Walking Lily
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      There's nothing like taking a dog for a brisk morning walk. That is unless you and the dog are in disagreement over the purpose of the walk. And believe me Lily and I have had several such disagreements. First off, Lily is a dog that knows exactly where she wants to go, and that usually means any place you didn't have in mind. Secondly, she doesn't like to be hurried in her strolls along the boulevard. Any yanking or tugging in order to get her to take the route you choose is met with steadfast resolve not to go there.
      Lily is a dog that, when her master, Jim, goes out the door, and it doesn't matter for how long, from that moment on until he returns, she will guard that door. Guarding means she gets down on her tummy, paws extended, about 12" from the door, staring straight ahead, and she waits, and waits, and waits. And if anyone dares to try to exit that door, her head is in the open door space before the door knob is finished turning. You almost have to pick her up and move her out of the way to make your escape without her darting out the door hot on the trail of Jim, hoping he's somewhere in sight, even if he's long gone by then. That's Lily, a little white curly haired mongrel who happens to possibly be overly attached to Jim, for better or worse.
      Sometimes, though, Jim is out of town, and good old grandpa and grandma are called on to watch out for the little mutt. She's so cute and cuddly, it's hard to say no. It's during these dog sitting times that the forces of will power become slightly strained, for when Nature calls for Lily, it's time for a trip outdoors. So around her neck goes the periscope leash and away they go, this time grandpa, a real doggie bag, and Lily.
      It's a nice day, so grandpa decides to take Lily down to the corner and back, just a few hundred feet of lawns, bushes, trees, curb and street. The usual exploring and what all dogs do best, sniffing, begins in earnest. While Lily takes care of business, grandpa leisurely enjoys the dawn of a new day. It doesn't take long to get to the corner, now only a few yards away, Lily searching for new places to sniff and grandpa anxious to get back home. Oh, oh! Trouble on the horizon. A hugh black and white great Dane, a Harlequin, has just rounded the corner coming straight for grandpa and Lily. At the end of the great animal's leash is a 4' 10", 80 pound elderly lady whose shoulders rise no higher up on the Dane than its ears.
      Strangely, Lily has no fear of any dog, large or small, whatever breed. At least from a comfortably safe distance. When she first spies the big spotted dog her body turns rigid, her teeth show, her legs stiffen and she strains with every ounce of her 14 pounds to shed the leash and tear into her opponent, all the while snarling menacingly. She lunges on her leash and seems to want to attack with ferocious confidence. All the while grandpa hangs on for Lily's sake. But luckily for Lily, the big dog decides to turn the opposite way, dragging its handler along with it. Lily settles down and continues her sniffing and foraging as if nothing happened. Emergency over.
      The corner is reached, time to turn around, grandpa thinks. But Lily has a different agenda. She's not through sniffing and foraging. She's been cooped up all night and she wants to stretch her legs and she has more terrain to cover. So grandpa's attempt to steer her homeward bound is met with resistance There'll be no turning back if Lily has anything to say about it. Grandpa beckons again, with a much firmer tug on the leash, "Come on girl. Come on lily, let's go home." Lily doesn't budge. Home is not where her heart is now. She wants to be on the move. But grandpa wants to go home. He's feeling his morning coffee and he thinks he'd better hurry. He pulls, he yanks, he begs, but Lily wants no part of it. Her front legs are firmly set in lock position in an attitude of defiance. In desperation grandpa gives a mighty tug on the leash as Lily plants her paws on the grass. As she does, she begins to slide. Grandpa pulls and Lily slides. Grandpa doesn't let up and neither does Lily. She looks like she's on a hosed down plastic lawn slide. Lily just says no.
       Naturally, grandpa wins the tug-of-war. So Lily saunters towards home, head down, but makes no other effort to resist. She even gives the appearance that she's glad the battle is over. And back home on the living room carpet, Lily is quick to roll over on her back and grandpa gives her a much deserved tummy rub, and all is well with Lily's world again. A nice visit to the water bowl and Lily relaxes and takes a short nap, crawling under grandpa's and grandma's bed. Is she dreaming maybe, that someday she will win out and be free to run and sniff at her leisure, not bounded by leashes and tugs-of war, and grandpa? Sometimes you wonder.
Sweet Land of Liberty
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