Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ambush French Kiss

I’ve visited Blaine’s place enough to know that when I go there, I need to clamp my teeth and seal my lips into an impregnable line just before I sit down. He has two dachshunds and dogsits another, and this breed has been genetically engineered to execute the ambush French Kiss.

Dachshund tongues can violate the mouths of the unwary with the precision of greased drill bits. I hate to spend valuable minutes of social time spitting, uttering curses, and making awful faces. They’re sweet dogs, and they’re cute, but I don’t want that kind of intimacy with them. This brown one in particular can make herself into a kissing missile by balancing on her hind legs and bouncing straight up with her tongue extended, so it's not even safe to pick something up off the floor or kneel to pet her.

Dog ownership in the city, and especially in a condo, is tricky. We have strict rules here against residents letting animals shit on the lawn. There are several dog owners in the building, and we have fined some for being chronic yard-shitter-uppers. Last summer I couldn’t sit on my balcony because of the smell coming from all of the accumulated crap under Blaine’s balcony – the owner of a German Shepherd encouraged her dog to go there I guess because it couldn’t be easily seen, but the stench was so strong it almost assumed corporeal form.

The situation that has come about as a result of the yard crap fines is that now Blaine picks up everybody’s doggie leavings, because he doesn’t want to face the potential hassle of being blamed for somebody else’s doo. All the other dogs in the building are much larger than Dachshunds, too, so it’s a particular nuisance for him.

Pretty much the only foot traffic you see in this neighborhood is related to efficient, non-social dog walking. I miss the old neighborhood because lots of people walked to get from place to place and there was a lot of socializing on the sidewalk. Dog walkers, I’ve noticed, are often in a hurry or seem half asleep. They don’t want to stop and shoot the bull. They do all seem to know each other though, but I don’t want to have to get a dog to break into the neighborhood clique.

In my last entry I mentioned reading a book about edible weeds by Susun Weed, so I’ve been casing the neighborhood for sources of free greens. There are plenty out there, but the trouble is, they’re all at high risk for having been pissed on in the past 24 hours. The dog density in this neighborhood means that no patch of ground is safe.

The doo in Fisher Park became such a problem that the city installed baggie dispensers to encourage people to pick up after their pets. I don’t know if they’re getting much use. People just don’t like picking up shit.

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