Bad pic, good dog

That’s Java in the background. She’s my next door neighbors’ dog. She ambled into my yard this afternoon, peed on a bush and ambled back out. This dog is one of the few dogs I will share my 0-skunk-30 woods walk with. The others are Gretchen and Ano but I haven’t seen either of those in a looooong time. I’m guessing Gretchen MIGHT still be around (alive and living in the neighborhood) and I’m just not in the woods when she is. I sorta think Ano and their owner moved a while back.

Java is leashed when it seems PC to leash her. Her owners are impeccable about that. She is also perfectly capable of minding her own business without a leash if no other people (or dogs) are around. I don’t count as “other people” because her owners know I don’t care if she’s leashed or not. Or that she pees on bushes in my yard. I have never told them this. It’s a tacit understanding.

My brother’s dog Ernie would mind his owners and also meeeee without a leash. Up to a point. Once I was walking Ernie and Alfred down the beach to Doelles and I had taken off their leashes because nobody was ever down there. Roight? Not roight. That day, a couple of runners came out on to the beach from the *goddamn* new road down there. Alfred (who was uncontrollable without a leash) took off like a shot and Ernie followed him. I ran after them shouting apologies. No one was harmed and the runners graciously accepted my apologies. Alas. When I was a kid (and even a younger adult), you could walk down to that end of the beach with an un-tethered dog and no one would come flying outta the swamp at the end of the beach. Sigh.

Java knows me and pre-COVID I would pet her when I ran into her and her owner on my way back from my walk. Even vaxxed, we don’t get that close now. Hello breakthrough cases and f*ck anti-vaxxers!!! Java has some gray around her muzzle now so she is not a young dog but even when she and her owners moved here, she was a very calm dog. My childhood dog Tigger could be nutso as a young dog but she settled down as an older dog to where she would calmly walk to meet beach walkers with her tail wagging. Will you pet me please?

I notice I am struggling a bit with pronouns in this post. I myself am pretty firmly a cisgender she/her. My dog Tigger was born female and was spayed but we always used she/her pronouns. I *think* Java is she/her but not sure. Gretchen probably is. I dunno what Ano is so I used them/their. My brother’s dogs were all definitely he/him although they were neutered. We tried to call Tigger “it” for a while but it never worked for me. She was a she/her to me.

If you have read the last paragraph and think I am nutso, honestly I am just trying to wrap my brain around a new set of vocabulary words. It actually helps me when I write for my job. Writing they or them is much easier than writing “the user” everywhere. Jeebus.

One Response to “Bad pic, good dog”

  1. Margaret Says:

    They/them will always be difficult for me as a singular pronoun. (it’s plural!) I wish there were a different way. We had an uncontrollable dog who could jump fences and hated kids on bikes. And whenever it happened, my late husband was at work and I was the one dealing with the angry parent.