while I screamed at him to take action. By this time, the old man spun around in circles and the small dog flew through the air like a super hero.

Roxy, intent on leaving no prisoners behind, circled voraciously. And then, the worst imaginable thing happened–the little dog got loose. He ran toward the cemetery which lay a hundred yards in front of us. Roxy took off in pursuit and the old man followed.

In the meantime, the Significant Other remained frozen in the same spot. Fortunately, my piercing screams brought him out of his catatonic state and allowed him to join the mad race. Horrified, I saw the other dog crawl under a hole in the fence and head into the cemetery. Cursing, panting, and groaning ensued.

A few minutes later, the Significant Other returned with our wayward friend. Roxy averted my gaze as I reprimanded her but then lifted her snout as if to say, “It wasn’t my fault.” My sharp, “Don’t even go there!” indicated I was not pleased with her actions. Just then, the Significant Other returned from helping the man capture his dog.

“Just a quiet, relaxing afternoon in the dog park, you said. I don’t get paid enough to do this job.”

“You don’t get paid at all.”

“And how would you classify the elevated spurts of blood pressure, tachycardia, and shortness of breath?”

“Marginal benefits to living with two colorful butterflies.”

“Don’t you mean, two lethal black widows?”

Chuckling, we turned to leave. We hadn’t taken but a few steps when we saw another dog and his human approaching. The breath caught in our throats.

“This time, you do the running and I do the screaming,” said the Significant Other.

To be continued…

Roxy says, "It was all him."
Roxy says, “It was all him.”
After so much action, there's nothing left to do but rest.
After so much action, there’s nothing left to do but rest.
Roxy admits, "Okay, I may have been partly to blame."
Roxy admits, “Okay, I may have been partly to blame.”

Where have sugar and spice and everything nice gone?

It is almost official.

We haven’t been formally informed but I am almost certain it’s a given.

Their looks tell us.

So does their body language.

Today’s episode practically guarantees that Roxy and I are deemed outcasts.

And it’s all Roxy’s fault.

She started off small.

The low growl was easily camouflaged with a cough or clearing of the throat.

But then it got worse.

The throaty growl rapidly turned into a snarl.

And just like that, Roxy had metamorphosed into the neighborhood bully.

Yes, yes, I now that with a face like this, you all think she’s sugar and spice.

Just look at this face!

But alas, it turns out our little miss has a mean streak.

She’s taken to barking, hissing, and even nipping at furry friends we encounter on our walks.

This morning, an elderly lady who used to be sweet to us, crossed to the other side of the street with her Chihuahua, all the while giving us the stink eye.

The young couple with the brown Pomeranian whispered to each other and picked up their ball of fur when we were ten feet in front of them.

The kind lady that used to give Roxy treats pretended not to see us and instructed her poodle to walk faster.

The gentleman who owns the adorable Westie named Lizzy, shortened its leash the minute he saw us.

To make matters worse, as we entered the dog park, I saw everyone scatter.

In less time than it takes to say, “bad dog,” people and pets had cleared a path for us.

It was as if I was walking a 70 pound ferocious attack dog instead of ten pounds of “used to be nice.”

The Significant Other and the Son don’t know what has prompted this behavioral change in Roxy.

But then again, neither do I.

One day she was hugs and kisses and the next, she had turned into mini Cujo.

Last week she was the most popular girl on the playground, and now she’s the tiny bully everyone shuns.

Sadly, I’m the one who has to deal with the whispers, the stares, the looks.

Looks that silently scream, “bad mom.”

I hope this is temporary; a pothole in the road to us once again being the loved couple we used to be.

But for now, we’re being shut out; reduced to invisibility; exiled to the middle path of the dog park.

Perhaps it is time to give the dog whisperer a call.

Before Roxy’s friendless status becomes permanent.

Before I start bribing dogs to throw her a bone.

Before we both have to wear matching sweaters with the letter “P” stitched on the breast pocket.

P for “pariahs,” because that’s what Roxy and I have become.

I’m crossing my fingers that Roxy will snap out of her Mr. Hyde persona.

Friends, any suggestions for how to deal with this predicament are heartily welcomed.

In the meantime, here’s a little Roxy love for inspiration.

Roxy asks, “Is there such a thing as doggie jail?”
I take my vitamins and play nice at home. Does that count?

Has your furry friend ever experienced the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde dilemma?

Is dog really man’s best friend?

So on our walk this afternoon, Roxy and I noticed something: European men really do love their dogs.

Only one woman besides myself was walking her canine in the park today.

The rest of the furry creatures had males holding their leashes.

I took as many candid shots as I could before getting the evil eye from one less than “gentle”man.

Really, what did he possibly think I was going to do with the photos I was taking?

Surely not post them on my blog for all of you guys to see…Wrong!

So without further ado, I give you the collection, “A Man and His Dog.”

Oh, and the Significant Other is in one of the shots. You’ll identify him by Roxy’s butt. So be on the lookout for it!