Today was a good walk day for the dogs and not a good walk day for me. Well, I suppose it has a lot to do with how the dogs and I differentiate between what is palatable and what smells nice. We took the school yard field, followed a (totally non-sensical) gravel road cut in the woods, then did our usual path down to the service road before heading back the way we came. It usually takes about a half hour total to do the walk and gives the dogs lots to think about, smell and Leeloo and Archer enjoy a good blast through the trees as well.
Esme picked up something unidentified and disgusting which I made her spit out. I can't be sure what it was but since it was not a stick it was off limits and I freaked out and patooied at her until she spat it out. I can imagine what it looks like to a stranger; a crazy red head dancing around yelling "Patooie! Patooie! Patooie!"while being watched by 3 large red dogs and a little black dog. People who know me would recognise this scene from various incidents of my past which shall remain forever emblazoned on our collective memories.
After the successful 'removal' of one Gross Item Which I Refuse to Touch we carried on to an area on the forest path where I know there is a Very Large Puddle. I picked up Esme to carry her past it since she is almost guaranteed to not only drink from it but to also walk through all the mud and through the puddle itself. She doesn't mind being carried so it was a simple matter of balancing across some fallen logs while clutching a compliant black fuzz ball. Since the Ridgebacks were actively competing with me for space on the fallen logs I need not mention getting them to avoid the muck.
Just as we were about to turn back Leeloo found something to roll in. What's this? Not Leeloo! Oh yes ... she's a stealth roller for sure. All innocent 'sniffy sniffy sniffy' and then suddenly WHAMMO! down she goes to grind her neck and shoulder into the ground before you can blink. The words LeelooOOOoooOOOooo NOoooOOOoooo! aren't even out of your mouth before she's kicked her feet in the air a few times and is back up snorting with delight. Today she stopped and stared at me a second before deciding that my murderous glare meant business and with a sneeze of glee she trotted back to me with happy apologies. Her just washed and still wet collar is caked in brown goo; so is her neck, shoulder and half of her ribcage. I smelled the goo and although it definitely was not something dead, more like something woodsy that had rotted, I shooed her away and she ran off to play with Archer.
Since we'd doubled back on this walk we once again met the Very Large Puddle and I picked up Esme to carry her around the danger zone of muck. This time though Archer was thirsty and wanted to drink from it. NOOoooOOOooo! Not today. After eating of grossness and rolling in grossness we will not have drinking of grossness. He looked sad but decided not to test my aim with a Puli.
We are almost out of the woods when Archer barrelled past with Leeloo in hot pursuit and she mis-timed her dodge and side swiped my leg ... with her goo. Most of the goo on Leeloo transferred to my corduroy pant leg which, you can imagine, made me very happy. All I could do was sigh and hope that whatever it was did not get on my truck seat.
I'm reconsidering ever doubling back on a walk again since The Boy, who was a little way ahead of me, picked something up and started to eat it. I realized, too late, that Esme's earlier PATOOIE was now making it's way down his gullet. If I didn't want Esme to eat it I also didn't want Raimi to eat it. I yelled NOOoooOOOOooo! again (and for what I hoped was the last time) and he stopped eating but didn't patooie like I wanted him to. I opened his mouth and looked inside to find lots of Boy slobber, bits of dirt, bits of leaves, and some brown goo in the back of his throat. I let it go ... no way I'm putting my hand in there. He looked contrite and swallowed. Still no idea what it was(I'm leaning toward cat poo) but no kisses from him for a while.
And that ... was today's walk, which pretty much sums up a walk every day with these guys ... we're like a travelling road show.