Walking Hank in the mornings is quite a chore for me. It’s not that it’s difficult, by any means. The problem is that we live near neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with children. And school bus routes.

The way the morning works during the week is:
Alarm goes off.
Brad gets out of bed and heads to the shower.
I roll out of bed, put on a double layer of pants and my thickest winter jacket, grab a plastic bag (yuck) and attach the leash to a very excited Hank’s neck.

Once I’ve completed those steps I then have to go to the designated dog walking spot for our Townhome Community. Which happens to be directly across from a school bus stop. Oh and, I actually have to walk through the wall of children at the school bus stop to get to the designated dog walking spot. This morning was oh-so-embarassing. Hank had to make stinkie, and Hank had to make stinkie pretty much as soon as his big furry paws hit grass. So I’m standing there, leash attached, back towards the children (because OMG) and to make matters worse the bus full of already picked up children pulls up to the stop as he decides to squat down..haunches taut and balancing.. And then the moment of glory…having to bend over in front of these same children and collect his warm, steamy package.

The biggest problem with this entire regimen? Prior to last week it did not have to be this way. We would walk him the opposite direction, towards dark windows and street lamps. Things changed when, obviously, someone complained. We got a letter from our HOA stating that they had a designated dog walking spot and that the animals needed to potty there instead and to please not allow them to pee on grassy areas not located at the designated dog walking spot (they must not be dog owners…). Also, poo would need to be picked up and disposed of “properly”.

The second biggest problem? I now have to face people with my ball o’ puff and morning breath. I could put a hood on, and walk in peace without needing to look another human being in the face that early in the morning prior to HOA. Ahh, HOA. You raise our monthly fee for the sole purpose of getting a “better landscaping company” and then that very same landscaping company complains about the tenants animals KILLING THEIR GRASS WITH THEIR URINE. Oh the injustice.

Alls’ I’m saying is that I’m ’bout ready for that 3 bedroom house and fenced in yard.

[side-note: “Alls” seems to be a term used only by my family. Please tell me that you use “Alls”? Now that it’s been pointed out to me that it is not actually a word and that only people in my family, so far, have been known to use it, I like to use it even more. Because I’m a rebel. Yup.]