(Also, the dog poop was picked up, so things felt -- and smelled -- much more poetic in general).
Bailey and Teddy were wriggly and pant-y and smile-y and adorable. But they were also... how do I put it... crazy. Brimming with barely restrained zeal. About to burst from pent-up energy.
I had a serious decision to make.
On the one hand, wine. And sweatpants. And the couch. And my book, The Queen Mother by William Shawcross, which is all sorts of Anglophilic excellence.
On the other hand... this.
Wild animals longing to break free. Or at least family pets hankering for some fresh air.
Their sweet doggy faces were so hopeful, I couldn't say no.
And so we set off.
Two minutes later, we were trudging up the steps to beautiful Grandview Park. Soft gossamer clouds hung low over the city, purple and blue and cool, facing a glory of golden sunset to the west. Lots of kids were out, riding their bikes around the overlook, laughing and shrieking, being outdoorsy. They all put up a huge fuss when Bailey and Teddy pranced by, ears perked up, tails whooshing through the calm, still evening air.
"Hey, it's the Cottonelle dogs!" Yes, my dogs are known for their moonlighting gig as the faces of toilet paper.
They are not yellow labs, kids.
Why you would choose a puppy to represent something "refreshingly clean" is a mystery to me.
Especially in light of what happens next.
So yes, children are swarming Bailey and Teddy, which is just about sending them over the moon. Bailey is slobbering and high-fiving anyone kind enough to pay attention to her (such a buzzkill having a puppy around!), while Teddy is chewing on his leash and trying to jump up and look these little children right in the eye (watch out for his razor sharp nails! Sorry kids!)
Alas, we had a walk to take, so I
Thinking he had to, ahem, relieve himself -- and plastic bag at the ready, because I am a responsible dogwalker -- I let him barrel up on the hillside. But he promptly laid down and started licking his chops. He'd already eaten dinner, so this was most mysterious.
Until I caught a closer look at the left side of his mouth.
The horror, the horror.
There was blood trickling down his little jowls. Combined with his drooling and panting, it was turning a nice, frothy pink. He looked like some kind of beast, fresh from the hunt, hot off the kill.
You see, Teddy is teething right now.
First he lost little side-baby teeth, but the last few days, he's been hacking and choking on baby molars. And they are big, big baby molars. When I notice that another one is missing, it's because a bright red, gaping hole has opened up in his toothy little puppy smile. Less toothy by the minute.
But I've never caught it at the moment of loss, when the wound is fresh. And, well, yikes.
Of course, two little boys chose this moment to ride their bikes by. And I kid you not, as they approached, making wide arcs across the paved path, one shouted out "Hey, they nice dogs? Or do they bite?" I put on my most reassuring smile, scratching Teddy behind the ear, and said "No, they're very nice, you can come pet them."
But as Bailey lunged forward, eager for attention, and Teddy continued to lick his bloody chops, the boy caught sight and had immediate misgivings. He and his friend sped off into the dusk, shouting back, "No thanks, bye!!!!!!!"
Maybe Teddy will scare people off after all.