My wee boy, Max
This morning the weather was damp and soggy from last night's rain, but by the time the boys and I got down the mountain there were actually little glimmers of sun peeking through the clouds. Because our usual route through the soccer field park is underwater from the significant flooding we're having right now, and the main field is a swamp, I took a longer trail that skirts the entire complex. Some parts were still really muddy and slippery, but it was doable.
About halfway around there's a smaller parking area and a one-way-only exit. As we meander past the lot, heading for the paved path along the river, this big blue van suddenly swerves off the road and drives into the lot going the wrong way. WTF? The dogs are off-leash as there isn't a soul in sight, or for that matter in the whole park--a disturbing fact I register as the van comes to a stop not too far from where I'm standing.
Funny how a dozen nefarious plots run through your mind in an instant.
I call the boys to me, and for once they obey immediately, but before I can leash them up, the sliding van door flies open and four teenage girls come tumbling out, followed by three guys, and they all head straight for me. Well holy crap, what is this now?
One girl, very cute with wild, long red hair, smiles as she stops in front of me. I'm taller, bigger, probably way meaner...yeah, I can probably at least take her, I'm thinking. "I hate to bother you," she says, "but we're on a scavenger hunt for school," and now I see a woman climbing out of the van from behind the wheel, an adult who gives me a friendly smile and a wave.
"Okay," I say, making it a question of sorts as I dial down my inner Xena.
She actually blushes, turns to another girl who has a camera, and says, "I can't say it!" All the kids start laughing and now they're in a half-circle in front of me.
"What's going on?" I ask.
Red turns to me and says, face nearly as bright as her hair, "I have to propose to a dog!"
I blink as all visions of my imminent demise waft away, then burst out laughing. "Seriously?"
The girl with the camera is giggling as one of the boys waves a long list on a sheet of paper. Grinning, he says, "Number 7."
"Okay then," I grin back, "your best bet is Max. Ozzy won't come close, but Max will run off to Vegas with you if you give him any attention at all."
Just saying his name brings the Love Puppy over and he immediately goes from kid to kid looking for some action. Red kneels down, and before she can even call him over, Max is wiggling and squirming and practically in her lap as she scratches behind his ears. Camera Girl takes several shots, then one of the other girls says, "You have to say the words."
Truly blushing now, Red leans toward Max and whispers, "Will you marry me?" And leave it to Max, I swear he grins, then licks the end of her nose just as Camera Girl gets the last shot. It was hilarious. Everyone's laughing, then with profuse thank yous tossed over shoulders, they all jump back in the van and a couple of minutes later, the kids, the van, and Max's girl are just a memory.
"Sorry buddy," I say to Max, "some things just aren't meant to last." I bend and give him a good scratch. He looks up at me, wags his tail, then dashes down the path looking for squirrels, Ozzy on his heels.
Who knew when we left the house this morning that Max would get engaged, then get dumped, all in a matter of moments. Good thing he could care less, though I bet his ex-fiancé never forgets him...