Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

might as well be walking on the sun

My daughter came to me this morning with a great idea.  Or so she said.  She wanted to take Indiana Jones, the Mastiff to the dog park.  By herself. 

I didn’t think this was a good idea at all.  Indy is a giant-sized child with a stubborn streak, and he easily outweighs my eighteen year old daughter.  I had visions of her being dragged behind him at the end of a leash across the woodchips on the playground on the way to the doggy area.  I envisioned her dialing her cell phone from a grassy knoll to tell me she had lost my dog. 

I sat up in bed and gave her an emphatic no. 

Being an eighteen year old girl, she of course, had to come up with an argument.  “But Mom…”

This is what I answer to these days…but Mom.  Back in the days when they were just babies and I spent countless hours using cutesy baby talk trying in vain to get them to say “Mama” before they said “Dada” I had no idea I would end up as a “but Mom” but here I am just the same.

“But Mom…Indy hasn’t gone to the park in ages.  He wants to goooo.”  She stretched that last word out on a whine. 

Then she produced a leash and Indy came charging into the room and flew into the bed with a thud, taking the leash in his teeth. 

She’s good I’ll give her that.  She learned from the best.

“I’ll go with you.” That was my concession.   I would go to the dog park with her so Indy could play.  It was a very well-played guilt trip.

I got dressed in my “drool” clothes, the ones I wear when taking Indy anywhere that may be drool inducing, and headed to my car.  My daughter had loaded one of the other more manageable dogs into her car and was backing out as I stuffed Indy into the backseat of my clean Kia Soul.

I wasn’t looking forward to a day at the dog park.  It was hot, and Indy was big, and I was lazy.  I wanted to stay in the air conditioned comfort of my house.  I would almost rather cook a meal than trek out to the dog park on a hot Saturday afternoon.  Almost.

I decided I would need something to bribe Indy to stay with me while we walked across the open space between the parking area and the fenced dog space, so we swung into the McDonald’s drive thru for a bottle of water and some French fries. 

After ordering, I pulled up to the window to pay, and rolled Indy’s window down.  I love to do this, and it always manages to make me laugh.  The boy at the window dropped his mouth open and gasped.  “That’s a big dog,” he said.

That’s an understatement, I was thinking. 

The funniest looks came from the people eating inside near the window as they watched Indy go by as we drove off.  I wish I’d taken a picture, but I was driving.

We pulled into the parking lot and piled out of the car.  I saw my daughter’s car, but not my daughter, so Indy and I started toward the dog area.  Lucky for me, Indy was more interested with every spot along the way where another dog had peed.  He wasn’t pulling me, I was pulling him.  When we reached the playground Indy was interested in the children, but not enough to distract him from the dogs in the distance.  He was suddenly on a mission. 

I reached into the bag and pulled out a few fries as bait. 

After a handful of fries we were almost at the gate, and I was covered in slobber.  And pulling up the rear was my daughter with the other dog.  She raced to catch up to us, and beat us through the gate.  Once we were both on the inside and the dogs were off their leashes she announced, “I’m going to play Frisbee with my friends.  You stay here with the dogs.  I’ll be back.”

I just looked at her, my mouth agape.  I had no words.  I didn’t even understand what had just happened.  She smiled and with a little wave was back through the gate and skipping off to the open grassy area to play with her friends. 

And I was stuck in the dog park with my two dogs and a host of others, all waiting to slobber all over me for my bag of fries.

Indy ran straight for the shaded area under the trees where, luckily the benches were waiting for me.  I sat down with the leashes and Indy plunked himself down in front of the water bucket where he spent most of his time.  The dog park may have well been parked on the face of the sun for as hot as it was, and Indy had no desire to play with anyone.  

I have no idea how long we were there, I lost track as I chatted with the other doggy parents…but I think I gained a few new blog readers by the time I was done.  And now my car needs a thorough washing, inside and out, to remove the copious amounts of dried on drool.

Oh, and Indy said he has no desire to visit the dog park again until fall weather moves into Atlanta and I passed that info on to my daughter.  She can hardly argue with that.  I hope.

Until the next time…I’ll be heading to the car wash!

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