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I'm a writer living in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was raised in rural Maryland, a stone's throw from Baltimore City.

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Ploppe Vum Zwergpinscher (Nonfiction)

 

Ploppe Vum Zwergpinscher

or Plops of the Min Pin

 

               Geno’s an old dog. He’s a Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua mix. His personality has always been strange, yet endearing. As he’s gotten older, he’s developed dementia, but his body’s still light, nimble, and retains a lot of his puppy power.

               When he was young, he was the dog who would launch himself into the air, jumping higher than the doorknob, excited to go outside. As he got older, the jumping jelly bean lost that habit, but other hints of his younger self remain. He tears around the yard, kicking up grass and barreling towards the backdoor, as if he’s ten years younger.

                Also with age, he’s developed new hobbies and interests. He very much enjoys standing and staring at walls or into empty rooms. I think, like most of us, he starts to do something and then forgets what he’s doing. Something I’ve experienced since the age of fourteen is now something he’s experiencing, also, at age fourteen. It’s different for dogs though, as they have what seems like less options: eat, sleep, play with a toy, drink, or sit down on a human. Most of the time when I see him do this little dissociated stare and stand routine, I pick him up and put him on a pillow or one of his beds.

               Another fun thing he’s doing now is not realizing he’s pooping when he’s pooping. The first time I saw it, he ran through the yard happily, as little dog turds flew out the back of him. My initial reaction was like “huh,” and I wondered what it would feel like to nakedly gallop through our yard and poop at the same time. He let loose again at the vet, as I held him and he was chilling, like everything was fine. One minute we were nodding, listening to the vet tell us how wonderful he was, and the next, some poop was plopping out and onto the vet’s tile floor. It cost $7.50 for two vet techs to retrieve some for testing and dispose of the rest. It was money well spent.

               An additional time he pooped without knowing it happened to be tonight. We sat on the sofa, relaxing after work with the dogs around us. The cartoon we were watching ended, I looked up and saw Geno, standing before me, looking deep into my eyes. Just behind him, maybe twelve or sixteen inches, sat two fresh, dark brown turds. His stare penetrated my soul, his milky eyes glowed, and head tipped slightly to the left.

               I asked, “Do you want to go outside?”

               The other chihuahua mixes jumped off the sofa and trotted in the direction of the door. I leaned forward, to get to my feet. Geno saw the shift in posture, turned on a dime, and bolted at full speed towards the two, small, and fully formed pieces of excrement. Then, he launched over them, like some kind of crazed hurdler, soared at least three feet, and landed on all fours, frog-wise. In an instant, he bounded towards the door, passing the other two small dogs, and I followed behind, with some carefully placed steps of my own.

               I opened the door and he ran outside barking at nothing but the air, though some might say, what he was really barking at was the face of life itself. 

...

               Just in case anyone was wondering... yes, we thoroughly cleaned it up and sanitized the affected area, making it the cleanest space within the home for a limited time. 

 

Written by Sunny Lancaster on 05/03/2022

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About Me

               My biggest inspiration for writing is David Sedaris. I listened to his 2004 essay collection: “Dress Your Family in Corduroy ...