56. Still 100% a puppy

Sunday July 12 2020

As rough as it was Thursday and Friday, we finally saw puppy Neptune feeling better by Saturday morning. I was hesitant to commit to joining the day’s antique car tour until I knew that both the pup and I were up for a day trip. We all got a bit of restorative sleep Friday night, so the trip was a Go.

We show up with the pup wearing his surgical cone and I told everyone he was sensitive about it, so be careful to not hurt his feelings. So when a couple of non-dog people asked if he was now an It, I felt oddly defensive. As if the value of his existence was lessened by the lack of testicles or something. I don’t know. Maybe I needed more sleep after all. I responded with a tight-lipped smile, which is why some people have a hard time liking me.

But they’re not dog people, so there’s that.

It was only later, as these things go, that I thought of a come-back for the It reference. Like, what about men who have vasectomies? They’re still manly men, right? Look, I know it’s not exactly the same. I’ve never met any man who would willingly go through with having his berries surgically detached. Not that this comes up as a topic of conversation. Instead, it’s a guy’s body language whenever I declare my impatience at waiting to have a puppy neutered.

“Oh man,” I say as the puppy lays on his back, manspreading for all to witness the glory of this gift. “I can’t wait to have these things removed.”

My words are merely a monologue, though, received by a quiet audience of queasy looks and crossed legs.

Anyhow, we do this car tour thing. It’s designed to be pandemic-friendly as we spend the most of it just driving around the back roads of northern Kentucky to enjoy the regional sights, each safely enclosed within his or her own vintage auto. Neptune was the only dog, which was too bad. It was a very dog-friendly event, as well.

Because our vintage auto is air-conditioned by natural sources, Neptune worked the cone to his advantage by using it to funnel the breeze from the windows directly onto his noggin. Clever little pup.

Kentucky Tractor Cruise.

Of the natural wonders to be experienced along the drive was another group of enthusiasts enjoying their Tractor Cruise, kind of like what we were doing but much, much slower and absolutely not an Ohio thing.

And we pass a guy working on the side of his house, standing on a ladder that was itself balanced in the raised scoop of a front-loader. His woman was standing on the porch roof and had one hand on the ladder in case it slipped, I guess. “She’s holding something in her other hand,” I say as we drive past. Don said it was probably a beer. “Silly,” I thought. “That’s a terrible idea, drinking before noon.”

Otherwise we discovered some of the worst maintained roads in Kentucky had to offer as we waved at the nice folk who stood in their front yards to watch these cars-of-days-gone-by parade past.

And I lamented, as I always do on these car tour things, how they stopped designing cars with wing windows. The best auto invention since the self-starter, in my opinion.

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