Take me out. Take me out. Take me out.
This is how it starts.
Alasse keeps me in check. She always lets me know when she wants to go out. Sometimes I get tricked. Sometimes she doesn't actually have to pee, she just wants to get out. I’ll take a moment to add that despite what she might say behind my back, she’s out for at least two hours a day, usually three. And an hour of that is always off leash on a hiking trail where she can run around and do whatever she wants, as long as she stays in sight. And while we’re on the subject of what she says behind my back, I really do feed her, I swear.
But back to the walk. Alasse lets me know when she wants to go out, and we go out. Normally, despite previous training to wait for me to go through the door first, she rushes out ahead of me. However, if it’s raining, which is a frequent occurrence here in Oregon, she stops short at the door and looks back at me, pleading.
Please, Please, Please don’t make me go out there.
I’ll shut the door and help her into her coat. Alasse likes her coat. She doesn’t have a ton of hair, and hardly any on her belly, so she gets cold easily. So she loves her coat. It’s pink. My mom even had her name embroidered on it. Alasse. When I pull her coat out of the closet, she gets so excited. She jumps up and tries to stick her head in before I’m even ready. I have to ask her to settle down and stay still so I can help her into it.
But even with the coat on, she still wavers at the door. I’ll open up my umbrella as we step out, and she’ll huddle next to me. But pretty soon, the excitement of the walk overcomes her discomfort and she’ll leave the shelter of the umbrella and start sniffing around and doing her dog stuff.
On these days she’ll stay on the sidewalk as much as she can, she doesn’t like getting her feet on the wet grass. And mud? Forget about it.
And then there are the puddles. Alasse will avoid puddles at all costs. We usually walk on the local bike path. There is this one part of the path where a puddle always forms. Now, if it has only been raining for a day, this puddle will be relatively small. Alasse will jump over it with ease, never stepping in it. However, if it has been raining for multiple days, or if it has been an especially heavy rain, the puddle will be quite a bit larger.
When the puddle is large, Alasse starts to run. She runs, she leaps, and most of the time she clears the puddle. But sometimes, inevitably, her back paw lands in the cold, dark water of the puddle. She’ll kick back her foot, trying to shake the water off. If she gets wet enough, from the splash, she might shake.
The weird thing about the puddles is that she’ll go into a lake or a pond just fine. She’s not crazy about swimming, but if there’s a ball involved, it’s no problem. But puddles, for some reason, puddles wig her out.
She’s better than she used to be, about rain that is. When I first got her, when she was just a little puppy, she absolutely would not go outside if it was raining. And she definitely wouldn’t go pee. To get her outside, I had to follow her around, holding the umbrella over her while she sniffed around, leaving myself exposed to the elements. Which was all okay, because she was so cute, she could get away with anything.
She still gets away with anything.
Original illustrations and prints available here.