It happens all the time: Katniss and I are walking on the sidewalk in our ‘hood, and someone, or several someones, is walking toward us. Who gets to use the sidewalk? Who should yield?
(Side note: Whenever I think of people yielding to one another, I think of “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and Robin Hood asking Little John if he yields—gives up—as they fight in the middle of a river. You know the movie, the one with Kevin Costner as Robin Hood? It took me until last year—23 years after the film’s release—to realize Costner never took on an English accent for one the most British roles to ever exist. He still rules, though.)
But part of being a good dog dad (I don’t like the term “owner”—too slave-y) means setting a good example for Katniss so she can someday be a good mother. Just kidding; she’s fixed.
We may look tough, but we’re really do-gooders just like Robin Hood.
It is, however, important to be a good neighbor, and there are indeed times when I feel I must cede the sidewalk to others. Below are those for whom I will move off the beaten path and make sure Katniss doesn’t give any unwanted licks.
• Anyone with a stroller: Strollers are hard to maneuver onto and off of curbs. And based on my parenting experience with Katniss, raising other life forms is a tough gig sometimes. And hopefully once Katniss gains the ability to read, she never sees that.
• Runners: They’re working harder than I am, so they deserve the sidewalk. Plus, I don’t want to throw off their pace.
• The fairer sex: Duh.
• Old people: It’s harder for old people to get out of the way, so we get out of their way. Besides, they’ve lived this long—they deserve a few perks. Life is tough.
• People who also have dogs: Katniss is not much of a fighter, so if the other dog tried to hurt her, she’d probably pee out of fear or leap into my arms like Scooby-Doo does with Shaggy. Hopefully she wouldn’t leap into my arms and then pee.
• The disabled: Duh.
• Children: Kids can be scared of dogs, so I always keep Katniss away from children she doesn’t know.
• Anyone who looks like they could beat me up.
So if you’re a male who is young-ish, without a disability, smaller than I am and walking by yourself, you must yield to Katniss and me. But honestly, we’ll probably be the ones to move out of the way first. We may look tough—and by “tough” I mean Katniss has awesome hair like that sweet almost-mullet Costner had back in the day—but we’re really do-gooders just like Robin Hood.
Speaking of Mr. Hood, I spent about two years after that movie came out—while other boys my age were discovering girls—running around in the woods behind my house building forts and taking up archery. I loved that movie. Probably too much.
Anyone else have that Bryan Adams song from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” stuck in their head? If you didn’t before, you do now!*
*It drives me crazy how Bryan Adams tries to rhyme “There’s no love” with “like your love” by using “like yo love.” Sing it in your head, and you’ll agree.