“Go on Darla! You can do it!!!”

It has been a ridiculously long winter here in beautiful Montreal Quebec. Although most of the sidewalks are almost clear of snow, the park and several well shaded back yards are still covered in the graying white mess that was once a sparkling blanket of wonder and beauty.
The snow now slowly and reluctantly melts away, revealing the last 6 months of hidden garbage
and unleashes the sweet spring time aroma that Montreal spring is so famous for, melting dog crap.

In the same fashion, after months of bundling up, the layers come off only to reveal the consequence of the months of hiding indoors, stuffing one’s self with comfort food, wine and Christmas/Valentines Day/Easter chocolate.

Some extraordinary people managed to stay in shape this season, by going to the gym religiously, starving themselves, hibernating or having a brand new boyfriend/girlfriend or whatever else those annoying people did.

Some crazed maniacs even continued to run around the perimeter of the 40-hectare park across the street from my house every morning, slipping and sliding across the sheets of ice, braving snow storms and ferocious winds. I for one, did not.

It took me a day and a half to remember where I had put my running shoes last fall and 2 more days to muster up the motivation to get outside. My first day back on track, it was gorgeous out. I ignored the snow in the grass and focused on the warm sun beaming on my face. We started slowly, my dog and I. She stopped to sniff everything on the sidewalk and I tried hard to talk myself in to going back home. I don’t have time this today, I though. Tomorrow would be better really, or even Wednesday. I don’t think I have any plans at all on Thursday. I caught a glance of my interesting shaped shadow, just as some children walked by, pointing and laughing at my dog.
They called her fat and ran away. Children can be so cruel. I heard that dogs can have their feelings hurt just as easily as humans can. I gave her a treat and picked up the pace a little.
I cranked the volume on my iPod and suddenly felt the spring in my step. I was actually moving, then speed walking, as they call it, and before I knew it I was jogging.

My dog was bounding through the air with great enthusiasm, leaping like a deer in the forest. It was magical really. Sadly, after about a block and a half she decided that she had had quite enough of this spring nonsense and came to a screeching halt. I jogged on the spot for a minute.
“What’s wrong sweetie? C’mon, it’s spring! Yeay!! Good girl!! You can do it Darla, let’s go!!”
She sat there staring at me.
I begged and pleaded, “come on!! Please!!”
I got frustrated. “MOVE IT YOU FAT COW!!”
People walked by shaking their heads in disapproval and their pitying gaze fell on my stupid
faced dog as she stayed planted, smiling and panting, with drool cascading from her hideous jowls.
I started to run again and she followed at a snails pace. I swear the leash was loose and she still started to fake cough and pretend I was choking her to death. At one point she was threatening to vomit. She’s so manipulative. She was looking me right in the eye too.
*I’m going barf if you don’t stop running, then what will all these people in the park think of you?
Then what will PETA thing of you? Hmmmmm??*

for the rest of the “run” we alternated between walking, while I muttered threats and insults at my poor darling dog, and me jogging while she gagged and flailed around at the other end of the leash.

It was easily one of the most embarrassing experiences I’ve had in some time.
I considered leaving her at home the next morning but I thought that was just as cruel as making her come with me. Naturally I opted to force her to do the jog because if I have to suffer why shouldn’t she?

Things have gotten a little better over the last week or two, especially if I prompt her all the way, but Darla is still not what I would call an enthusiast. So if you happen to be walking around the park early in the morning, and see a horrible woman dragging her heaving, choking, drooling drama queen of a dog by the leash. please don’t shake your head in disapproval, or point in laugh. If you have a kind bone in your body, just wave and feel free to shout out “Go on Darla! You can do it!!!”.


Jennifer June