When describing Millie to people, I often say, “She has 2 speeds. On or off.” One minute she can act like a Jack Russell on speed, flying through the house at a breakneck pace. The next, she can fall immediately into a deep, snoring sleep.
Yesterday, she proved once again the truth of my description.
I got off work a little early, and decided to take her to the park for a walk. As soon as I started fishing around in the closet for her doggie-poo bags, she got terribly excited. She began crying and frantically running from me to the door, me to the door. Once out the door, she pulled and jerked all the way to the car, trying to sprint while I wanted to walk. A neighbor remarked, “Looks like Millie is going to walk you.” Indeed.
At the park, she was her usual boisterous self. She would run, then stop to sniff, then run, then stop to pee. Repeat.
When we walk in the park, I always try to pay attention to her energy level. The heat index around here these days is usually between 105-110 degrees, and I don’t want to push her.
But yesterday, she was keeping up well when I finally decided to head toward the car. We were on the home stretch and she was walking a step or two behind me, when I felt a great tug on the leash. It’s not that uncommon, because she’s always locking her legs to sniff something. I pulled, got more resistance, then turned around to look.
She was lying in the sand, with her front legs stretched forward and her back legs splayed out behind her, panting and looking up at me like, “I’m tired. I’m just going to chill here for a little bit.” I pulled and tugged, urging her to get up. Instead, her legs left track marks in the dirt where I dragged her. A couple was strolling by with their two perfect children in their two perfect strollers, looking at me and my dog curiously. “Why is she doing that?” the woman asked.
I wanted to shout, “I don’t know! Because she’s Millie and this is what Millies do!” Instead, I muttered something about her being tired. Then, I wrapped my arms around her, and hoisted her 50 pound body into the air and put her legs underneath her.
We walked a few steps, and plop. She was down again.
I looked at her with a mixture of amusement, disdain, and fear. Was she okay? Was she having a heat stroke? Was I really going to have to carry my dog to the car because she was too lazy to walk?
This time, when I picked her up, she growled at me. Oh yes. This is the reward I get for a walk in the park.
We sprinted to the car. I was hoping not to give her another chance to lie down, and if she did, I wanted to have covered as much ground as possible. We finally made it to the car, and she got in. She was perfectly healthy. Just lazy. Good grief.