Monday, December 5, 2011

It's just been one of those days...

Today I had a serious case of the blechs.

I blame it on a few factors. I'm seriously lacking in sleep. I had a day full of inefficient and irritatingly long meetings. I had to rush to get out of the door this morning after losing track of time. Oh yes, and it's been a dark, bleak and rainy Monday (see here for my thoughts on this least esteemed day of the week and here for my meteorological lament about precipitation).

Suffice it to say, this was the kind of day that kicked my ass a little, and that left me wanting to do nothing other than crawl into my bed with a big bowl of ice cream the minute that I got home.

Which is why I stayed at work a little bit later than I had to.

"What?" you are probably exclaiming. "How does that make sense? You're having a bad day, you want to be at home in bed, yet you are purposely staying at work? Are you crazy?"

Don't worry - this is not the first time that I've been called crazy, and it likely won't be the last. But in this case, there was actually a method to my madness. You see, hubby and I have an unwritten rule that he or she who gets home from work first is responsible for taking the Beast out for his evening stroll and romp in the park. And remember, today is Monday, it is raining, and I feel blech. Oh, and I took him out for a 6k run in the rain this morning and didn't really feel like getting soaked to the bone twice. So I didn't really want to be the first one home. Our rule may be unwritten, but the "I just don't feel like it" excuse doesn't fly well chez nous.

And so I admit it. In an attempt to secure second place in the race home, I dawdled. I successfully found a few unattended e-mails that needed answering. I did some filing (even though I have an assistant who is far more adept at that than me). I found a couple of reasons to send notes to my boss or other colleagues. And I returned a couple of phone calls even though I knew that the intended recipients would be gone for the day.

And then, when I was sure that hubby would be packing up his office and leaving for the evening (and when my dear friend called to offer me a ride which I will take over the bus any day...), I left the office, secure in the conviction that I could simply come home and sprawl out on the couch while I waited for a soaking wet Beast and a soaking wet hubby to come home for dinner.

But alas, I beat hubby home. I realized it the second we drove up and I noticed the garbage bin still at the curb. Hubby always brings the garbage bin back to the house when he gets home first. I grasped at a glimmer of hope that perhaps he took the Beast for a walk and intended to pick the bins up on the way back, but in the back of my mind, I just knew that he was still at the office.

And that I would be stuck walking with the Beast in the rain.

(Insert unmentionable expletive here. And maybe another one here...)

Well, in the words of my esteemed and wise father, "Dems the breaks, kiddo." I would just have to suck it up, find my rain gear, and get this walk over with.

But something happened to my attitude almost the minute I entered the house.

For starters, whenever the Beast is freed from the confines of his crate, he does this incredibly infectious dance that hubby and I have nicknamed the "happy bum dance". Most dogs would simply wag their tails, but the Beast doesn't have one of those, so his entire bum shakes ferociously back and forth. It is the most darling thing that I have ever seen, and it puts a smile on my face every single time. Even though I know that it is probably a sign of how badly he has to pee, it is nice to pretend that it is because he is just so darn happy to see me. And sure enough, as soon as I let him out tonight, he did the happy bum dance all the way to the patio door, looking up at me the whole time with a smile on his face (which actually probably meant, "Hurry up lady and open the door. I gotta pee!").

By the time the Beast had fulfilled his bodily needs, I was changed into my dog park clothes and ready to hit the streets with him, rain gear and all. And as I pulled on my rubber boots and slung my dog-walking knap sack over my shoulder, the Beast was sitting like a perfect gentleman at the front door, waiting for me to clip his leash on and take off. If you had any idea how long it took me to get him to wait patiently to go for a walk, you would understand why this sight makes me so happy. Even happier because the whole time, he had a big goofy grin on his face, almost as infectious as the happy bum dance.

And then there was the walk itself. Yes, it was raining. And yes, I got soaking wet. But each time I would glance down to the Beast at my side, I could not help but notice how happy he was to be out and about. His ears were back, his nose was up in the air so that he could sniff everything as we walked by, and every now and then, when I would make a kissey sound to get his attention, he would look back at me with that big silly grin.

So we walked for half an hour. And when we got to the dog park, we were greeted by two other dedicated dog owners who were braving the elements with their dogs. So we stayed there for half an hour, playing fetch with the boys and watching them get more and more dirty as they ran through puddles, snow piles and patches of mud.

It wasn't until I my fingers were so numb with cold that I had lost feeling in them that it occurred to me that I was actually having a good time. In the cold. In the dark. In the rain. On a Monday. Despite my blechy day.

It's like I told one of the dog park humans this evening in response to his polite, "How was your day?"

"Well," I said, "it was actually pretty shitty, until about half an hour ago."

"Yeah," he said. "That's what dogs do. They make your day better."

And he is right. There is something about the Beast's live-life-right-now-no-matter-what-is-going-on attitude that sweeps me away every single time. He doesn't care about the weather. He doesn't care about the day of the week or the time of day. He doesn't care that he spent the previous eight hours by himself in the house while hubby and I were at work. He just loves life, and wants to live every moment to its absolute fullest. How on earth can anyone resist that attitude?

I am quite sure that there will be plenty more blech days. But I am pretty lucky that the Beast will be waiting for me when I get home to put a smile on my face while I watch him do his happy bum dance.

Thanks for the pick-me-up, little buddy.