Monday, January 25, 2016

Doggy Dates

I am a complete and utter love failure.   I own that.

To date I can still claim my dog, Tess - The Contessa -  as my longest most successful relationship, and just like any successful couple, we require occasional dates to restrengthen our bond and not kill each other for being cooped up in a house together with three cats.  My married friends tell me about the importance of date nights to keep their love with their husbands alive, and I don't believe that one's animal relationships are any less important. At any rate, Tess' love language is quality time so if I want to keep her happy then she requires time alone with me.

Although as soon as she sees another dog or even another human, I no longer exist in her world. Infidelity runs rampant with my dog.

Saturday mornings are our dates.  Since my last good date was three weeks ago, and my last truly awesome date with an amazing guy was last August (I love my dog, but even she can't replace the feeling of snuggling with a cutie at a fancy restaurant over a glass of wine), my idea of a great date is either a dog date with Tess, or an Artist Date (from Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way).

With the snow, I've just been letting Tess run off leash throughout my neighborhood.  We go along the river, sometimes to the dog park, and then back to the park on the other side of my neighborhood where the playground is.  Dogs off leash in the park are technically against the law, but Tess sticks pretty close to me, being most concerned with sniffing every pile of unpicked dog poo (which should also be against the law) and tinkling on every rock, tree trunk, and scrub of grass because she seems to think she is male.

We usually finish up our walk in the park at the playground where I sit on the swings and act like I'm five years old, and Tess tries to attack me each time I swing by her.  It's become a bit of a dance.  She prances all around the playground, never straying far; I swing, she notices it, and comes barreling towards me at top speed.  If she can jump on me and knock me out of the swing then she wins.  If I manage to stop myself before she knocks me over, I win.  It's kind of fun (even if I do end up in the sawdust) until Tess gets overexcited and starts using her teeth.  She's never broken my skin, but she did leave a pretty good-sized welt on the Cowboy once when he teased her on the swings.

I have to be careful with that.  I don't want Tess to associate swinging with ripping someone's limb off.  Children swing for God's sake.

My dates with Tess have pretty much everything a date should have.  Walks in the park, behaving like children playing on the swings in the playground, and food as she always gets her lunch when we get home, and I stuff myself as well.  Stomping around in the snow and swinging is hard, calorie-burning work after all!  If we go later in the day and get home around five or six, then I even have a glass of wine.  And of course doggy kisses are a must.  Sometimes we even dance.  I like to rock out while making dinner, (best new song ever:  Chase Bryant's Little Bit of You) and Tess loves to dance with me.  If we ever get organized we could probably put on a fairly decent performance and do an act for Vaudeville.

This last Sunday we even almost got busted by the cops, and if Keith Urban is to be believed, a good date always ends with a run-in with the cops.  We were playing on the swings, Tess running around loose, and I noticed over on the town's busiest street beside the park, two cop cars stopped, lights flashing.  They were arresting someone, so I wasn't too worried, but you know how cops are.  They have their quotas after all.  They get in the mood to bust people for doing things they shouldn't, and they just can't seem to stop.  If the cops had glanced our way at all they probably could tell that I was sitting on the swings letting my dog run all over the park with no regard for the feelings of others (the park was completely empty). If they did notice and found themselves in an uncharitable mood, they could easily swing by and give me a ticket once they were done with their arrest.  I kept snapping the leash on Tess every time a cop car pulled off and another one showed up (in the end, at least three had gotten involved), until I finally decided that the boys in blue had plenty to do so that they probably weren't too concerned about one well-behaved German shepherd having the time of her life.

Yes, paranoia is the way of my life.

Still, once all three cop cars finally peeled off, I decided it might be better to go home and have lunch. They could show up at the park any moment if they were in the busting mood.  After all, there have been at least two other times the cops almost caught me skipping down the street with my dog trotting brazenly along beside me, no leash to keep her under control.  The last time, the officer cleverly took a side street after passing me once, but I'd already snapped the leash to Tess' collar and he could prove nothing.  He didn't stop anyway.

I swear, running around with a loose dog is worse than buzzed driving in this town.  There are cops around every corner just waiting to give you a ticket.

Again, I'm sure our finest have more important things to worry about than one well-behaved German shepherd, and really they are probably just jealous that the gorgeous creature belongs to me and not their K9 unit.  I know I would be jealous if I saw Tess with someone else.  I gawk at other people's shepherds all the time, but I always maintain, in the end, that Tess is the most beautiful of them all.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

I'm such a lawbreaker, really.  I've been known to steam a stamp off an envelope and use it again.  I dated a drug dealer, for crying out loud.  I'm crazy like that.

Okay, so, really, I'm actually so diligent about picking up my dog's poop on our walks, I even pick up other dogs' poop.  I'm developing a thing for that damn boy scout, Captain America, because he tells people to watch their language.  Let's face it, I don't like bad boys, I like super dorks.

Hey, August, if you're reading this, I'm still single...

Anyway, at least Tess can say dates with me are super exciting. Walks, food, dancing, and even a brush with the cops.  We are having some fun now.

Add in an awesome playlist (I think it's safe to say that people this last Sunday probably thought I was nuts if they saw me walking along, rocking out to my playlist - I was lip syncing and everything), and I have to say the date was more fun than the one I had last August with that last truly amazing guy I had the pleasure of dating.  Yes, he was a super dork, but super cute.  He was a total doll, but Tess is my true love.

I guess The Contessa really is the best date.  No wonder she has become my longest, most successful relationship.  I have more fun on a walk with my dog than I do going out with most people.

Should I be worried about this?

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