38. Lost-And-Found: a promise


It was a cold evening and I was walking sir Oliver by myself. I was almost near the school and the cyclists crossing, the very point where there is no lamppost. Sir Oliver had been walking perfectly, maybe a little bit too fast, and I had to step up a bit to keep up with his pace. Then, for me out of the blue, he started wiggling and twisting his back in the middle of the sidewalk. I remember thinking, oh no, he lowered his back, lowered his hind legs and defecated.

I set myself at rest by thinking that I had my poop bags and I would clean up after sir Oliver. I was staring in the dark to see if he had done anything and where it was if he had done it. Somehow I had not heard anything falling. I looked another time and I saw 2 large placards of diarrhea with pieces of poop in it. I looked again as if I could not believe that what was on the ground was really coming out of sir Oliver. Reality checked in, yep, it was sir Oliver’s poop.

I was staring at it, asking sir Oliver to wait and stay knowing that he only knows these commands for a short period, so I had to make up my mind. The only thing I had was my poop bags, but in my imagination I needed at least a fire extinguisher to spray clean things. Or at least a bottle of water… which I didn’t had.

I took a breath and decided that I would use that what was here, the poop bags. So I put the bag around my hand and scooped as much as brown water and poop pieces up as possible. There was no way I would be able to clean up that sidewalk. So I tied the bag, walked away feeling guilty, being afraid someone would step into the remains I had left there.

The entire night it had been raining and I had never been so happy about rain as now. I figured the rain would clean up the mess I had left behind.  When the next day I took sir Oliver for a walk, and taking the exact same route, he luckily had a normal stool again. That was a big relief, as well as finding out that a big part of both placards had been washed away. Though still feeling guilty about the mess I had left behind.

It took a couple of days before I could no longer see anything sticking on the sidewalk. And I was wondering why I felt so guilty about it. Already several times I have stepped into other dog’s poop and people take such things as, shit happens. Not for me, for me it was different. As if I know how others deal with it!

And then a few days later I found why I still felt a bit guilty when thinking of those placards of poop. About 10 weeks ago I had made a promise that I would clean up after sir Oliver and not behave like most dog owners behave, I would set an example. And there I was, left with a mind telling me that I had broken my own promise. So that was the undercurrent I had felt and that was the guilt I had experienced. I had made a promise with myself and the rest of the world and broke it. And breaking a promise is a big thing within society and it had been for me as well, it was my social programming.

I thought I had let go of making promises years ago, since they always promote misery. I like making agreements and be honest with myself, rather than promises. And in this case I could have agreed on cleaning up after sir Oliver when I have the tools to do so and if not go over to plan B and make the best out of it as possible. That way I would not have any reason to feel guilty, I had done my best and from a practical point of view.

I thought I had lost, making promises, on purpose and now I found one hidden in my mind. Time to say goodbye and get myself and sir Oliver more agreements. Life can be so simple if we let it be simple.


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