The day that cleaning up my dogs poop almost killed me was one of those pet friendly adventure days of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Literally. I was high in the mountains of Cascadia and took a dozen or so rides on a ski lift. Then I was laid out in the parking lot on top of where I had just picked up after my dog. The parking lot that day was a thick sheet of ice dotted like Swiss cheese with potholes of slushy, smelly mud puddles. When we arrived at the ski resort, I quickly but carefully shuffled the dogs across the dangerous frozen muck so they could play in some of the lovely, freshly fallen snow the mountain had to offer. Cascade mountain peaks jutted into the sapphire blue sky 360 degrees around the dogs and I. The white, glittery trees weighted with snow sparkled like friendly ghosts in the late morning sunshine and the dogs blazed furry trails through snow drifts often higher than them. Well, especially higher than dachshund Wilhelm. Once all three dogs seemed content, we braved our way back across the dirty ice rink parking lot with a quick stop at the dumpster so I could dispose of the journey's full, blue plastic bags of dog poop. I settled the dogs safely in for a few hours of car rest while I did some downhill skiing.
It was a glorious day for skiing! I was so happy on the slopes but eventually it was time for lunch and to give the dogs another chance to also enjoy the mid-winter snow. I dined with the dogs and had my fill of ski replacing calories before leashing them up to again brave the harder than concrete, more slippery than an oil slick parking lot. We warily made it safe and sound to the glistening, deeply drifted fresh snow trails where Wilhelm, Brychwyn, and Huxley could safely sniff, romp, and wrestle. Once all three dogs had long tongues dangling joyfully from their heavy fog producing mouths in the cold mountain air, and my hardy lunch felt like it had done enough digesting for me to comfortably get more fantastically smooth ski runs in, the dogs and I turned back towards the dangerous drudgery that was the parking lot. The dumpster and the car were within view as we carefully crossed the slippery void when little dachshund Wilhelm began his "I have to poop" sniffing circles at the end of his leash. As Wilhelm squatted, I removed the glove from my right hand, tucked it firmly under my left arm, and ripped a poop bag from my roll.
I thudded down onto the ice on my left side, clutching that unsecured dog poop tightly in my left glove. At first, I thought the horrible crunching sound I heard when I slammed onto the freeze was my arm breaking. I believed I had landed on my elbow. Before the dogs could begin leaping on me as if we were beginning an icy parking lot playtime, I don't know how, but I scrambled to my feet, my left arm, right glove, elbow and poop gripping hand tucked tightly at my side. Ouch. It was hard to breath. I mumbled to myself "I am going to be okay." One of the things I love about taking the dogs everywhere is I can talk to myself and people within ear shot think I am talking to the dogs. I muttered "I am going to be okay" again, this time stepping ever so much more slowly and carefully towards the dumpster.