I open the front door and Buster is looking up at me with a mixture of excitement, angst, and impatience. Now, I haven’t had that cocktail of feelings for a while but I don’t recall circling around on the spot as he is currently doing, which usually indicates he’s about to do a poo. This leads to his lead wrapping around his neck…he lowers his head embarrassed. I should probably make clear that Buster is a dog that I’m looking after for a few days and not a little child on a leash I have locked up, that has never seen natural daylight. It is time for Busters evening walk and there is nothing he likes more than to go on one of his walks……well, actually, that’s a fairly loose statement as I’ve only been with him for a couple of days……for all I know he enjoys lemon flavoured cake icing or classic episodes of Blossom more than these walks. Maybe he hates these walks and the only reason he is excited is because we pass a window where a Persian cat resides who is fairly attractive even to me. I unwrap the lead from around his neck and we are on our way. We embrace the evening twilight……hey i didn’t want to use the word but that’s what we were embracing……if we had something else to embrace I would have said it but there wasn’t……ok fine, but only coz I don’t like that word either……we embrace the wooden fence we pass. Buster is happy, wagging his tail left to right and right to left like windscreen wipers during heavy downpour. He looks like a right little explorer, inspecting every nook and cranny, I reach into my pockets to give him my Sherlock Holmes hat, pipe and magnifying glass but then remember I have none of those items. I make a mental note to get them, for no man should be without a Sherlock Holmes pipe. Buster continues to sniff about like he is looking for some missing treasure. I tell him “Johnny Depp has probably snatched that up already” but it doesn’t faze him. It amuses me how he stops at every single tree, bin, and lamp-post to have a little pee, which he then sniffs to make sure he has hit his target. I’m surprised how much pee this little dog has. A LOT!! A LOTTA PEE!! We’re 70% water but this dog is 70% pee. Anyone would think he had been deprived of peeing privileges all his life. I smile as I realise I needn’t fear getting lost as I could follow the trail of Buster branded pee all the way home. If only Hanzel and Gretel had a dog they could have enjoyed a nice sandwich on their journey, ah well. I suddenly feel extremely ‘mature’ and ‘responsible’ walking a dog. I want to climb up some mountain and shout “HEY, LOOK AT ME!! I’M WALKING A DOG!!! I’M RESPONSIBLE!!! I’M MATURE!!! I CAN DO YOUR TAXES!! I CAN INSURE YOUR HOUSEHOLD POSSESSIONS!!!”. This is short-lived as I see a young boy walking his dog who probably cant even spell ‘possessions’.
We reach the window with the Persian cat and I stop to give Buster a chance to put his drooling skills to good use. He doesn’t seem bothered and looks away but I don’t buy it. I’m less convinced than when my granddad wore a birthday badge saying ‘20 today’. As we head off again I notice Buster is dragging me more than usual……I mean he’s practically walking me!!!…he’s like a herd of horses while I’m just Cinderella's pumpkin chariot, which, to be fair is quite normal but he is really stepping on the gas at the moment. This doesn’t distract his explorer duties. Now he just explores twice as fast putting Dora to shame……don’t judge me for that reference…how else am I to learn Spanish!! I’m dragged a few blocks before Buster hits the brakes and parallel parks outside a house. I look across the lawn and through a window I see ‘I Am Legend’ playing on a large flatscreen TV. I stand there looking at how amazing the film looks in HD, fully aware I was a stranger looking through someone’s living room window. It wasn’t the first time but at least this time I don’t have binoculaaaaa…“aaAAHHH BUSTER NOOOO!!!”. He is circling and his face reads no signs of angst or impatience. I try to pull him away from the lawn but my efforts are met by a force of resistance that is only familiar to contestants of the “World’s Strongest Men; Tug Of War” competition. Buster had suddenly become an immoveable object, like I had tied a rope around a building and was trying to shift it. Buster postures up…arching his back…spreading his legs…tilting his head to the left. I tug again at the leash but to no avail. Its pointless, absolutely pointless!! I may as well be peeing on a pregnancy test stick!! I give in and let him do his thing……man, Will Smith really nailed that part…look at him too shy to talk to that mannequin……just go talk to it……go on, she wont bite……hey, why has he frozen……who paused the film!! so rude!!! But then it happens…a man comes to the window and looks directly at me.
“AARGH!!” I look down at Buster hoping by now he had finished his business but no, he is still perched there with a newspaper as casual as ever. How long does it take!! I look back up at the window and the man has now drawn his attention to Buster with his eyebrows so low they might as well be on his chin. Now I’m panicking!! I eat a can of spinach and try again to pull Buster away but again nothing. HAVE YOU BEEN LIFTING WEIGHTS WHILE I SLEEP!! I hear shouting coming from the house and as much as Id like to think its a warning to Will Smith to kill the zombie on the left, I’m pretty sure its from the man watching a stranger let his dog deposit faeces on his front lawn. I look up again but the man has disappeared. I then hear the rattling of door locks “OH SHIZZLEWAPPS!!!!” I say……no really… “BUSTER WE GOTTA GO!!”. Buster takes a few steps then sits down on a clear part of grass to wipe his butt. “NO TIME FOR THAT BUSTER, C’MON!!”. The door opens unleashing a harmony of F-this and F-that. MY HEART IS BEATING LIKE AN AFRIKAN TRIBAL DRUM!! “BUSTER!!!” I yell. Buster has one more courtesy shuffle then gets up and we leg it down the road leaving a very angry man and a suffocating fetor behind us. What a close call I think to myself, that guy was about to eat ME up and return the favour on MY front lawn!! We reach my house and as I open the front door Buster starts circling again. “DUDE SERIOUSLY!!! WHAT ARE YOU, 70% PEE AND 30% POO!?”. I unwrap the lead from around his neck. He lowers his head embarrassed and drags me inside.