In a few minutes I’m going to get up, put on some pants, slip on some socks and shoes, and call Pork Chop over to go for a walk.
Pork Chop will be sleeping in her nest. She makes herself a nest every night, lifting and pulling on her blankets until they form a perfect little circle around her. And if she’s cold, she can even cover herself with the blanket.
When she hears me call, she’ll pretend it’s not a big deal, raise her head, and get up out of bed reluctantly. Then she’ll do her morning yoga, always just dog pose, and with her front feet low and back legs high I can hear the bones popping and ligaments stretching.
With that work done, she’ll trot over to the front door. She has a prancing walk she does when she’s excited, both front feet straight, her body sways from one side to the other, her head bobs up and down as she walks.
And when she gets over to me I’ll be standing there with the harness and leash. I hang the harness low for her to put her own head in. This is the point where her excitement starts to build. She will yawn and let out a yawp – a high pitched sound that accompanies her yawns. A yawn in a dog can be nervousness but it can also mean excitement. For Porks, it’s excitement.
Usually, this is followed by a shiver. You know how sometimes you get an uncontrollable shiver? Just some bundle of electrons that has been trapped inside you and needs to find its way back into the universe and so it works its way back out through your central nervous system. Causing you to uncontrollably shake and wiggle to get it out. Pork Chop has dozens of these a day but always one after I snap the harness on.
From there, she goes into huntress mode. As soon as we step out the front door she’s looking for two things and two things only: squirrels and girls.
There’s usually a couple squirrels climbing the telephone pole across the street so she locks eyes on that pole first thing every morning. She’s never caught a squirrel – because I don’t let her – but she’s never given up hope that she might one day get to taste squirrel meat. Every once in a while I get caught looking at my phone and killer here gets a little jump on me and tries to climb a tree after one of these fluffy tailed rats but I’ve always managed to keep her from murdering one of them.
Pork Chop and I do a 2.5 mile walk every morning from my house, to the local park, and back. And besides the squirrels, the other thing she looks for is human interaction. Any kind will do, usually, but most specifically she loves women. When she sees a woman she loses control and wiggles, tucks her tail, ears go down, and she gets a crazed demeanor. Most people just say “aww cute” but if they ask to pet Pork Chop I say “you can, but she’s going to try to jump on you”. 99% of them don’t listen and she does in fact try to jump on them. It’s pretty frightening to have a fully grown Pit Bull terrier jump in your face and try to lick you. I’m probably supposed to be training her to not do this but I feel like if I warned you and you still decided to pet the dog, well, that’s on you.
Maybe this is a metaphor for something. My permissiveness? My recklessness? The American electorate voting for politicians who literally tell them that they are awful and yet they vote for them anyway? Nah, dogs are better than politicians. I should probably tell these dog lovers “I’d rather not, she gets so excited to see people that she might accidentally bite your face, and I know that we would all be filled with regret if she did that.”
I guess I will do that from now on. Or maybe have people sign a waiver: “I the undersigned do hereby waive all rights to not have my face licked, or slightly bitten, by this over-amorous dog”. Or, I guess, I can work on the thing where she tries to jump on people and lick their face. For now I’m still working on just walking without pulling too much. Did I mention the squirrels?