The Poodle turned eight over the weekend. We celebrated with a long walk at an old stomping ground he favors followed by extra treats (that would be cheese) later in the day and a long snuggle on the sofa while watching a romantic comedy.
On this Monday morning I am feeling mighty jittery and need to work off nervous energy. After my coffee and a quick perusal of The Wall Street Journal it’s time for our daily walk. I want to get in five miles today before errands and such. The Poodle doesn’t want to budge. He’s becoming a wee bit more stubborn in his senior years. He’s curled into a tight ball in his bed, unwilling to leave its comfort. He’s also ignoring repeated commands to come. I literally had to drag him out of his bed.
“Come on love. Just because you turned eight doesn’t mean you’ll be allowed to become a couch potato.”
We head out into the slightly brisk morning air. The sun is just peeking over the hill in the distance sending hues of orange and pink to welcome another day. I have a pep in my step and wonder for a fleeting second why given what looms tomorrow.
Ahh. It’s the leaves. I love hearing the crunch of dried autumn leaves under my feet. The Poodle is dragging all four of his paws behind me. He seems bored.
“Yes I know. We do the same thing nearly every morning,” I tell him. Still, I know he’ll be ahead of me on the return.
So, I am lost in a Spotfiy playlist of Telemann’s oboe concertos when I see a couple of young women walking towards us. Nothing significant to be sure. Folks are out and about on this road everyday. I think nothing of it except to make sure The Poodle is close at my left so as not to disrupt foot traffic. As always, he perks up when he sees people. His feather-duster tail starts wagging excitedly as the young women get closer. He loves EVERYBODY and wants to say Hi.
“Aww. Your Poodle is SOOO pretty,” says the blonde effervescently as she rubs the back and sides of my boy. The Poodle is clearly happy for the attention.
Before I can say anything the other woman, tall and lanky, asks “Are you ready to vote tomorrow?”
It’s then that I see they have clipboards and pamphlets. They must be doing the last-minute get-out-to-vote door-to-door thing in the surrounding neighborhoods.
“Yes,” was all I said.
With that, she handed me a bumper sticker. #ImWithHer -Hillary for President.
“Well here’s the thing. Hashtag…IMNOTWITHHER,” I say polite as can be.
I handed it back. “Thanks anyway,” I said as I gave a gentle tug on The Poodle who was still clearly enchanted with the blonde.
“You’re a woman, why would you vote for Trump?” asked the blonde, effervescence gone.
Oh, for the love of…. I’d like not to ruin a perfectly good start to my day.
I want to tell her that both candidates are seriously bad; it’s not going to be pretty no matter who gets elected. I’m NOT WITH any of them. But I know it would be a waste of time and energy. Besides, what do I know? At the end of the day everyone has a right to their own opinions (WRONG as I think they may be).
Without engaging, I simply said “Have a nice day.”
We continued on. I looked down at The Poodle who was looking back at the blonde…almost wistfully. REALLY?!?
And, In fact I’ve only ever had one: A paw print magnet with You Had Me At Woof emblazoned on it (The Poodle, of course!). I almost bought one four years ago that said My Dog is A Republican. I decided against it purchasing a doggie t-shirt instead. At the time, It seemed appropriate whilst walking around the streets of our nations Capitol. The Poodle has not worn it this time around; a certain someone is too depressed over the ugliness and absurdity of the whole political season.
“Brando, my love. Let’s forget about the insanity that is upon us tomorrow. How’s about a trip Starbucks. You, my friend, will get a change of scenery on this fine autumn morning (read: you won’t be home alone) and there’s sure to be lots of attention heaped upon you. I’ll get a latte and a sweet treat. Win-win.
Seems like a feeble attempt at calming the jitters before impending doom but I’ll take it.
In reality, after tomorrow the earth will still be revolving on its axis. We’ll all keep muddling along–muddling through. And, with The Poodle by my side, everything is going to be pure bliss.