Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hallucinating Collies

My dog's eyesight has always been pretty iffy. She seems to have a lot in common with the T. Rex in Jurassic Park - she needs movement in order to spot something - either movement or a scent that she can pick up with her comically anteater-sized snout. Lately it seems to have gotten worse. Yesterday she ran into the back of a parked utility trailer. Usually she can avoid the parked cars along our walking route, but the low-lying trailer must have faked her out somehow (I guess they considered sidewalks an unnecessary luxury when they were building our neighborhood to house shipbuilders during WWII - see, there's a story everywhere.)

The reason I bring it up is because today her eyesight problem seemed to progress beyond the mere unseen into the realm of the imagined. This produced a much more animated walking partner (lately I've been doing a lot more leading and less following), but also a much more unpredictable one. I record our walking conversation as going something like this (mind you, memory being what it is, I have paraphrased some):

Annie: Hey look! Circus elephants and little dancing poodles! And a unicyclist! Ha Ha! Let's follow!

Me: That's a small white pickup. Sorry.

Annie: What's this! A spilled ice cream cone? My lucky day!

Me: That's bird poop. Don't lick it.

Annie: Hey look! A friendly man! Watch this, I'm going to pull on my leash until he extends a hand to me then I'm going to recoil in fright! Ha! Gets 'em every time.

Me: That's a scare crow.

Annie: (Whines). Scare crows are wily, wily creatures. Look at the way he's looking at me. Well, you may have won this time, Scare Crow Man, but your day will come! Oh, yes, your day will come, and I will be there to laugh heartily! (Annie is notorious for her over-use of the exclamation mark.)

Annie: Hey! What's that?

Me: A weed.

Annie: It smells funny. Hey! What's that?

Me: A weed.

Annie: It smells funny. Hey! What's that?

Me: A bush.

Annie: Are you sure it didn't move?

Me: Only the part that you hit with your nose.

Annie: It smells funny. Hey! Something's biting me in the but!

Me: That's your hip. You seem to be having some arthritis pain. Let's get you home.

Annie: Okay, but that arthritis guy better not come any closer.

Me: That's a garden gnome.

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