This morning, Dame Harper and I were about two blocks into our walk when I realized I’d left Casa de Harper without a bag. You know… one of those bags. I usually keep one tied to the handle of her leash to avoid such faux pas but that system seems to have failed me this morning.
A variety of options presented themselves.
I could abort the walk and take Harper home to poop in the yard. That seems punitive to both of us, though it could be argued I deserved it for having been ill-prepared.
We could go back home, get a bag and began the walk again. I’m not sure what would have been wrong with that but, for some reason, at 6:30 AM, it seemed like a bad idea.
We could continue our walk and hope for the best. It’s as good a definition of ‘denial’ as I can imagine. I went for it.
Our homeowner’s association has bag dispensers near the paths along the arroyos in our neighborhood. They provide the bags, free of charge, in the hope that people will, you know…. use them. This has only limited success, I might add. I am a good citizen, however, and a responsible pet owner so I use the bags. I knew there was a dispenser eight blocks ahead on our route. The challenge was that Harper’s favorite spot for ‘lady matters’ was several blocks sooner. Sure enough, we arrive at the spot and I see her hind legs creeping slowly toward her front legs so I know the game is afoot.
How often does one see one of those charming little plastic grocery bags; “witch’s knickers” we call them; floating down the road at the whim of a gentle summer breeze? No such luck! That’s the problem with litter, it’s never around when you need it.
We continue down the path; Harper looking quite proud of her achievement while I silently rehearse my explanation that I am just on my way to get a bag and will be right back for clean-up. I want to sound sincere should any nearby homeowner come charging down their driveway in robe & slippers shouting “j’accuse”.
A block ahead, I see a couple crossing the street walking their Golden Retriever. As is typical of me, I have no idea who the people are or where they live but I know the dog’s name is Slater. I assume I must have talked to the people at some point; it being unlikely that Slater had introduced himself.
When Harper and I reached the corner the dogs exchanged sniffs and humans exchanged greetings… or vice versa? – it was early. With only the slightest blush I asked Slater’s mom if she might have a spare poopie bag, trying without success to make “poopie bag” sound like “Grey Poupon”. Bless her heart, she went prospecting in her Birkin and come out with one. She also came out with Kleenex, Tylenol, chapstick, a sun visor, $1.37 in change, and the latest Dan Brown novel; which she is enjoying but not as much as The Da Vinci Code. But I digress.
We shared our farewells and Slater and his family moved on toward wherever their journey was taking them while Harper and I retraced our steps to the scene of the crime. Harper was a little miffed thinking I’d abandoned the route that leads to the park but she perked up once she realized it was just a brief detour.