Don’t let the shy look fool you.
So I’m on my way to the bank after school, just cruising down West Main minding my own business and enjoying the beautiful weather. I had the passenger window down so The Spark could stick his head out, sniff the air, and bark at birds and hobos. After his going airborne incident a few weeks ago I thought it would be prudent to wrap his leash around the gearshift. You know, in case he spotted another squirrel or something. Anyway, as I approached the Gazette building in Chillicothe I noticed an attractive, nicely dressed middle-aged woman leaving and coming around the front of her parked car. She was wearing one of those power suits, really dressed for success and all. She had a briefcase in one hand, a bag slung over the other shoulder, and she was holding with both hands what looked like a stack of papers on a clipboard in front of her.
You know how the lanes on West Main are a little tight, right? Because of this I was sort of close to her car so she had to wait for me to pass, and as I approached I got a stone cold stare that seemed to ask, “What, you can’t stop for a lady, you low-life male chauvinist scumbag?” The answer was I probably could have, but hey, I wasn’t really paying that close attention.
What happened next is really sort of hard to describe. In my mind Sparky saw the smug look on the woman’s face and was simply doing what I would have done. You know, if I were a dog. Anyway, to say he barked at her doesn’t come close to what actually happened. As we passed her, very closely I might add, he leaped as far as his leash would let him while emitting a feral, ferocious and terrifying combination snarl/roar/howl. For a horrifying second I thought he got a piece of her throat or maybe her nose, but by the grace of God he air-snapped. Then I looked in my side-view mirror and saw a bunch papers floating from the heavens and onto the street. I swear it looked like 9/11 back there, sheets just fluttering everywhere.
And there, in the midst of the document shower stood an angry businesswoman, hands on hips, glaring at my departing car and the savage canine contained within.
Sparky? He was wagging his tail and smiling at me like, “Heh-heh. Got her good, didn’t I dad?”
Oh yeah, Spark. You got her alright. Good.
I probably should have rounded the block and gone back to apologize, but the look on the woman’s face told me that might not be a good idea. I turned on Paint Street and finally hit a light, just sitting there shaking my head at my crazy-ass but extremely loyal and lovable dog. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a guy pull up beside me. It’s a 30 ish dude and there are tears in his eyes from laughing. He pounds the steering wheel and says, “That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a woman in heels jump that high in my life! Papers everywhere! I gotta get me a dog like that!”
Sorry buddy, but you can’t. There’s only one dog like that, and I got him.
Just another day in my life with Sparky.
Dave Shoemaker is a retired teacher, athletic director and basketball coach with most of his professional years spent at Paint Valley. He also served as the national basketball coach for the island country of Montserrat in the British West Indies. He lives in Southern Ohio with his best friends and companions, his dogs Sweet Lilly and Hank. He can be reached at https://shoeuntied.wordpress.com/.