Is there any other creature that can pierce the disinclined heart of man quite like a good dog? Cats are special, sure. They should have their own special bus, too. But there's nothing like the baleful look of a faithful, friendly dog to tell you when you've seriously missed the mark.
"Take me for a walk, pleeeeze?! I'm so cute and I need sunshine and squirrels and birds and sand and waves and what's that, food?! Did someone just walk by the door? I hear a car! Take me outside!! Oh please, oh please, oh puh-leeeeze!"
I tried to wheeze a few coughs out, to make her understand that I was still sick, and not up for a beach-walk. "No," she insisted, "it's been over a week and the beach is there, I know it is!!! There's BIRDS that need to be chased!!! Oh c'mon, c'mon!!!"
So, fairly sure that this flu is really strep and the stress of walking in the famously deep, fluffy sand of Porpoise Point would send the infection to my heart, I resigned to my fate. Pepper-Dog pointed out that I had spent the day stressing at work and so if I was gonna die, I might as well make her happy before I go. And maybe cook dinner, too, while I was at it. It was hard to argue with her logic.
She sits up front in the car and decides to let me drive. But not without her close attention. Like Rain Man, she is an excellent driver. She sits bolt-upright in the passenger seat and looks straight ahead as though divining the road conditions, the traffic patterns and the occasional BIRD! as we drive. If I stop at a crossing, she breaks her concentration to look left, then right. Then, she rears back to the right, raises her left paw, and gives me a high four, as if to say, "this.is.so.cool!" We start off from the intersection and she resumes her control-freakish attention to the road.
We get to the beach in 5 minutes. She is so stoked that she would cut off her own tail right there and then just out of gratitude. Not necessary, I assure her.
Big, honking waves and skinny surfer dudes saying, "cool dog!" as we walk by. Birds are chased, wind blows, waves tumble her around and... it's not enough. But, we have to go back home.
Worst of all, this damn dog is such an adjunct conscience, she knows that when I go to the kitchen there is hope for a snack, but when I start pouring a glass of rum and coke, all of her hopes of further interaction are fruitless for the next 40 minutes or so. With a sigh and kerplunck! she slides down the wall and lays on the floor like--like a dead dog.
There's no making her happy.