A Bigger, Hairier Vermonster
I’m in Vermont with these two – Ruby and Vivian: Vermonsters.
But today, they are Ruby and Vivian: school children. Today Ruby starts third grade, and Vivian is officially a kindergartener. They are giddy! Ruby will be the envy of all with her well-organized pencil case, while Vivian kicks butt in PE with her smart new Hello Kitty sneaks.
Yesterday, while their parents were at work and they were left for the day with sketchy Aunt Hope, the girls were Ruby and Vivian: dog owners.
I’m very fond of dogs, and their golden retriever mix is a peach. An enormous, very strong, 18-month-old peach. The wee ones and I decided to take him for a walk, and Ruby recommended the trail – a path through the endless woods surrounding their home. This is not the first time she’s talked me into this. It has yet to end well.
These are the only humans on earth who could talk me into the woods, and as we entered – me with my two little nieces, one big and excited dog, and one bum foot – I wondered again why I am so prone to making bad decisions.
Last time, the catastrophes were entirely a result of my hotwired-for-carnage brain. On this second occasion, the crises were real.
Ruby took point, guiding us through the forest with Girl Scout skills. Vivian followed, catching baby toads, counting salamanders, and kicking colorful mushrooms. Sunny and I took the rear. At this point in such a journey, my head immediately fills with worst case scenario images. These would generally include inbred wood folk with a taste for human flesh, but with Sunny to guard us, that seemed an unlikely nuisance.
Instead I imagined how horrifying it would be if my sister’s new dog broke his leash and I had to chase him around the forest and into the lake while still keeping track of my wee girls.
Hey, guess what happened!
God damn it.
Picture, if you will, two tiny girls chirping, “Sunny, stay! Stay! Sunny, stay!” And one lumbering gimp hollering, “Here boy! Here boy!” And one boundlessly happy 100+ pound dog leaping and frolicking through the untamed wilderness. And lake. Let’s not forget the lake.
Finally I retrieved him with the oldest possible approach: lying. I promised we’d go find this big fat black lab named Moose who lives up the road and play all afternoon.
There was no playing in this dog’s immediate future.
I am staying indoors from now on.