Jo Ann, my wife, and I love to take our dog Juliet to the park. It’s one of Juliet’s favourite places, made more so by the presence of her two favourite friends: Goliath and Roxy. Juliet and Goliath have been close since he was a puppy. The quickest way to get Juliet excited is by simply saying:
“Juliet, you want to go to the park and play with Goliath?”
She’ll be bouncing off the walls like a kid learning they’re going on a trip to Disney World! Roxy became part of the family a few years later. Now the three of them have the best time together.
Here’s the thing, Roxy has a tendency to want to kiss my wife. We don’t know what it is about her, but Roxy is determined, every time she sees my wife, to give her a big sloppy kiss. Roxy is an English mastiff, so she’s a big girl with a rather big mouth, and a rather big sloppy tongue.
These days, Jo Ann has learned to keep Roxy at bay. Occasionally Roxy puts forth a supreme effort to give that kiss. She did so just the other day.
We arrived first at the park. Juliet, of course, searched for her friends all over the place, but couldn’t find them. When Goliath and Roxy arrived, the three of them pretty much crashed into each other as they tried to do a chest bump. After that, they took off, racing across the sandy ground, swimming in the lake, shaking dry and rolling about on the ground as they played.
We were able to sit at one of the picnic tables and chat in peace, at least for a while. As I said, Roxy would have her chance at kisses my wife. There came the time when Roxy, dripping wet and slobbering, bolted straight for us. That long thin tail of hers whipped about, spraying water as it went.
Roxy tried to jump up on Jo Ann, but held at bay by my wife. This didn’t deter Roxy. Instead, she tried another way. Racing around to the other side of the picnic table, Roxy climbed up on the bench, then the table; she stood with her front legs on the other bench, her back legs still on the table and her head straining to reach Jo Ann.
I got a full spraying of water from that tail, again, and had to duck to avoid more. Fortunately, Jo Ann was able to fend Roxy off and push her back. Kisses avoided
To this day, we do not know what it is about Jo Ann, but Roxy seems to lover her, dearly. After that, Roxy took off to go play with Goliath and Juliet. They kept her busy and she forgot about Jo Ann, for a while.
It was not a permanent circumstance, of course. Roxy would try repeatedly, eight times in all, to slobber all over Jo Ann. On a typical day of play, Roxy gets nose to tail filthy; she never fails to impart a goodly portion of that sand, soot, grime and slobber all over Jo Ann’s clothes. My wife learned not wear white to the park or even a light-colored blouse, as Roxy, even when she does not get to plant a kiss on her, will still climb and bounce all over her.
Still, despite the attempted kisses, that day at the park was like all other such visits: a load of fun. Although my wife blocked every attempt, by Roxy, to give a kiss, it got us laughing, heartily.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
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