I told him when he was only a puppy, “If you’re going to be a dog in this world, you’ve got to know how to walk.”

Oh, but how he hates the rain. Or any evidence of rain, even a sidewalk darkened with moisture but without standing water is more than he can bear. I have carried him a half block from our house, just to get him into the mysterious zone where he finds it acceptable to pee. He’ll pee and after he furiously kicks up some grass (mind you the wetness of the grass in not an impediment in this ritual), he’ll turn for home.

I try to stay on message: resistance is futile. But it’s not true. Resistance is not futile. It’s just mostly futile. I’m not going to fight with the dog to make him take a damn walk. Sure, fine, let’s go home, you little jerk.

When it’s not wet (or within 8 hours of it having been wet), he entertains large ambitions for which I only have myself to blame. I’ve taken him on many an epic walk, glorious events, down to the French Quarter and its odoriferous streets. He’s managed to snag a french fry off the floor of one open air restaurant, and passing Lafayette Square during a musical festival one happy fellow invited Cairo over only for the dog to snatch his sandwich from his plate. He totally fakes people out, lulls them into a false sense of security, and then he lunges with all he’s got.

Though I know he can’t be the only dog in New Orleans these days reluctant to leave the shade for the bright, burning sidewalk …

Derek Bridges lives in New Orleans, trading in words and pictures. A carpetbagger of long standing, he grew up in the top right corner of IL and later went to college in the middle cornfield part. He has also lived in MS and FL, for educational purposes only, and was diasporized for a time in TX.

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