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Adventures in Healing and Dogsitting

Walk the Dog, Then Run.

Katie Estes

When walking the 54 pound strong dog, walk first, then return her to the premises in which she resides. Then go running. I hadn't run with Patty for a couple years, but the park is seven blocks away. Not wanting to give her a half-hearted two block walk, she always knows, I made the choice to combine the two. Confidence gets you places I think. I walked the crowded sidewalks to the big open park, coordinating my steps with the loud crunchy music pouring through my headphones. Up the hill I saw a dog; Patty is aggressive towards other animals, but I adhered to that confident attitude, trusting that my steady pace and firm grip would keep her in line. Instead, quite quickly, I found my footing turning into a free flighted flail, my body assuming a new position, on my hands and knees on the pavement.

I tripped over my dog while running. 

Fairly speaking, she darted under my feet to lunge at a beagle. Grounded, headphones spilled out onto the pavement, I said to my dog, "You fucking bitch." The offending dog and its owner stopped to take in the scene. In the void of time between running and falling down, I forget that an entire park had witnessed my collapse. 

"Are you ok?" I heard the woman with the other dog say. Her face read confused and slightly appalled. 

"Yeah, I'm fine. My dog is aggressive towards other dogs." I said, as if that explained calling my dog a fucking bitch in public. 

I looked down at my phone, the screen somehow not cracked. I fumbled with the headphones, stuffing the left back in the left ear and the right in the right, all too aware of every eye in the park watching me. After shame-crying on a park bench and texting my friend Julie, I got up and walked Patty back to the apartment. I returned, with a human, and my invisibility sunglasses to finish out my run.