Fort Greene Park on a weekend morning feels me with dread.
It starts with knowing George has to get out before 8am. That’s our guesstimated pee cut-off time, based on the limited number of accidents (2) that have occurred when we casually let the morning slip by.
I somehow convince him to get out of bed without a growl. He won’t stand near the elevator bank, preferring to dash toward it when the door chimes and opens. And then we experience 26 floors of whines. No. Don’t make me. I hate it. When will the doors open? Why aren’t the doors opening?? We are stuck in here, aren’t we.
The doors open and he bolts ahead of me toward the lobby door, freezing to inspect what’s occurring on the street. The obstacles he must surpass in order to level-up to the park. Two blocks of sheer terror.
It’s a Sunday morning at 7:45am. There are no Sysco trucks carting frozen patties to Smashburger. No throng of Brooklyn Tech students racing to get to class. Our archnemesis juice truck with the hydraulic lift only appears on Thursdays. And obviously no trash trucks.
It doesn’t really matter.
After a quick half-pee in front of the hospital, we make it past the gates and up the stairs. A small patch of grass on the left serves as a full pee station. He held it for safety purposes.
We can take the loop two ways; to the right, or straight ahead.
People always think he’s a puppy. Partly due to his size, partly due to his terrible leash skills.
We take the road to the right. He poops. And then turns to go home.
Come on, George. It’s Sunday. Let’s walk in the park.
I drag him onto the path toward the tennis courts. Yank, yank, yank.
We pause for a brief moment on a bench in front of the tennis court. He loves sitting on the bench.
We move along toward the area where all of the “normal” dogs get to play offleash. He sniffs a few butts. Then he wants to sit on the bench where the guy with the parrots usually hangs out.
Our apartment is George’s only cardinal direction. He twists his body toward it, and I give up. Ok, let’s go home.
As he tries to hop off the bench — something he’s done dozens of times — one of his legs slips into the hole between slats. He freaks so hard, he shits himself and yells like I have burned him with a branding iron. For a second, I think, I might not be able to get him out of here. He might have a heart attack. He might dislocate his leg trying to twist his way out of this. Oh my god.
Ten feet away, two women stand with their dogs near a baby stroller.
"People really shouldn’t let their dogs up on those benches."
I pick up George and put him in the grass, letting him lick the shit off of his legs and feet. Then I stroke him a little. A dog comes by, they sniff each other, things are getting back to normal.
He yanks me all the way home.
QUESTION: If you had been the woman in the baseball cap standing near the stroller, what would you have said? What could she have done that might have made the situation better? Would you have responded to her comment? How?
I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN
CAUSE AT LEAST I KNOW I’M FREE
AND I WON’T FORGET THE MEN WHO DIED
WHO GAVE THAT RIGHT TO ME
AND I’LL GLADLY STAND UP
NEXT TO YOU
AND DEFEND HER LIBERTY
THERE AIN’T NO DOUBT I LOVE THIS LAND
GOD BLESS THE USA