Monday, June 6, 2011


Simone de Beauvoir once said, "In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid."

While taking the dogs on a fairly hilly 2.5 mile walk this morning, Pauly essentially threw a doggy temper tantrum.  Let me preface this story by saying that Pauly's willfulness (not to be confused with stubbornness) is one of my favorite things about him.  For example, when he doesn't want to get into the hot car, he sits down in the driveway and rolls onto his back.  When he doesn't want to leave the beach (his favorite place on earth), he lays down in the sand and insists that I either carry or drag him away.  Usually I respond by dropping the leash and saying "ok, I'm leaving.  See you later!  Bye!" and when he sees me walking away without him, he realizes he has no choice.  I like that he has wishes and that he makes them so clearly known.

This morning we walked about a mile and a half downhill and he was trotting along next to Sophie, both of them panting a bit in the 77-degree 'heat', but doing just fine a few steps ahead of me.  As soon as he saw that our loop was headed in the uphill direction, he took one look at the massive incline stretched out ahead of him and plopped down on the side of the road.  I laughed, put on my come-on-let's-go-fun-voice and tried jogging a little bit hoping he'd hop up.  He didn't.  He rolled over onto his back.  Two cars stopped to make sure everything was ok.  One driver offered to drive the three of us home.  I declined, insisting that my dog was just being stubborn, and not heat-stroking, dying, or whatever else they must have thought.  As I jumped around excitedly promising cookies and a dip in his pool if he'd just walk up the hill, a third guy stopped, asking if I needed help.  Again, I declined, telling him my dog just didn't want to walk uphill.  "I don't blame him", the driver said.  Sophie jumped around, thinking cookies and a dip in the pool and all of this excitement sounded great.  I physically tried to right Pauly from his reclining position onto his feet.  He flopped back down like a sack of potatoes. Stubborn potatoes.  Then, even though it was 11am, I did the only thing I could think of.  "Pauly, is it dinner time?  Are you hungry?".  Those two magic words, Pauly's favorite words in the English language, did the trick.  He hopped up, chugged his little butt up the big hill, and made it home.  He got a cookie, dinner will have to wait another 7 hours.

When all else fails, photograph the humor of the situation.


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