Fun_People Archive
25 Sep
Cameron Column # 120

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 100 13:49:46 -0700
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Subject: Cameron Column # 120

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The Cameron Column # 120

Dog on the Run
Copyright 2000 W. Bruce Cameron

==> Please leave the copyright notice intact -- why would anyone deny this
simple courtesy? <==

It drives me crazy the way my wife will take something I've said and twist
it all around until it bears no resemblance to the truth.  As an example,
a while ago I told her I had to postpone my exercise program because my
dog was afflicted with a sore paw.

"What in the world does that have to do with anything?" she demanded.

"Didn't you say the dog was getting fat?" I responded archly.  "I'm going
to make her run with me."

"That's no reason why YOU can't get started," she replied illogically.

Well, that was a few weeks ago.  Now she acts as if the fact that the dog's
paw has healed means I should start running.  "Aren't you the one who asked
what that has to do with anything?" I ask.  "Seems to me one of us is being
a little inconsistent."

I am not sure why she wants me to run around anyway.  Doesn't she care
about the undignified image this projects to the neighbors?  "Men shouldn't
run; it makes them look like cowards," I tell her.

"Carry a spear.  Everyone will think you're going off to war," she suggests,

Well, that's ridiculous:  Who would take his dog to war?

When I finally have had enough of her harassment, I snap a leash on the
dog's collar and head out the door.  The dog is so excited she cannot
contain herself and leaps circles in the air, grabbing the leash in her
mouth and shaking it.  "Stop it!" I command the spastic animal.  "Show some

We immediately discover a conflict:  I want to maintain a steady pace,
whereas my dog wants to stop every dozen yards or so and pee on our
neighbors' lawns.  We work out a compromise -- I'll keep plodding ahead,
and she'll utilize a sort of hopping dribble.  This works fine until my
idiot animal spots a squirrel, and then all cooperation vanishes as she
lunges forward, yanking the leash so hard my skeletal system is nearly
pulled out through my armpit.  "Heel!" I scream fruitlessly as I'm dragged
into the woods.  The neighborhood is filled with the unmistakable sound of
my body impacting on tree trunks.  "Here lies W. Bruce Cameron," my
tombstone will read, "beaten to death by his stupid dog."

The squirrel darts up a tree and my pet gives me a "hey, is he ALLOWED to
do that?" expression.  I drag her back to the road.

My body was willing enough to go along with this whole running thing
originally, but the foray into the woods demoralized it, and now I can feel
my chest become heavy as one by one my internal organs shut down, like
lights winking out in an office building at night.  I'm now grateful for
the pull my dog is exerting on her end of the leash.  Up ahead, some
flattened road kill provides ample testimony to the foolishness of
attempting to run in the street.  No telling what the animal was last month,
but that doesn't stop my brainless pet from stopping and, incredibly,
starting to eat it.  "Hey!" I gasp, yanking the leash.

The dog, shrugging, drops to one shoulder and rolls -- if she can't eat
it, she'll wear it.  "Would you stop that?  No dead stink!  No dead stink!"
I shout.  The dogs pretends not to understand.

We stumble on.  The novelty has worn off for both of us; this is, after
all, an animal whose sole source of exercise is moving from one patch of
sun to another.  She begins shooting me concerned glimpses, wondering what
we're fleeing from.  The leash goes slack.  Another canine, snarling from
behind a fence, raises an involuntary bristle across the ridge of my dog's
back, but she doesn't even glance at the challenge.  Her ears are down;
she looks anxious and miserable.

Our pace slows somewhat in the final leg of the course; we are passed by
a small boy pulling a wagon.  We limp into the driveway and stagger into
the house.

"Will you be doing this every day, now?" my wife asks.

"Are you kidding?" I gasp.  "It almost killed her!"


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