September 3rd 5:09m - Canine Calamity
By 6th grade I had grown a few inches so the hefty rotund body I sported in 4th grade had expanded. Every ounce of my corpulent mass wasn’t concentrated solely in my stomach. Instead, my weight was distributed a bit more evenly throughout my body. I could, in fact, run as opposed to walking the mile. I was never truly aware of my weight until 3rd grade when the “fat” kid in school held up my jacket in front of the class, asked who the owner was, and proudly announced it was too big even for him. 3rd grade was also the year we obtained a dog. We obtained a yellow Labrador puppy. She liked to run. With three kids in the house and constant chaos, the door was constantly being left open. The dog constantly looked for an escape. If the front door was left cracked open for a millisecond she would sprint out, full speed ahead, ears flopping and tail wagging. Freedom. Mom would look at her brood of three and ask me to go run after the dog. I always obliged. I chased after the puppy through the neighborhoods and hills encasing our home. Bent over, hands on knees, face red, unable to breathe, I ran after that dog anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour and a half at least a couple of times a week. Well, by run I really mean I attempted to incorporate a bounce into my step so as to give the appearance of doing something slightly more intensive than walking. The dog was an escape artist. One day she fled without anyone aware of her getaway. The house phone clanged, Mom answered, and I heard her exclaim, “Oh no! I’m so sorry, I’ll be right up.” The dog had settled upon a jubilant run through the vicinity that had turned roguish when she noticed a white truck adorned with a painting logo in front of a house with a door that was ajar. She had darted inside to find a painter on a ladder with an open container. She collided with the ladder, paint erupted into the air, painter screeched as he plummeted to the ground, and paintbrushes were strewn about, trailing paint from where they had initially been hurtled into walls and on furniture. The tin paint can clanged, irate, against the floor, and footsteps resonated through the house as the family rushed to see what the clatter was. The dog radiated happiness as she heard people approaching (she was a fantastically friendly dog), wagged her weapon (aka tail) in anticipation of welcoming humans, and thus knocked over another open can of paint. It seeped onto the rug-covered wood flooring.