Assuming a Position

Everybody knows the definition of “assume,” but it is so relevant to today’s post that it bears repeating.  Assume is where you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Hahaha.  I always loved that one.

As to its relevance to this little blog space, well let me tell you!  Dawny and I were recently enjoying a morning walk around the campground loop.  She had just finished watering a particularly interesting spot, when I heard a persistent pounding on the window of a nearby RV.  The window glass was darkened so I couldn’t see anything, but I didn’t look too hard, either.  As Dawny and I resumed our walk, I wondered if perhaps someone had been taken hostage and they were trying to get our attention!

Well, that’s just silly.  One must be careful about assumptions, both the wild ones and those more easily tamed.

It didn’t take long for it to occur to me that the pounding had started after Dawny had pee’d.  The pounding probably was not from a hostage, after all, but from a camper who thought Dawny had poo’d and I didn’t pick it up.  The problem is, being a girl dog, she assumes the same position for No. 1 and No. 2.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone assumed my dog and I were a dastardly duo.  At a campground in Ohio last month a man and a woman strode boldly out from their campsite and approached us yelling, “Hello, Ma’am?”

Oh, how nice, I thought to myself.  My neighbors are going out of their way to talk to me!

They continued, “Are you going to pick up that excrement!?!?”

Oh, my!  I responded that there was nothing to pick up and that, as a girl dog, Dawny squats for both functions.  They kept coming at us, yelling at me to pick up that excrement, jabbing their index fingers at me and my dog.  I pointed to my fanny pack full of plastic bags for picking up poop and told them, as nicely as possible, that I always pick it up.  They finally backed down and returned to their campsite muttering loudly about how they saw Dawny do it earlier, too.  What can I say?  She’s a heavy drinker.

When I was workamping in a campground in Texas, a fellow volunteer came running over with a baggie for me to pick up after my dog.  When I told him she had pee’d, he launched into a long, detailed, increasingly uncomfortable description of how a dog holds its tail differently depending on what sort of business they are doing.  Not only was he calling me a liar, he had obviously been paying way too much attention to Dawny’s tail end.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Finally, I just turned around and walked away while he continued to lecture me.  That pretty much colored our working relationship afterwards, and not in a good way.

For my part, I have to try to be nice when defending myself and my doggy, and that is not easy.  Gracious defense does not come naturally to me (Dawny and I are a lot alike that way).  But it does help if I remind myself that most people don’t become poopy dogmatists out of nowhere.  I see loads of dog poop in campgrounds and other public areas that people have not picked up.  It is extremely annoying when people do not clean up after their pets.

Such a simple, considerate act.  There seems to be a terrible shortage of that nowadays which, I suppose, exacerbates the tendency of many of us to assume the worst.  The problem is, when we jump to the wrong conclusion–especially an ugly one–we often leap over a lost opportunity, such as a friendly chat, a simple smile, a lighter step.

Now, excuse me while Dawny and I get ready for this morning’s walk.  I want to make sure that the hostage is okay.  On second thought, maybe the knocking had nothing to do with me at all.  It could well have been the sound of little elves making shoes and then using the heels to pound picture hooks into the wall.  Or, better yet, someone was having an amorous morning.  Yes, that must be it.  How lovely is that!