My dad’s an attorney. The advantage? I get free legal advice, but the disadvantages are endless. Perhaps the most commonly experienced detriments are the infuriating delays during our walks. Take this afternoon, for instance. I caught the eye of a little girl who was riding her bike. She pulled up to us and said, “Oh, what a cool dog. Can I pet him?” I sighed and rolled my eyes, because I knew full well what was coming. As I recall, here was the exchange:
Dad: Sure you can pet him. [he pulls a document and a pen from his pocket] But first I’d like you to review and sign this form.
Dad: Because it protects me from all liability in the unlikely event that you incur a bite, scratch, allergic reaction, disease, psychological disorder, acid reflux or flatulence due to your voluntary interaction with Flapjack.
The girl looked at Dad as if he had just arrived from a galaxy far, far away..then she silently rode away at warp speed (apologies for mixing Star Wars and Star Trek references). I was left standing there with Mr. Congeniality and his release and waiver, which basically releases me from ever making new friends and waives my right to take a normal walk with a normal human being.
“Aha”, you may say..”What about your mom? She’s got to be a normal human being.”
Not so fast. Mom is a certified master gardener. Walking with her is like being on a guided tour of a botanical garden. We move ever so slowly, gazing at the neighborhood flora as if each walk was the first ever in some magical forest. She stops frequently and points out the unique quality of each tree, shrub, flower and weed as if I give a rat’s ass, and examines possible diseases or infestations of every tree we pass (so I use the time to urinate on each one, which must do wonders for their health). “Look at the beautiful African daisies, Flap!!” Yeah, yeah, let’s move it, Garden Guru, before we’re arrested for impersonating cheap yard gnomes. As we passed one yard, she said with concern, “This grass could use aeration and fertilization.” So I obliged by scratching furiously at it, then gracing the lawn with a little soil enhancement. She bagged my mess and said, “Sometimes it seems like you don’t appreciate all the beauty around us.” Ya think?
The only thing worse than walking with Dad or Mom is walking with Dad AND Mom. We’re talking 2 hours for 2 blocks. I can crawl backwards faster (in fact I did once, and they were oblivious, naturally). Will the suffering never end? I guess the bright side is that, by living with them I know stuff that most other dogs don’t, like the difference between irrigation and litigation (in one, sometimes plants get soaked and in the other, sometimes people get..well, you have the idea). Gotta go now..time for a (cough) walk.