My friend, Laurie, and I walked our dogs together this morning. Her dog, Pepper, is a 14-year-old standard poodle who’s getting down in his back. Actually he’s pretty spry for his age, and I’ve wondered if some of his “medical” complaints are due to Laurie being overprotective. She says he’s deaf, but he seems to selectively hear just fine. “Pepper, let’s go,” gets ignored. “Pepper, do you want a treat?” gets an immediate response. She would say I’m not be honest here, and I’d be the first to admit it.

Here was our conversation: “Oh my legs are so stiff,” I said. Laurie tried to one up me. “Yeah, I’ve got a stomach ache and no feeling in my finger where I whacked the tip of it off slicing apples.” Used to be we’d one-up our escapades – how many lemon drops we drank or tables we danced on. Now it’s how many trips to the doctor or bowel movements. I’m just kidding about this last one, but it sounded funny. Also kidding about what Laurie said because, honestly, I can’t remember from one minute to the next.

Just as I said, “We’re falling apart,” Laurie tugged on Pepper’s leash and he tipped over. Tipped right over like the idiot Burger King commercials that show a couple of guys in a pasture tipping over the Burger King guy. I refuse to eat there because of their recent ad campaign, which is a shame because I used to love their breakfasts. I guess with their newer ads they’re going for a demographic that doesn’t include people who aren’t stupid.

Whoever heard of cow tipping anyway? It seems mean. Cows are so sweet-looking with those big brown eyes. Did you see the Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl? I know, they had about 30, but this was the one with the little Clysdale playing with the little calf.

That calf was so cute looking through the fence, and all I could think of was, “Your horsey friend is going to be in a green pasture or a stall with two feet of fresh hay while you’re crammed in a semi-truck on your way to being a burger at Burger King.” I did not say this out loud because I didn’t want people throwing M & M’s at me since I was the only vegetarian in the crowd.

When they showed the calf all grown up, it was a Texas longhorn, which according to Savieur Magazine is mighty good eating. I don’t know if you could tip a longhorn, but why would you want to? Grown cows still have those big brown eyes, and they’d let you walk right up to them because they are naturally sweet, and a couple of sissy girls could tip one so why is this considered manly?

So Pepper falls right over on his side, and Laurie rushes to his aid. The poor guy can’t get his back feet under him because I guess he does have hip problems after all. She had to un-tip him, which involved trying to shove him up off his side and then lift up his hindquarters which, I’m sure if we walk tomorrow, will be the basis of a new back injury.

It was rather sad for a little bit, but the dog, either embarrassed or tired of hearing, “Are you okay, Pepper, are you okay?” took off running and jogged practically the whole walk. We had to step up our speed a notch, which was hard on our aching bones and joints, but since it was 36 degrees out, I wasn’t too sad about getting done sooner.

Oh, I just realized we won’t walk tomorrow because I’m planning on skiing. With any luck Laurie’s back will heal by Thursday.