••• Thursday, October 28, 2004

Thunky Thursday
The other day a friend and I were talking about when we were kids and dogs were allowed to run free, even in the city. This reminiscing brought to mind a true story from the files of The Girl With Gum in Her Hair.

My elementary school was six blocks away

:: And yeah, we walked. Uphill. And yeah, it snowed. Six months out of the school year. And yeah, in the winter we wore only bread bags on our feet. Twist-tied at the ankles. And yeah, some days I got lucky and snagged a bag with a slice or two of bread still in it. For added insulation. And yeah, those bags were slippery....::

...But I digress.

Because we lived on the farthest edge of the school boundary, there was never anyone to walk with to school. I usually took shortcuts through people’s yards or along the railroad tracks. But every once in a while, I’d take the conventional way to school. The sidewalk.

One day, when I was in the 3rd grade and walking the sidewalk to school, I noticed a neighbor dog, Pudge, walking close behind me. Back in the days when the dogs ran free, it wasn’t unusual for a friendly, familiar dog to follow a kid around the neighborhood. But Pudge was not usually a friendly dog and had a reputation for playing hard to pet.

That Pudge had chosen me as his walking partner on that cold, spring morn, was quite remarkable. Flattering even. When I leaned over to pet him, he gave me a quick, friendly lick on the face and commenced to sniffing my legs with a fury. Soon after I resumed my typical, trudge-like pace, my new friend stood up on his hind legs and clasped my waist tightly in his pudgy paws. Although initially startled, I thought this was the cutest thing. He was hugging me!

Ever mindful of being tardy, again, I continued walking to school, with my new buddy hopping behind, attached at my hip. After we went another half block, however, I decided it wasn’t so cute anymore and gently tried to break his clutch. Nothing doing.

I then tried to wrench free a la frenzied wriggle. Evidently a frenzied wriggle is exactly the wrong thing to do in this situation. Pudge became increasingly excited and more freaky on my ass.

Worried about being late for school, I trudged forth. With the dog hop, hop, humping along. Saw that the crossing guard was already gone, I began to panic. Even without the drag of a dog humping my ass, I was still 10 minutes from school. At least. And already very, very late.

I finally gave up the trudge of futility and began to cry. And the Pudge, he humped with wild abandon. While I was standing at the corner crying, a police officer pulled up in his cruiser and asked if I needed help. My face was now smeared with a combo of tears and snot and I could only nod.

While the Pudge could only bang on and on.

The officer quickly wrenched the horndog off my back and offered me a ride home. Fearful of my mother’s response to being brought home in a police car, when I should have been already 10 minutes in class, I begged him no. But he insisted and I bawled all the ride home.

It's not that my mom was an unreasonable ogress or anything. She was just one of those old fashioned, crusty types, who never, ever took her child’s side in a situation. If I came home crying from a bee sting, she would say "What did I tell you about hanging out with the bees?” or “What did you do to the bee?”

I’m happy to report that my mom was surprisingly compassionate about this incident and and thanked the officer for his help. After he left, she carefully explained to me that Pudge was “hugging” me because our dog Missy was in heat and he smelled her on me.

I didn't understand a word of it. But neither did I care. After fixing us each a cup of cocoa, she walked me to school.

We never spoke of the incident again.
And that damn Pudge never gave me another glance.

P.S. Wooliemama's Back! Yay


Comments: Post a Comment