2006-04-17

Come on People Now - Smile on Your Dogger

I have never taken the dog to the skate park. I just go and leave her with her sad little nose pressed against the window. I guess I think she'll be in the way, or she'll take off, or she's freak out or something.
Not once did I think of the fact that my dog is a blue heeler.
A heeler.
Cattle dog.
Herder.

Duh!

Generations of breeding have rendered her useless to anything less than obsessive compulsive behaviors, notably when something she cares about is moving quickly, she impulsvely needs to make sure that the thing (in this case me) is moving in an approved direction.

I couldn't bear to leave her this Sunday, so I packed up water and treats and intentions that after I skated, I would take her to the dog park and let her rip until she was so done that from her reclining position under a bench, she would raise her front left paw in protest and lower her eyes to say, "I can. not. play. anymore. Please. I go now, to sleep."
This is generally when I walk her out of the dog park and she tries to keep her eyes open for the drive home but sort of starts sleeping while she's sitting in the passenger seat. When we get home, she walks in, turns around in a circle, and passes out about three steps in from the door.

So I loaded her and my gear up and I made a Kreature Korner for her in the shade with water and a toy and a Texas Toothpick. I kept her attached to the fence, on her leash, because I assumed she would jump on me and freak us both out and that when I tripped over her and fly head-first into the concrete, that surely I would run her over and that we would end up with matching, Mistress-Doggy broken legs.
What's a Texas Toothpick?
Itís a dried up cow tail, and dogs love them.

I took off skating; while she wasn't freaking out, she was definitely not cool with the idea of watching me work out while she was left to laze around. She really wanted a piece of the action. Itís cool. I know my dog really well but I wasnít taking any chances on either of us getting hurt or on her taking off for tennis players on the courts behind me.

I made an executive decision based on a few things:
1. She's not going to run off. She worships me with all of her heart.
2. There's a fence around the park anyway.
3. She's not going to trip me - I'm really good.
4. If she does trip me, I'll fall and it'll be a good test of the 12 pounds of safety equipment that I wear.
5. Fuck it. What's there to lose? A tooth? No, mouthguard! A broken nose? Nose job!

I let her loose and off we went. I went a little slowly at first and kept both feet on the ground - no crossovers, no pumping, just smooth and easy skating. I crouched on the turns a couple of times and let my right leg slide out long when she tried to get ahead of me. She was a little squirrelly on the first few turns, a little jumpy on the straights and then, like magic, after about three times around, her instincts kicked in and she kept her pace right at my heels, making sure I stayed on the course she'd seen me lay out for us.

And that was it.

For an hour, this is what you would have heard if you had taken a front-row seat inside my helmet, sort of near my ear:
pantpantpantpantpantpantpantpantpant and that clinking noise that dog collars make.
I think that Sunday morning was one of the most satisfying mornings that I have had with my dog, except for when she got a little too close and got beaned in the head by a Carrera Quad speed skate

Dude, relax. She was bred to kicked by cattle. She's the kind of dog that lands on her head on purpose if that's the only way to accomplish the mission of ball retrieval or cat-escape.
She's engineered to be tough, trust me. A skate to the head from me was, to her, like the many times I have meant to melodramatically throw my head onto my desk, and then accidentally underestimate the power of my own theatrics and really slammed my head too hard. One time, I hit my cheek on the heavy, ceramic company coffee cup that we are "strongly encouraged" to use. That's because there was a remodel a few years ago and these heavy ceramic coffee cups have lids.
Sippy cups for grown-ups, you know?

Sunday morning was the way mornings ought to be. I was warm and the majority of the traffic going by the park was cyclist-packs, out for their early morning rides.
I was flying, finally, flying on my skates, with no sense of panic when I hit a pebble or a twig. I went around and around and I went fast - too fast for my dog, to be honest.
I would sort of look down, or back at her. And she would look up at me and I KNOW that if she could talk, she would not have said something cartoony, like "You're the best cow ever!" or "Look, ma! I'm heeling!"
She would totally have said, "Livin' the dream, yeah?"
And I would have, "Yeah. Let's go see if the cute, weekend coffee guy is working!"

Six sweaty legs got in the car and went to the coffee place and the cute guy gave biscuit treats and soy latte and you know - shut up about the soy, already.

The thing about the soy milk in a latte is that it's sweeter and it's protein. Lest we forget that my all candy diet is a little low on protein. I take it where I can get it, even if it means I have to switch from easily-burned cow milk to soy milk.

Trust me, there's a chicken kabob waiting to be roasted to juicy perfection tonight.

I didnít want to go to work today, at all.
But then I remembered that even though itís a long week where I have to work all five days, at the end of those five days, I can go to bed as early as I want to and get up as early as I want to just let the day stretch out with me and my dog and lazy, lazy time asking nothing but to be alive.

I almost broke up with yoga this weekend but I think I might have turned a corner on leaving things once I lose interest in them.
I went to see Krishna Das and walking in, the parking lot full of BMWs, Volvos, and Hybrids was pissing me off, you know, likeÖ why is enlightenment only for the wealthy?
And so I walk in and itís PACKED and all I can smell is patchouli. I canít find my friends, I canít stand the idea of sitting next to someone whose caftan probably costs more than I make in a week and generally, I am thinking about leaving.
I end up right in the front row directly in front of the tabla player and decide that the very least I can do is stay and see if he is a genuine yogi or if he is a perve and is going to be trying to look down my shirt.
Krishna Das starts talking and heís hilarious Ė making fun of the whole new agey thing but not deriding it, just being able to laugh but I am still very aware that I could probably get away with texting people right now, even though I am in the front row.

The first chant happens and itís really beautiful.
Usually, I close my eyes when I go to Kirtan and I sing away, happy that the wealthy new agers are non-judgemental because if thereís one thing I canít do, that thing is decidedly to sing.

But I left my eyes open and I was thinking about how yoga is like, a relationship. Itís something that Iíve gone to and worked with and supported and been supported by, all of that stuff that you do in a relationship.
And I was thinking that for awhile, yoga hasnít engaged me. Like, maybe Iím done and itís time to move on. I really was feeling that I wasnít interested at all anymore, that nothing about yoga was feeding me and that only rollerderby could give me what I needed in an outlet.
He gets through the first chant and Iíve half-assed it but my eyes are open, and Iím thinking all of this stuff about yoga and the next chant starts and I look around and I spot my friends and they look so happy, so beautiful. I look at the people lining the stage, where there had to be extra seating created and they were so joyful about being there. I looked at the hot tabla player and he gave me this HUGE smile. At me, not at my boobs.

And then, I sort of started crying a little because whatever was missing that used to be there with me and yogaÖ it came back during that second chant.
We decided to stay together, after all. We chanted and we worked it out.
Yoga can accept rollerderby because yoga is VERY open-minded Ė you know, live and let-live. Rollerderby is all for this three-way action because sheís kinky like that.

And me?
Iím just happy to not be quitting something after three years.
Maybe thereís hope for me and commitment after all.

And if you were the unlucky recipient of some female gangsta rap Saturday night or very early Sunday morning, that was my neighbor Sarah and while it was not my idea, after several shots with rollergirls at the Surley Wench, I wasn't exactly unsupportive.
It was meant to be funny but I can see, in the cold, cruel light of Monday, how the hilarity could have been missed.
My bad. I should have quit while we were ahead.

arizonasarah at 11:37 a.m.

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