I was at my favorite open space which reminds me of the Andy Wyeth painting “Christina’s World,” an old farm now lined with walking trails.
I had had numerous run-ins with Boomer at this venue, so he generally comes to mind.
Boomer is the beloved dog of Someone Who Thinks He is Wonderful, like most pet owners. Unfortunately, when he jumps up into my face, I contradict her judgement.
Do you wonder how I know his name? We were never formally introduced, but every time we meet, Boomer, who is supposed to be on a leash, but is obviously too special, charges at me, despite Boomer’s owner calling, “BOOMER! BOOMER!”
He does not respond, so she then calls out,”He’s friendly!”
It’s been like Groundhog Day all over again. After he plants a muddy paw print on my thigh or chest, I usually have to wear it throughout my 8-hour shift.
As special as Boomer is, I am no fan of his owner.
Most of my walks of late in this space are destined to be the same as Boomer charges at me and she calls out, “HE’S FRIENDLY!”
This last time, he leapt and I raised my knee and called back to her, “WHAT IF I’M NOT?”
My raised knee was timed to meet his chest, and Boomer yelped and dropped back, in time for her to snap on his lead.
“Isn’t there a leash law here?” I asked, dumbfounded, yet again.
These interactions re-play in my mind as I walk down to the river that meets the path at the bottom of the hill.
I circle back, heading to my car relieved I have not encountered the Malfeasant or her dog.
I see a figure at the top of the hill as I start my ascent. There is a bench and someone is bent over it.
As I approach, I see it is a Man with Tools. “Oh, are you with Parks and Rec?” I ask, “I sit on that bench all the time. Thank you so much!”
“No, I just live nearby and have the tools to fix it,” he explains then adjusts a clamp on the back of wooden slats.
“Well, I really appreciate it,” I said.
Then, I glance down…and I can’t believe what is sitting not one foot from the bench…yes! A pile from Boomer. Boomer’s boom-boom.
He haunts me here.
Then, I do something I cannot explain. I exclaim to the carpenter, “Look at that! I can’t believe it!” While whipping out my phone and clicking a picture.
Yes, I photographed the pile. Message me if you must see it.
Why? Why would anyone photograph doggie do?
Was I going to send it to the local paper with the caption, “Boomer left this. Have him pick it up.”
And what makes me think it came from the beloved Boomer? If the owner does not comply with the leash law, why would she follow the Scoop Law? Obviously, laws are for other people.
I am disgusted.
I walk back to my car, muttering and shaking my head, but not before I toss a “Thank you!” at the Man with Tools. (Who does not love a man with tools?)
He has been quietly clamping the bench into place, maybe wondering who left the Old Coot out for the day.
Even when I don’t run into Boomer (or he runs into me) I can’t shake him. His presence (and what he leaves behind) haunts me.
I return a few days later, and the bench is beautiful. Covered with an aged patina the wood is now straight where the Man with Tools has clamped the back. It is sturdy; the legs do not lean as previously.
Someone has removed Boomer’s pile. My guess it was the Man with Tools.
For all the Boomers in the world, there are also Men with Tools.
May I keep my focus on those Men, not the Boomers.