Friday, Jun. 18, 2004
Dear Diary:

The operative words here: What Would Lassie Do (WWLD)?

I've been walking my neighbour's dog, Cloud, for a few weeks now. Having always been a cat person, this whole hanging out with a dog business has been a new experience.

Thanks to Cloud, I have come to realize that a male dog's torso is 77.93% bladder. Apparently, a major preoccupation of the male dog is to make sure that any blade of grass which has ever been peed upon by any other animal within the last millenium should be re-peed upon by said dog.

Since Cloud and I cover at least three miles on our walks, he has to come up with a fair bit of urine. So, from time to time he slips off into the woods and drinks from a stream. Thursday the dog disappeared into the woods as is his wont, and suddenly I heard a huge ruckus.

We're talking crashing branches and then there was this unholy scream/trumpet sort of sound and then I heard dog yelping sounds followed by the unmistakable sound of something crashing through the woods Right Towards Me.

I have read many times about the fight or flight reflex but up until Thursday it was simply a concept. Thursday morning, though, as the words, "Omigawd, the dog has tangled with a bear" raced across my mind, I got a first hand taste of what it feels like to have your body trigger this reflex and flood itself with adrenaline.

The dog exploded out of the woods and ran directly towards me, eyes wide with terror, tongue hanging out of its mouth as it ran for its life. With a WHOOSH, it rocketed right past me.

Let us pause here for a moment. What is wrong with this picture? I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture. The dog is being chased by Something Big And Scary and the dog is leading this Something Big And Scary DIRECTLY TO ME while running on ahead.

Excuse me? Excuuuuuuuuse me? This is not what Lassie would do. No, as I recall it, my favourite doggie tee vee star would have selflessly either fought the Something Big And Scary long enough for me to get away or led it away from the me.

Instead, the dog I was with had clearly decided to lead the Something Big And Scary to me while the dog ran on ahead, probably in the hopes that the Something Big And Scary would find me good eatin' and leave the dog alone.

Fine.

So where was I? Oh yes, the dog had exploded out of the woods and whooshed right past me and then there was this flash of brown at my eye level and another blast of that unholy scream/trumpet sound as the Something Big And Scary launched itself at me.

As some of my three loyal readers might recall, for months now I have been working on trying to lengthen my running stride. Without much luck. Apparently, the secret to lengthening your running stride is to firmly affix the notion "I Am About To Die" in your consciousness because I can tell you that I ran as I have never run before. How do I know this? Because within moments of stopping, my groinal muscles and my buttal muscles hurt as they have never hurt before.

Why did I stop? Because the dog had stopped and had its butt parked in the middle of the road, staring fixedly behind me at the Something Big And Scary. So I turned around to see that the Something Big And Scary

Was a wild turkey.

A wild turkey with tiny little bits of brown fluff scampering around its feet. Yes, Cloud had run into a mother wild turkey with a small flock of turklings/poults and she had defended her young with everything she had.

Which turned out to be enough to terrify one middle-aged dog and a middle-aged woman half to death.

So I have finally seen a wild turkey. Under somewhat less pastoral conditions that I might have hoped, but the sighting has been made.

When the spousal unit came home that night I was shuffling around with all the grace of Fred Sanford because my groinal and buttal muscles made every step a thing of pain. Reluctantly, I told my life partner the Tale of the Turkey. He has had endless hours of fun teasing me about my "imaginary" wild pig, so you can well imagine his glee at being able to tease me over the turkey, the turkey he has christened "Darth Turkey".

Darth Turkey.

It is so very, very hard not to be bitter.

--Marn

Mileage on the Marnometer: 499.83 miles. Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck. 25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck. Ten percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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This template is a riff on a design by the truly talented Quinn. Because I'm a html 'tard, I got alot of pity coding to modify it from Ms. Kittay, a woman who can make html roll over, beg, and bring her her slippers. The logo goodness comes from the God of Graphics, the Fuhrer of Fonts, the one, the only El Presidente. I smooch you all. The background image is part of a painting called Higher Calling by Carter Goodrich which graced the cover of the Aug. 3, 1998 issue of The New Yorker Magazine.

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2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.