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The Dog Dodger

The Dog Dodger

The Dog Dodger

If there's one thing that irks me more than a smiley emoji, it's dog-walk small talk. It's become so annoying that I bought a treadmill to exercise my dog, DJ. But until I can toilet train him to lift the seat and flush like a normal human being, I will still have to venture out daily into the neighborhood dodging the endless parade of banal conversations with annoying pooch-walkers.

"Nice arc on DJ's tinkle."
"That's cuz you never chopped them off."
"They dangle so symmetrically."

It wasn't always like this. When I moved into my hood at the turn of the century, I thought to myself, "Ah, what a delightful place to live, and not just because of Ursula, the statuesque Swedish sun-bathing goddess who lives behind me. This neighbourhood was teeming with dogs."

Big dogs, small dogs,
Dogs that like to trot
Guard dogs, toy dogs
Even dogs with polka dots
Sniff around here, play around here
The hood that's nuts for mutts

At first, I naively believed that my fellow dog-walkers might possess some semblance of wit or intellectual curiosity. Instead, I was bombarded with a litany of stale jokes and horror stories about home renovations and astronomical vet bills.

"Two grand just to pull a bong out of a butt?!"

Desperate to walk in peace, I consulted with Zev the cherubic neighborhood stalker on how to slip 'n slide through the neighbourhood in stealth-mode. After all, the man's a slithery master who's never been caught -- unless you count his rookie year and that unfortunate bathing-suit malfunction at the public pool. 

Creepy? For sure, but Zev is always willing to give a helping hand. Lent me his tattered neighborhood map; meticulously highlighted with a labyrinth of routes through the park, behind the school, and around Ursula's sundeck. 

I immediately became a dog-walking Houdini, maneuvering through mazes of trees, bushes and tunnels deftly avoiding the clutches of idle doggy-parent chatter. On weekends I'd leave town.

But life, as it often does, had other plans for my anti-social escapades. One sunny Wednesday morning, as I embarked on my well-planned route, disaster struck. A fellow dog walker, who I had assumed to be as introverted as I, suddenly materialized from behind a cluster of poison Ivy . It was as if the universe had conspired against me, summoning this unsuspecting victim to interrupt my carefully constructed solitude.

I had two options. I could engage in yet another mind-numbing dialogue about dog treats, or I could stand my ground and declare my unwavering commitment to silence. With a resolute expression, I chose the latter.

As the comely dog walker approached, her face a mask of cheerful expectation, I braced myself for the onslaught of pleasantries. But to my astonishment, she merely gave a polite nod and continued on her merry way, not a word escaping from her inflated Botoxed lips. It was a miraculous moment indeed, a glimmer of hope in an otherwise barren wasteland of small talk.

From that day forward, I embraced my newfound freedom with fervor. I honed my route-changing skills to perfection, mastering the art of dodging would-be conversationalists. My walks became a series of daring escapes, a game of cat and mouse where I was the elusive feline, always managing to slip through the cracks of human interaction.

So, if you ever find yourself in need of an expert in covert canine navigation, look no further. I am the master of the meandering path, the virtuoso of the walkway dodge. And as I stride through the park, with DJ prancing by my side, I can't help but revel in the blissful solitude that my carefully crafted routes provide. For in this bustling world, all I seek is peace, blissful peace, wonderful peace.