No, it’s not the Scotsman or flirty guy from the restaurant downstairs. It was better than that. I got to spend quality time with Carmela the basset hound.
I’ve been wanting to ask her parents for her paw, so to speak, but was too shy. She has a walker during the week, but I noticed not on Saturdays and Sundays.
Gathering my courage, I wrote to Carm’s parents stating my willingness and availability. When I tip-toed onto their lanai to slip the note beneath the door, Carmela saw me from the window and started to bark her big head off.
Suddenly the door flew open and there was her father with her right behind wagging a mean tail.
“Oh, I’m so sorry to bother you,” I said, a little beside myself. The last thing I want to be is a pest. “I left you a note.” He bent down to pick it up immediately opening it.
Now he speaks very little English and my Spanish is at a kindergarten level so our conversations tend to be all oohs and ahs.
“Ah, you want her for walking,” he said, after watching me act out the note I knew he couldn’t read.
“Ooh yes, maybe Sunday?” I said, wishing I knew the days of the week in Spanish. As we were negotiating Carmela was doing laps around the lanai like a drugged race horse.
“Si, he said…for you, yes.” I was touched by that. He has seen me cry on two occasions so I think he sees how Carmela cheers me up.
This took place on Friday so I had two days to wait. You would have thought I was going to the ball I was so excited. When Sunday came I kept checking to see if they were up since I know they sleep late.
At 11:45 she was finally on her perch. I think he may have forgotten by the look on his face, but at once, when he saw me, went and got her leash. I had placed so many plastic bags in my hoodie pocket I looked pregnant. The last thing you want walking a pooch is to be bagless if she decides to poop her little basset heart out. I came ready as if I was walking a rhino. That’s the model in me…be prepared.
I would have preferred to take her out earlier before the park became a zoo, but beggars can’t be choosers. I couldn’t get over how big she’s gotten, her physique beginning to resemble the Holland Tunnel. I think she needs a doggie treadmill, but kept this to myself.
Carm was thrilled to be going out looking up at me as if to say, “I don’t know what you said in that note, but this is fucking fan-tastic.”
Everyone stopped to pet her…how can you not since her tail never stops wagging for a second. If I didn’t know better I would think she was running for something other than after every dog in Central Park.
She loves other dogs to the point where I had to finally say something. “Carmela, come on, how bout being a little selective?” She went from a bull mastiff to a collie to a black lab in the course of ten minutes. I understood the attraction of those three, but when she went after a Jack Russell I put my foot down. “Carmela dear, haven’t you ever heard of playing hard to get?”
“Yeah, and your point is Susannah?”
“Did you just yawn?”
It was as if I was walking Camille.
We took gads of pictures most of them with me trying to turn her around like a Chevy. She was too distracted to pose but I did get a couple keepers. Me with no make-up looking like a professional dog walker, just one who didn’t quite know what she was doing.
To be perfectly frank, she more or less walked me.
We climbed hills, crashed picnics…kids squealed. She could smell cake a mile away. One mother put a birthday hat on her and took a snapshot. Funny how Carmela stood still for that.
Anything for a cookie, eh Carm?
At one point we sat on a bench with half of her on my lap so I could hug and kiss her to my heart’s content. I whispered sweet nothings in those big floppy ears while she licked my nose in earnest.
After 40 minutes it was time to go home where her dad was waiting on the lanai. She picked up speed when she saw him with me tailing behind. I thanked him profusely feeling so much better being in her company
I left singing her theme song I’m sure her father didn’t quite get….the prettiest girl I ever saw was nine feet long with great big paws…the prettiest girl I ever saw….la la la
I don’t know about Carmela, but I went home and took a nap.
I’m thinking of learning that song in Spanish.