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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Neighborhood Walk

Boz and I took a slow meander early yesterday evening. We met four delightful children on the next block, all of whom wanted to meet and pet Boz.

"Remember what I told you," said their grandmother. "Approach slowly."

"What's his name?"

"Does he have teeth?

"Does he bite?"

"What happened to his tail?"

"What's a 'rescue dog?' Does he rescue people?"

"How old is he?"

I answered their questions and they petted Boz with gentle persistence until he could no longer endure their attention. He pulled at the leash and rolled his eyes at me, letting me know he was ready to move on.

Half a block down we were privy to another conversation between a mother and her kids. This time, we stayed out of it.

"Get outta my car!"

(Something breaks.)

"What are you doing, just sitting there, being stupid? I said get outta my car! Get out!"

(Tears.)

"Stupid. Get in the house."

(Tears.)

Life is charmed. Life is vicious. It's love and it's fear. It's accidental, serendipitous and deliberate. It's true and it's a big, fat lie. It's a million things at the same time, funny and sweet and tragic.

After dinner, Boz did everything he could to get us to sit in the living room with him so he could chew his bone. He doesn't like to chew alone. He wants company. I had things to do first: help John with the dishes, sort the laundry, upload a photo. Through it all Boz was most impatient. We finally sat down together in the living room--me with my laptop and Boz with his bone--and life was good.

20 comments:

dive said...

Love the sunlight through the spider web, Petrea.
Thank you for letting us join you and Boz on your walk. A real slice of life. He's a lucky dog.

Shell Sherree said...

With all the ups and downs, having someone to sit with us while we chew our bones ~ well, that's one of life's simple pleasures.

Book Dragon said...

Ditto to both dive & Shell

grrr...some people shouldn't have children, or pets.

Speedway said...

I love the way you find beautiful pictures in things other people pass by, this time sunlight through spider webs on a traffic sign.

I bet the woman in the second conversation wouldn't recognize herself if she read your post.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

What a wonderful slice of Boz' life you have given us. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet.

Great spider web!

Bises,
Genie

Petrea Burchard said...

In case anyone who lives on the depicted block sees this picture, no, it wasn't your neighbor.

I felt terrible for those children in the second conversation. They face an uphill climb. But the world is full of people climbing out of awful childhoods. Often, this is our task in life, to find a way to be better adults than our parents were.

She might not recognize herself, Speedway. She might not have heard what she was saying or know the damage she's causing.

altadenahiker said...

Boz wants company while he chews -- too cute.

I recognize both neighbors...

Petrea Burchard said...

I suppose we all do, Hiker.

Yeah, for such lovers of novelty, it's shocking how much dogs need their routines.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I don't live on that depicted block but I do think I've taken a neighborhood drive thru that part of town before. Is that north of the 210? In the future I will keep my eyes more alert for Boz & you.

Bellis said...

You probably treat Boz much better than that mum treats those kids - but then, I bet Boz always gets out the car when you ask him to.

What a sweet baby to wait until you're sitting down before he chews his bone!

Laura said...

Oh, Lord, the words I wish I could take back in my own years of childrearing! Exhaustion, lack of support, poverty, perfectionism took their toll.

But I hope I was never quite that bad.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

My father never called me stupid but he often called me an idiot. I miss him.

Petrea Burchard said...

Indeed, north of the 210, Cafe. If you see us, stop and say hi.

Boz doesn't always obey me, Bellis, and sometimes I wish he'd have some initiative and chew his bone on his own. But I have to remember his limitations!

Laura, I was talking with a friend about this today. We were with her son who is darling, but who was annoying us both to a frazzle. What happens at the end of the rope? Everyone is different when they get there. I've never been a mother and I've seen good and bad examples. But it can't be easy.

PA, I miss both my folks. Neither was perfect, but at this distance I can remember them with a certain balance.

TheChieftess said...

A very poignant and very real story Petrea...

Ms M said...

Interesting, poignant, sad story of your walk. But it sounds like Boz understands family togetherness :)
Love the spiderweb in the sunlight!

Julie said...

My childhood was full of exchanges like the one you described, though my mother's language tended to be a bit more, umm, colorful. I'm sure if someone had walked by at the wrong time they would have thought the worst of her, but she truly was a great mother. My obstinate personality plus her short temper was just a disastrous combination at times.

For the children's sake I hope you just caught this woman in a rare moment of weakness.

Petrea Burchard said...

I've walked by that house many times, Julie, and never heard a sour word. I hope you're right and I like your attitude.

Dina said...

It's sad dogs have it so much better than many kids.

Susan Campisi said...

I was ready to snap to judgement about this woman, but after reading the comments and recalling my own melt-down yesterday prompted by a naughty dog, I've reconsidered.

Petrea Burchard said...

Dina, sometimes I wonder about the strangeness of this. I don't think it's wrong for me to love Boz as much as I do, for example, but it's odd when I realize I love him more than some parents love their children (or at least it seems that way).

I'm reminded that these parents are only repeating what they got from their parents. So much of this goes in cycles.

I was ready, too, Susan, but the comments, especially Julie's, turned my thinking around.