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Beagle and Sneakers

LK Hunsaker

Don’t you go in that water!” Running after the mutt, my new flowered-ivory Sketchers collecting half the sand on the beach, I had visions of dragging my new adoptee soaking wet and covered in green slimy algae into my freshly washed G6. A G6 is not made for an excitable lab mix. It’s especially not made for an excitable wet and slimy lab mix.

Can I sue the leash company for car cleaning since it didn’t stand up to my year-old dog for more than two minutes? No, I suppose not, and I’m not the suing type. I’m the take-whatever-comes, throw a huge fit and deal with it myself type.

Lex! No!”

Why I’m bothering to yell, I don’t have a clue. Lex hardly knows his name yet, his new name. Maybe it’s not right to rename a dog you adopt, but is it right to continue calling him Smoochy because some idiot thought it was cute? Besides, the idiot also decided “Smoochy” was too much trouble and dumped him along the road. Good thing a neighbor found him and took him for adoption. I was enamored with him on first sight.

I can’t say I’m too completely enamored right now, with the mutt happily digging his nose into the water at the edge of the lake, his body nearly immersed, looking up at me like he won a dog-of-the-year award. Why did I think it would be fun to walk along the lake with my new mutt today instead of by myself as usual?

You’ve seen those movies where a woman walks, perfectly dressed and clean and shiny in pretty little sandals, her canine at her side walking oh-so-pretty-and-look-at-me-I’m-a-good-dog, right? That was the vision in my head. Lex and I bonded instantly. I saw us, instantly, having nice long quiet walks along the lake, both happy to have a companion for a change, a companion who didn’t annoy the begeebers out of us, who didn’t talk about what I wasn’t getting done or what I wasn’t getting right or how I should be doing everything or about his newest raise and praise while I’m struggling through my underappreciated role as a customer service specialist. Specialist, right. In other words, someone who can listen to degrading insults as though I have an IQ of ten and not go ballistic on customers I know full well only wish they had an IQ of ten.

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