Monday, June 6, 2011

Dorothy: A Prizewinning Plankster

If walking were a sport, Dorothy would still not be winning any medals at it.  You won’t be seeing her pretty face on a Wheaties box, say; she won’t be going to Disneyland anytime soon from her winnings; and there won’t be a new Nike “Dorothy” walking sneaker released.

She does have her good moments.  She is often quite good at walking through the very crowded park, and charming people by her intent gazing at my face—which onlookers mistake for good training, while I know it is all about the treats in my hand.  Every once in a while she will surprise me and be up for exploring a few new blocks, and last Friday, she even made it for the first time all the way down to the dog park and back.

In general, however, our walks are the walking equivalent of a speaker’s stutter:  we stop and start, and stop and start, and stop and plead and start, etc. 

Sometimes I think she goes on strike a bit—my own little leftwing beatnik.  I picture her with a little placard, chanting something like “Non-walkers, united! Will never be defeated!”  And I rather admire her stick-to-it-tive-ness.

In the last week or so, however, Dorothy has upped the ante.  She will still sit when she doesn’t want to walk, but four times out of five, sitting is for sissies and not for Dorothy, nosiree-bob:  Dorothy lies down.  She lies down flat on the sidewalk, and she puts her chin between her outstretched paws, and then rolls her eyes up and looks at me (and all the stopped passers-by) and lets the cute wash all over us.  At this point, there is not much I can do, and Dorothy knows it.  Have you ever tried to pull a dog who is in pancake mode and one with the ground?  Take it from me:  pulling doesn’t work.

I can and do use treats to get her up and walking, but frankly, she seems to like the resulting attention she receives from people as much as the proffered treat.  Naughty Dorothy!  I’ve really become quite zen about it, though, because what are my options?

Then the other day I came across an article about a new phenomenon called planking.  Planking, for those of you not in the know:

is an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location.  The hands must touch the sides of the body, and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the internet is an integral part of the game.  Players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play.  The location should also be as public as possible, and as many people as possible should be involved.”

Here are some examples of people planking:

You know where I’m going with this, right?  Yes!  My Dorothy is not lying down in the middle of a walk out of laziness, stubbornness, or orneriness…she is planking!  It is oh so cutting edge of her!  So hip!  So outré!  No matter that she’d come in last in any sidewalk derby!  When it comes to planking, she is a champion!  And that sure is something, no?

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