In the heat of the afternoon after a long drive, I arrived at my daughter’s apartment. Finally here in New Orleans, walking a pit was first on my list. Then I would be ready for a martini and great dinner in my favorite food city. Ecstatic to have weekend to spend time with her, visions of po-boys, boudin balls and seasoned crawfish had been dancing in my head.
First, I retrieved key from under the mat and slowly opened the door. I didn’t want lovable Armani to mistake me for an intruder. We were on a first name basis but I accepted the fact he was a sixty pound Pit Bull dog. As I slowly entered and called his name, he ran to the door sniffing my new heels as if to say “Where have you been?”
New Orleans walking a Pit in the Park?
Greetings completed with key in hand and leash, we departed for Coliseum Square. Although I was wearing dress clothes from my day at work, dressed in high heels and war paint, a walk in the park was necessary. Immediately, I felt the heat of the afternoon surround me as I tried to keep pace. Quickly, I attempted to lose myself in the beauty of the architecture and gardens. Finally, I allowed Armani to take me where he wanted to go.
I didn’t sign up for this, did I?
In New Orleans walking a pit, like a lamb being led to a slaughter, I was unaware of my impending doom. Armani’s pace quickened as he lead me to his obsession. Secretly taunting Armani an ancient tree with enormous rope hanging from it called to him. While content in my ignorance as we walked, I daydreamed about old homes.
At once, Armani took flight and attacked the rope which left him suspended three feet off the ground. Startled out of my daydream, I screamed. Yet, only mildly relieved when I discovered his prize was a nasty old rope hanging from a tree.
Battle ensues in the park
Slowly I approached pit bull and rope, they were in the throes of an awesome tug of war. Silently as I stared at the scene enveloping, slightly panic-stricken I felt like a lead actor in a “Jackass” movie. Seconds before Narrator says “Do not attempt this at home” and cameraman says “Y’all watch this”.
Foolishly, I attempted to talk Armani off of the rope. Violently growling and biting spoke loudly of his mad obsession. Fearlessly, I grabbed above where he was chewing furiously and attempted to swing him off. As I tried to tug him back and forth off the rope that was hanging, he would open and snap his jaws again on his prey. The sixty pound pit, tree and I were battling in the heat of the afternoon.
Disadvantaged with high heels and dress now clinging to my skin I tugged as hard as possible. In my head, images flashed of pit bulls biting owner’s. Hell, I wasn’t even the owner. I was the dog walker. Actually not even that, I had been the dog follower. As I tugged, dirt worked its way on my skin and sweat dripped slowly down my back. Did he remember that I gave him dog treats?
Faint glimmer of hope
After what seemed like a long struggle, eventually I pulled at the exact moment he tried to grab and I removed the rope. Finally shocked with success, I yanked the menace and headed for home. Within seconds, I noticed my performance art had created an gobsmacked audience. I sighed as I held my head high and pulled Armani hoping they had been too puzzled to video. You-tube video battling a pit was not on my bucket list.
Immediately, I retreated and attempted to regain dignity while pulling a pit bull. In denial and relieved that my ordeal was over, surely I had earned an icy cold martini. Happily, I starting walking towards the apartment smiling which quickly faded when I opened my empty hand. Oh God, where was the key?
Now what do I do?
Horror is the word that I would use to describe how I felt when I realized the key was missing from my hand. While playing games with the sixty pound Pitt and tree, I had dropped her only key. Now I had to take the rope addict back to where his obsession hung and find key.
Armani and I started back towards the tree. He could not believe his luck, he looked back at me as if to say “I never get to do this twice in one day”. Panic set in as I walked, Armani started tugging me towards his obsession. Apparently, I wasn’t moving fast enough. I paused and pulled the beast, my brain wasn’t moving fast enough. Absolutely no clue how I was going to look for key and keep Armani away from attacking rope at the same time.
“Wherefore art thou” Samaritan?
Scanning the park, I looked for anyone that could help me. Fifty yards away, I called out to a guy to help. From fifty yards away, I could see he had no interest in whatever I or the pit bull needed, he picked up his pace and kept on walking. Clearly, we looked like a ton of trouble and he was right.
In silence, I stood shaking my head, drenched with sweat, attempting to hold back an eager dog wanting his playmate. In case you’re wondering, pits with an obsession are very strong. Not long after a middle-aged guy was in shouting distance, I waited until we made eye contact, “Can you help me?” He probably wanted to look the other way like he had never seen me.
Surprisingly, my reluctant Samaritan walked over and I explained my situation. As a gentlemen he had two choices, he could hold the rope or look for the key under the sand. Or option three was walk quietly away from the crazy woman and her dog. He paused for what seemed like a really long time, then I heard him say, “I will hold the dog.”
Gladly, I relinquished the beast and started looking in the soft, very loose, silty sand under the ancient tree. Where did I drop the key? I was sure it was during the launch when Armani first attacked the rope. After what seemed like a terribly long time, I gave up looking for the key and say bye to my Samaritan.
Hot, deflated and still walking a Pit
Armani and I headed back to the apartment after looking for a long time but it had been hard to concentrate with both man and dog staring at me. Armani and I headed back to the apartment. Walking back, I decided that I would get my car and we would drive back to the scene of the crime. Leaving Armani in the car would allow me to look freely for the key.
Arriving back I steered the beast to the car, he was happy that we were going for a ride. I slid into the seat, started the car and just sat. The Beast wanted to know what was going on and popped his head near the front and stared at me. The air-conditioner started cooling and sitting still seemed necessary. I drove back to the park.
Who’s blowing that horn?
Again, Armani could not believe his luck or my ignorance at returning him to his obsession. He barked to communicate how happy he was to return to the park. As I unhooked the seat belt, Armani nearly jumped in my lap. It was a struggle to get out of the car and leave Armani safe inside. Somehow, I managed to leave him in the front seat, he pounced on the horn and blew it multiple times. Each horn screamed, “Let me out and I want my rope.”
With horn blowing, people in the park were starting to look at the car. They were also looking at me leaving the dog, in the heat of the afternoon in a parked car. I had rolled down the windows and hoped to only be a short time.
Oh angels, hear me please!
Walking to the tree I sent out a prayer hoping it would be heard over the horn blowing loudly. I really needed to find the key. As I started getting closer to the tree, I looked everywhere on the ground walking in circles around the hanging rope. Scanning everywhere, hoping that I had earned a tiny miracle yet only seeing soft sandy dirt.
Horn still blowing in the background, I walked around looking for a stick. Maybe a stick would help move the dirt around more freely. Walking in my new heels which were no longer looking new anymore, I swished and swished the stick through the sand.
Finally someone high above took pity on me and I uncovered the tiniest bit of the brassy key. I grabbed it with delight and relief washed over me. This ordeal in New Orleans walking a pit in the park had taken its toll on me. Never mind, the Pit was sweaty and still fantasizing about his obsession. Now, I needed a shower and two martini’s.