Every morning, Gemelli and I head to Riverside Park for a walk. Before 9am, dogs are allowed off leash there, and Gem is wild with freedom. As much as he’s thrilled to explore, and to look for ladies (in human years, he’d be in his late teens, making chasing tail his primary hobby), what he really wants to do is poop in privacy.
Normally, he stays fairly close to me, rarely wandering more than a dozen feet from my side. But once we hit the Riverside Park Promenade, he takes off sprinting. A hundred feet or so ahead, he ducks behind a tree, and drops a morning deuce.
Frankly, I understand. After the embarrassment of pooping at leash’s end the rest of the day, the luxury of going solo seems well worth the effort.
Recently, however, a handful of squirrels have taken up residence in the trees above Gem’s favorite poop spot. I assume they must be harvesting the acorns, though they’ve been at it for at least a week, and I can’t imagine there are enough acorns still in the trees to sustain the effort. Nonetheless, if you’re under those trees, a regular barrage of acorns comes dropping down around you. I’m not certain that the squirrels are trying to hit you, but the proximity of the drops seems pretty suspect.
Gem seems more interested in observing the tree squirrels – occasionally barking at them, considering ways of reaching them ten feet up – than in pooping. After five minutes of chasing bouncing acorns, we move on. But it isn’t until I put his leash back on some twenty minutes later that Gem seems to realize he still needs to go.
On that final stretch of the walk, Gemelli looks at me repeatedly with a mournful expression. And then, somewhere close to home, he crouches and squeezes out an unhappy poop. He won’t make eye contact while he’s doing it, or for the rest of the walk home. Clearly, he’s been robbed the high point of his day.