Friday, October 23, 2009

Throw Me a Bone: What's Your Name Again?


As some of you may have read in my introduction, one of the reasons we chose our particular neighborhood and house was because of its connection to miles of trails. Those of you who know me well know that this isn’t a big selling point one way or the other with me, but Scott likes to bike and run and otherwise just be outdoors, for some ungodly reason. The paths became convenient when we got our dog, Cous Cous, and found the only way to keep her from chewing my shoes and my clothes…and, well, anything that’s mine…is to walk her at least twice a day.

We meet an interesting cast of characters on our walks. There’s “the vet tech dog walker” or “the old dude with the lab” or “the daycare lady with the shihtzu.” At least, this is how I know these people. It’s not that I’m rude, I swear, I’m just not accustomed to retaining names of people and their pets when I pass them quickly and we allow a little doggie hello butt sniff.

Well, lately I’ve not been going on as many walks because as I get bigger and bigger, the prospect of waddling around the neighborhood with a dog who can’t go two feet without sniffing something isn’t appealing. And besides I can’t zip my winter coat. Apparently while I’ve been slacking on walks, Cous Cous has become famous.

I mean, I know my dog is cute. There’s no way I would own a dog under 50 lbs if she wasn’t absolutely adorable. She’s managed to make me break every dog rule EVER (she sleeps with us, she gets tons of treats, I actually walk her instead of throw her out the door on a zip line) with just one little goofy look or noise. But yeah, I had no idea she was famous. And by virtue of the fact that I own her, so have I.

So a week ago I am getting the mail and this woman stops me and smiles and goes “how long is it again? You’re due in the beginning of November, right?” I look around and then sort of stare at her. It comes back to me slowly (as most thoughts come to me these days) that she’s the daycare lady with the shihtzu. Nice lady, annoying dog. The damn thing barks at my dog every time we pass and it takes forever to get Cous Cous calmed down because she’s very uptight when she can’t sniff a dog and show her dominance, and this particular dog has an electric fence far enough away where Cous has to settle for a stare and bark approach. Plus the lady has like 10 kids in her yard who all want to play with the puppy. I have zero problem with kids wanting to pet my dog in theory…except that no matter how many times we say to the little munchkins “she jumps” they immediately go for her face and Cous Cous gets so ridiculously excited she can not control her back feet and she jumps right at the eyes. Naturally this scares the crap out of the kids and about half the time the whole episode ends up in tears. And yet, the next time we go by, the same little kid who was sobbing in fear is once again coming over to pet the dog. And thus the vicious cycle.

I digress. Back to Shihtzu Daycare Lady. She’s all smiles and I mumble an affirmative…I am in fact due soon. She laughs and says “How’s little Cous Cous doing with it all?” I manage to stumble out a little “she’s acting out some, but she’ll adjust” and then we both go our merry ways.

So I come home and tell this to Scott and he just nods and says the woman’s name and tells me she always asks about me while trying to hold back the kids from getting maimed by my overexcited puppy. I should find this all very sweet, treat it as one of those touching “ah, suburbia” moments, but I find it kind of weird. There’s something disconcerting about someone knowing so much about me when all I know is her profession and choice of dog breeds. And now the pressure is on for our walks to remember people’s names and dog’s names and other salient details that on a good day is challenging, and when I’m weeks from giving birth it’s just downright impossible.

So slap me on the wrist, “bad suburban neighbor,” but I don’t think I will ever be able to keep up with the Jones’ on this one.

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