Tuesday, January 1, 2008

It Runs Downhill

Note: And now for something completely different—a new blog template for 2008! Let’s start the New Year off right with a laugh and one of the kind of pet pieces you’ll find in HOT FLASHBACKS, COOL INSIGHTS—the book. Here’s Bear in his “Groucho Barks” get-up. This is his alter ego to King of the Hill.

I learned the expression shit runs downhill when I worked for the government. It refers to unpleasant duties passed on to underlings by superiors—or the results of their bad decisions, a stinking pile some poor stooge is forced to clean up. Aside from the bureaucrazy, I’m sure it runs downhill in any big organization. And there are no handy little pick-up bags in a dispenser, like at the Dog Park, vet, or pet store.

Once I retired from government service, it still ran downhill for me. Only now, it’s literal—in my own back yard. Big, steaming links of it. My goofy Yellow Lab drops them daily. I just watch ‘em roll. He likes to pee downhill, too, even if he wets his front paws in the process. What a doofus.

Bear has never been the brightest star in the constellation–although no one who has ever met him would deny–he’s one of the most loveable. Our home is twelve feet above the ground below, the fertile flood plane of a year-round creek. We have dirt and ground rock steps that take both people and pets to the lower level. But Bear still prefers to take the hills directly. Even though illness has made his legs weak, he still shuffles his way down, like an old man on a mission. First, he stops to break wind and enhance the beauty of the hillside with his decorations.

I think I am missing a business opportunity here. With two decks off my house, I could invite spectators to bet on the Dog Do Daily. We could number the rolls and bet on which one comes to a stop first. This would also give me greater incentive to clean up more often. I get busy, and it piles up. Since I know my Inner Monk would never let me put little numbers on the sides of them like baby horse blankets for wagering purposes, I’d have to stick with the daily half dozen—a small enough number to site and track. (Number One is by the tree stump; the Number Two #2 is located by the pile of leaves, etc.) More than that would confuse me or I’d run out of landmarks. And once they’re dried up, the things don’t roll worth a nickel. Who could make any money off that kind of small change?

I am an altruistic person. I believe in sharing, whether it’s time, talent, or yucks. How can I keep a daily spectacle like this to myself? Even if you wish I would have?

I know there is a lesson here. I’m supposed to have the insight edge. Here’s what I think:

My dog is the only one who has his shit together. You let it roll, you take a stroll, and if you act stupid enough, your mom—or some other nurture nut—will clean it up for you. Now you know why one of his nicknames is Poopy Dog. Besides, it takes two to tangle, as my Mom used to say. It gives us overly responsible types something to do-do.


Win a free copy of the Capitol Crimes Mystery Anthology, including Joyce’s short story, Digital. Details. Send your friends to Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights for Valentine’s Day. Better than candy! (No calories)


PopArtDiva said...

Oh, I love that photo. Isn't it amazing? We call them "dumb" animals but who picks up whose poop?????

When Pixel was only a few months old she used to poop, then run into my studio and bark at me until I went and "baggied" it up! Didn't take her long to figure out what my real mission is life was!

Joyce Mason said...

I call all my pets poopers, because I knew my place early on. LOL! Is Pixel a Virgo? She has Monk-like tendencies. Never met a dog who insisted on clean-up.