Dog’s sick. Woke me up four times in the night to go outside.
Actually, that’s not true. He only woke me up once. I never fell back asleep after the first one.
It’s maddening, and not just because I’d rather be sleeping. You wouldn’t believe how fickle the little bastard can be about when and where he’ll take a shit.
Not there. Not there. Not there. Not there. Maybe there. Hmm. No, not there, either.
Suddenly I’m Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets.” Don’t be like me, you little sumbitch. Don’t be like me!
“Do your business,” I say helpfully, because that’s what we say. And he looks up at me with the canine equivalent of an eye roll, and I imagine him replying in John Hillerman’s droll voice, “My dear man, would you hang the Mona Lisa in a frame made of popsicle sticks?”
So we move on. Him with his tongue wagging and tail bobbing. Me with my hair sticking up and eyes at half-mast. He looks happy and healthy. I’m the one who looks sick.
Which, naturally, is when the neighbor rounds the corner with his dog.
I groan a knowing groan. The neighbor’s fine. The neighbor’s dog, too. I don’t care what I look like. I just realize what this means.
Any sighting of another dog, a human, a bird, a squirrel, a lizard, a butterfly, a particularly charming stick or, apparently, the occasional ghost means that our quest for the perfect poop-site has been completely derailed. We’ll be starting over from square one. Eventually.
The neighbor nods. I mumble, “Morning.” The dogs sniff one another’s assholes.
They disappear inside, and for the next two, maybe three minutes, my partner glances repeatedly in the direction of their last known whereabouts. Just in case they’re coming back. He’s poo-shy, y’see.
Who isn’t, really?
“Do your business,” I say again helpfully. He shrugs it off.
What do I know about business, anyway.