53. Bringing in the Poops

Dear Tera,

The season is changing so quickly.  Just a few weeks ago, snow covered Windsor Park.  Then glorious mud -- although the humanoids did not seem at all happy when some of our brethren decided to lie down in the puddles.  Birds were meant to fly.  Squirrels were meant to be chased.  And labs were meant to loll around in the mud. 

This Spring must have been paradise for our labrador cousins.  Did you see that lake in the north end of the park?!  Water spread from the river half way to the field house.  Too bad those humanoids with their racing skulls and their canoes weren’t around.  I’d love to have seen them canoeing through the tennis court.  They’re fair weather enthusiasts, those paddlers and rowers.  Not like our labrador friends, who will merrily splash into the ice water no matter what the season. 

But I must admit, I’m getting old enough that it’s much easier to resist the temptation to galavant through the melted snow. I’ll leave that to our big pal, Frank, who has a bit of the newfoundland mixed with the lab, and seems impervious to the chill.

Lake Windsor didn’t stay for long.  Alpha would take the Pup and me to inspect the receding shoreline, and the flotsam and jetsam washed up upon the pathways.  The river came right up to the little bridge by the evergreen grove, and we followed a muskrat as he swam along the shoreline. 

Something odd about muskrats.  They look like a chew toy, but I’ve never gotten close enough to one to find out whether they squeak.  They don’t have a proper respect for our species, the way that squirrels do.  They seem so insouciant in their ability to slip under the water where we cannot follow.  Not even worthwhile barking at them.

But you know that the season has truly moved along when, just a week or two after Lake Windsor shrinks away, the humanoids gather for the annual poo harvest.  What a merry time of year it is for them.  How we love to watch from the sidelines while they joyfully toil in the fields, singing their traditional working songs:

Bringing in the poops

Bringing in the poops

We shall come rejoicing

Bringing in the poops.

Every Spring it brings a tear to my eye to see how happy we have made our humanoids as a result of all our diligent doggy efforts over the dark winter months. 

Jump down turn around

Pick a bale of dog poop

Jump down turn around

Pick a bale a day.

Even the Pup is getting more into the spirit, year by year.  I can remember -- it didn’t seem that long ago -- when he was just a Lump.  He just watched the poo harvesters from the confines of a stroller.  He got a bit older, and he helped out by digging up the baseball diamond with a garden trowel.  Another year, and he was helping pick up the litter that had blown into the riverbank reeds. 

But this year was truly exceptional.  This year the Pup actually helped harvest the actual poops.  He and his friend from down the street donned their latex gloves and off they went.  It made me very proud to see him stoop and scoop.  Our little Pup is almost all grown up.  Soon he will graduate to the next phase in the maturation of a humanoid. 

As you know, they begin as Lumps, not good for anything.  They’re noisy and dangerous B liable to pull at your ear, tail or fur.  You try to teach them proper manners, such as the right way to smell another animal’s butt, and you get sent to your bed.  And heaven help you if you so much as curl a dewlap at them to teach them their place in the pack.  Lumps are nothing but trouble.

Then, when they are old enough to throw a ball, they become useful at last.  They graduate to becoming Pups.  Somewhere in this stage, they also become mature enough to feed us our dinner B which is a very important phase in the weaning of humanoids. 

But it is only when they are old enough to assume the most important religious and spiritual function of the pack that they mature into fully fledged humanoids.  That function, of course, is the ability to clean up fresh dog poop.  My Pup is not there yet, but with his participation in today’s harvest, he has proven he is on the verge of what passes for adulthood among humanoids.

Watching our Pup as he grows,