Nigel’s Case of Feline Calicivirus
I adopted an adorable little grey/white tabby named "Nigel" in…
I understand not all humans are pet people (okay, I really DON’T understand it- but I do take it in stride), but it took me aback the first time I saw this “No Dog Zone” posted by one of my “friendly” neighbors.
I made note of the sign and location in our neighborhood, and was sure to tell my husband since he takes our dog on many morning walks when it isn’t quite sunrise yet. (I didn’t want him to miss what the sign said in the dim light). We want to be respectful neighbors (we carry baggies on every walk and are diligent about picking up after our pooch), and our dog has the tendency to mark every single mailbox he walks by… and I mean — Every. Single. Mailbox. So, we made a conscious effort to reroute our long walks to avoid the house all together.
This worked great for several years. Until one fateful day — when I decided to give our dog some extra exercise since it was a beautiful day outside, and we walked the entire neighborhood.
I knew the house was coming up, but it was toward the end of our walk and our dog had already dribbled out every ounce of pee in him (at this point he was just hiking his leg and nothing was even coming out — just going through the motions I guess). He had also already pooped, which I had tied up in the bag I was still carrying around, so I thought it was fairly safe to pass by the “No Dog Zone” as long as I kept him on a short leash.
Boy. Was. I. Wrong.
It didn’t matter that he was pulled tightly on his lead, or that the “friendly” neighbor was outside pruning her flowers in the landscape in front of her house. Ari didn’t care. I am assuming this was his way of telling the lady what he REALLY thought of her sign.
As we were walking by, and I was giving a friendly, neighborly wave to the woman (whom I have never met before, but do it because I think it is a part of some neighborhood credo and I don’t want them to kick me out of this non-existent club), my lovely dog decides to stop in his tracks and POOP right in front of the sign- half on and half off the sidewalk.
I didn’t notice at first because, along with the wave, I was trying to stir up some small talk with the woman: “Good morning! Isn’t it such a beautiful day, today!” She didn’t respond at first, but a look of sheer terror washed over her face, so I looked down to find Ari desecrating her sign. Then, the look of terror and fear washed over my face.
I started apologizing profusely, and noting all the bowel movements he had before we reached her home (I am sure she really wanted those details), all while trying to untie the bag I had used to pick up his previous poop – which proved quite difficult during the commotion.
The neighbor had made her way over to us by this time and was spouting her disgust for our complete lack of regard for her sign. I cannot recall her exact words, but I do know this – they weren’t friendly.
I bend down to pick up the poop, only to find it closer to a liquid than a solid – making it VERY difficult to pickup. I picked up what I could, and quickly drug Ari away (both of our tails between our legs), telling the woman I would be back to clean up the rest (even though I would have rather died than come face-to-face with that woman again).
After taking Ari home, giving him a treat (because we never really stopped the potty training reward program – even though he is nine years old) – I reluctantly started my walk of shame with a bucket of soapy water and scrub brush. I am sure I looked like a lunatic walking around the neighborhood with those supplies, but I was almost certain if I didn’t go back to clean it up, the woman would have hunted me down.
Luckily, when I returned the woman wasn’t outside (really dodged a bullet with that one!), so I began to swiftly clean up Ari’s indiscretion (and was hoping I could also scrape up some of my dignity that I lost during this whole escapade) and returned home.
Though the entire experience was humiliating, I couldn’t be mad at my little furball (I mean, look how cute he is), but I was finally able to see the humor in it. Looking back, I can smile and rest assure we will NEVER return to that area of the neighborhood with our precious pooch in tow again.