Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Picture this: 5:30 on a rainy cool Saturday in May, with a light breeze shaking drips off the shady maples that overhang the street, and all the flowers fresh-faced from their showers. The air smells like Eden, and a man and his dog could walk for miles. So the bearded gentleman with his big yellow mongrel on a leash both feel (and rightly so) that they own the morning. He's strolling, and the dog is sniffing, and as they come past our house, he must feel my eyes on him, because he glances up. I'm sitting in my office, Lights on in the darkish morning, laptop in place, bathrobe and hair in disarray, cup of tea in hand. We make eye contact. I grin and wave. He looks astonished to find another human being alive in this brave new world. He breaks stride, trying to think if he knows me, gives an uncertain smile and a little half-wave. Then he connects the idea of my lawn with his large dog and suddenly drags the beast across the street lest it should befoul my frontage. And they hustle out of my line of sight.

later, a small woman with two large dogs on leash walks by, makes eye-contact. I smile & wave. She waves back. There are two plastic bags in her hand. She has already picked up after her pets.

A young woman with three dogs walks by. She has leopard print galoshes & a leopard print hooded poncho. The big shepherd-cross dog is wearing a collar and a leash and a cocky, self-assured gait. The smaller, spaniel-sized dog is wearing collar, leash, and a loepard-print coat to match the owner's poncho and boots. This dog is embarassed to death and hopes his friends don't see him. The little fluffy dog is wearing leopard print with pride and insousiance, and has a human on the leash to add to his consequence. Ms Leopard print looks neither to left nor to right as the dogs tow her along the street.

The biker from a few blocks away passes with his white wolf-hybid. I smile and wave, and he waves back. Dogs are great at making introductions, and this dog gets his person out at least three times a day.

The man with the three-legged doberman jogs past. The dog just loves to run and hates to pause even to say hello. Sort of a canine Lance Armstrong.

The 90 year-old woman with her fat little pug creeps past. She can't see as far as the front of the house, so I don't bother waving. She walks three miles a day, every day. Her body is failing, but her spirit is indomitable. Her pug sometimes sits down and pants for a while before he will agree to walk any further, and she waits patiently while he gets his breath back.

I am a cat person, but there is definitely something to be said for a dog that needs to be walked. I've watched cats taking a walk, and unless they are headed home to the food bowl, they meander. They have their own paths and destinations all pre-determined and would bitterly resent my company. Dogs are so happy to have you along that they will go anywhere you like. I have a vision of trying to walk any of my cats on a leash. First put on the harness. The cat lies like a lump of dough and practices complete passive-resistance. Maybe Pepper, making the connection between leash and outdoors, would consent to walk out. The next picture would be of her darting under a bush and twining the leash inextricably around the twiggery so that there is no recourse but to release her from it. And awayyyy she goes! Picture Roxie, standing under a maple tree, looking up with leash in hand, trying to make a sound like a can of tunafish.


  • At 10:53 AM , Blogger Heide said...

    Lovely images! My husband had never been owned by a cat until we were married. Having been raised with dogs he took the testosterone-laden approach of trying to establish himself as the alpha-male. He and that cat never got along. At all. Anyway, one day he decided to take the cat for a walk. He ended up dragging the poor kitty about ten feet up a gravel driveway and back down again before calling me over to unharness the cat (who wouldn't let my dh get near him at that point). The cat was encrusted on one side with filth and needed a bath. It wasn't pretty.

  • At 11:27 AM , Blogger Galad said...

    What a fun way to start the day - watching the parade go by :-)

    I had one dog who walked me until we got her better trained. They do make you get up and moving!

  • At 3:10 PM , Blogger Rose Lefebvre said...

    Years ago I had once seen a woman on a camping trip who walked her cat on a leash (they camped in motorhome). I thought I would like to train my cat to do that.
    Once home I went out to buy the right size harness, as collars are not suggested for cats. Since she was female, it was pink encrusted with jewels(well, fake gems). At home I showed it to her and then attempted to put it on her, which ended up in a struggle lasting about 30 minutes, while listening to a low growl emit from her. I thought she would warm up to it once she had it on...nuh uh. She immediately flopped down as if her legs had become jello and lay there, tail flipping and pounding a message on the carpet which I seemed to not hear. After attempting to stand her up about 20 times and her flopping right back down, she FINALLY stood head down and tail twitching. I chattered away telling her we were going for a walk to explore. I headed to the door but she did not. So after trying to coax her to walk forward, I surrendered and picked her up. Once outside I sat her down and she immediately proceeded to fall over. She did roll around on the grass but made no attempt to stand. I attempted to stand her myself with no success, so I decided to try the pull-and-drag method thinking she would surely rise to her feet. NOPE. She was having none of this. Kneeling down I spoke in my "reserved for kitty" voice trying to coax her to stand and walk. She purred, rolled on her back (which meant scratch and pet me), and batted her eyes.
    I sighed, picked her up and headed back into the house.
    After I removed the harness, she began streaking around the house, her legs workign just fine now. A few days later I found her chewing on the harness.
    So obviously my cat never went camping with us (probably for the best as we used a tent). She sat at home with a sitter to care for her and the house.

  • At 3:24 PM , Blogger KnitTech said...

    People watching is fun.

  • At 6:15 PM , Blogger Jejune said...

    What a lovely story, so many different pets and their owners ... I'm looking forward to the time when Petal is big enough (and vaccinated enough) to go for walks outside too!

  • At 9:43 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    Oh God--it's just like being in your window, watching your neighbors--what a lovely writing spot. (And the leopard print dogs and human totally cracked me up!) Chicken wanted me to make her a rat harness once, so she could take the rat for a walk around the neighborhood.


  • At 10:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm with Amy,
    This is like a storybook and I've morphed to your window and living in your house.
    So descriptive. The sights, sounds and smells.
    Thanks for the trip.


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