March 21 -- Truman accompanied me to work for the very first time. I'd like to say it was an easy transition, but it seemed forces were conspiring against us.
I knew it was going to be a challenge, bringing such a frequent piddler to a place where the door to the outside is, what, seventeen miles away from my desk? The nearest exit-to-pee-spot is a sprint to the door of the office suite, out into the hallway, down the stairs, across the lobby to another set of doors, through another hallway, up a few more stairs and finally, FINALLY outside.
I'd been planning to use this one bit of landscaping on the side of my office building since the day I first took a dog there. The older, "street legal" pups could use the grassy areas, but I wanted to find a spot where there were fewer neighborhood visitors. It's a perfect little patch -- away from office windows ("Sorry about the pooping dog, Mrs. Johnson. Shall we discuss your upcoming surgery?"), on a side street instead of busy Wilshire Boulevard, containing a big enough packed-dirt area to be minimally distractive in terms of leaves and twigs and rocks, not directly in view of passersby.
Turns out, however, CalTrans had other ideas. I got Truman to work and took him out to get busy immediately, successfully navigating the halls, stairs, lobby and doors, only to arrive outside to the sounds of jackhammers and construction equipment. Thirty workers or so, stomping around yelling orders to each other over the din. Orange cones and yellow caution tape. Utter earsplitting chaos. There could not be a scenario less conducive to a peaceful potty break. I mean, hey -- I wouldn't want to pee there, either.
But we pressed on. I plopped little Truman down amongst the landscaping...and the mud. And because I have to relieve him while he's on leash, somehow keeping him from eating every molecule of matter off the ground and nearby plant life, I had to stand in there with him. So my boots -- the ones that go with my warmest sweater, which I had worn in anticipation of the promised rare chilly day in Southern California -- also collected deep tread wells full of that mud. I thought the long walk around the building back to the entrance (we can't go back in our exit door, unfortunately) would work it out before we went back inside, but it was not to be. Many were the chunks of dried mud upon the office carpet in my cubicle. Many, and according to Truman, delicious.
He didn't have to pee, or so he led me to believe after 15 minutes of my most diligent effort. Nope, didn't have to pee...until we went all the way around the building and back inside.
So I did the circuit once again, by this time sweating profusely in the aforementioned warmest sweater, carrying a wiggling-and-hopefully-not-spraying puppy, back through the lobby and into the whaddaya-know-it's-going-to-be-80-degrees-today weather. And don't get me started on the ridiculous winds we were having, which did more to whip Truman into a frenzy than anything else I've seen thus far. Still, he peed like a champ, not nearly as concerned with the construction as with whatever swirling foliage he could get into his mouth.
This happened several times throughout the day. How much work did I get done? I feel like I should give back part of my paycheck.