12.18.2005

Walking the dog

For any of you out there with small kids, I discovered a wonderful way out of the parents' dilemna about pets. You know what I mean-the kid begs and begs for one, and then it's YOUR problem to clean up after and take out every day at lunch. We've been through this with Krista for a couple of years now, but two nights ago inspiration and serindipty struck. I'll share the secret with you at NO CHARGE.

It was dark. Too dark to play ball-I learned that the hard way last year when I almost lost a nose to a line drive. It was also too cool for spiders, the kind that somehow jump dozens of feet to build their homes between the trees in the front yard. Not much fun to run into one of those bulby, fangy guys while playing tag.

Anyway, the problem with tag is that Krista stays on base the whole time.

On impulse I grabbed a laser pointer on the way out. On the driveway, I shined the red dot on the ground and pretended like it was a dog. It chased its tail, jumped up on Krista ("Bad dog! Get down!"), and yanked me down the driveway as it chased after a cat. I ran along, hanging on for dear life and dragging Krista by the hand. She loved it. So we walked on down the street, pausing as the dog stopped at each mailbox and tree to do his business. At one point the mutt smelled a squirrel and chased the thing right up a tree! I've never seen a dog run straight up a pine tree, but it got at least 20 feet off the ground before jumping back into Krista's arms. She had dog all over her for a moment there.

In the end we both got our exercise. The dog didn't run out of battery power, and was still raring to go afterwards. Last night we repeated the performance, adding to our bag of tricks as the dog played tag with us in the front yard. I even let Krista have the leash for a while.

So this morning I came proudly into the office and announced to my co-workers that we had a new dog.

"Oh yeah, what kind did you get?"
"A pointer," I said.

And of course when it came to naming our new pet, there was an obvious choice: Spot.

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