VA 10-miler, Spaghetti Strap Tanktops and a Stray Dog…

The plan was, to wake up at 7am to see my friend Leslie (among a few others) run the Virgina 10-miler.  08VA10milerstart

Yet this morning, somewhere around, oh, 3:42 am, I woke up with my mind racing and my stomach not happy.  This “itch,” that I have had in waves over the last decade of my life, is what left me restless last night but when my alarm went off at 8:45am too soon, I had no time to scratch and given the weather (above) a cozy bed seemed preferable.

There was just enough time to shower, throw on my dancing shoes, make my way to Thomas Rd, spend an hour marching in various straight lines (required of a token “Toy Solider” in TRBC’s Virgina Christmas Spectacular) but when it was over I didn’t feel like I had effectively “exercised” by simply stomping around a gymnasium floor.  So I went to Liberty University to workout.  32039994

For those who are not familiar with LU, it is a Christian Liberal Arts School founded by Jerry Falwell Sr in 1972.  This school has been governed by a number of rules and regulations, all of which I have been subjected to in varying degrees over the years I was an undergraduate student, master’s student, faculty and now PhD student.  These rules are all housed in a little handbook known as the “Liberty Way.”  Not the kind of Liberty many of you are used to, and there was definitely no “liberty” when a former student of mine approached me on the very bike shown above, about 20 minutes into my workout saying, “Hi Professor Peckham, I just came over to let you know that you are out of the Liberty Way.”

Those words used to be accompanied by: “Can I see your ID? That is going to be 4 reprimands and a $30 fine.”

This time, since it was a former student, I was let off with, “I’m not going to ask you to leave this time, but in the future, all tanks tops have to be two fingers in width or you can’t stay.”


Here is my question: what are we doing for the male psyche, to aid in the prevention of “lust,” by instituting a “two-finger” width rule for tank tops?  I was discussing this very notion with my friend Christina, when I pulled into my apartment complex after effectively cutting my workout short and heading home.  As I was locking my car doors, and lamenting the need LU has to “draw the line somewhere,” I see a rather large sausage dog, not unlike the picture below,  running the four flights of stairs in my apartment complex.dog6

As I climbed the stairs, I come to the second landing and see him frantically running up to closed doors with a complete look of panic on his face.  Poor Christina is still telling me about what she did the night before, as I had changed the subject so as not to beat an already dead horse about LU dress code, when I started talking to the frazzled puppy.  At the sound of direct attention, he literally “crapped his pants.”  My heart broke.  Clearly this dog had been abused, was terrified of all people and was now lost in the stairwells of an apartment complex where every hall looks exactly the same.  Though I felt badly, he wouldn’t let me come anywhere near him; so I abandoned my hope of helping him find his way home and went up to my apartment.  He followed me, and I literally had to slip in the apartment door in order to prevent him from bolting in along with me.

I returned to my conversation with Christina and told her about the stray dog, trying to dismiss the fact that he was wandering the corridor outside but found I couldn’t.  I excused myself from our conversation, opened the door and was about to step out and look for the wiener dog when I feel him brush past me and into the living room of my apartment.

Wiener dog was IN my apartment!!

Crap.  Literally.  Evidently, he thought he’d finally found his way home, but then saw me and proceed to poop in my dining room floor.  Amazing.  How does this happen to me?

Now it’s me and the wiener dog, and he is petrified.  What ensued was a brilliant game of cat and mouse as he ran from one side of my apartment to the other trying to stay out of arms reach.  I tried coaxing him with food, I tried treats, I tried toys, but 10 minutes later I am sitting on my dining room chair blocking the hall in a stare down.  What am I going to do?!?  Whose dog IS this??  He had a collar but no tag.  I started talking to him, yup, we had a chat.  I used soft tones and slowly moved towards him, cooing.  I wish someone had videotaped this.  Minutes later, I was with in a fingers length of his collar and one more sweet word linked my index finger around it and began dragging him to the door.

While I felt badly doing this, I had no alternative.  This dog was not going willingly and there had to be an owner out there somewhere looking for this sausage intruder!  I dragged him down the four flights of stairs and we were approaching the parking lot when he immediately back peddled and started to wriggle out of his collar.  Shocked, and not wanting to be left with just a collar, I released him and watched his chubby little bottom waddle/run back up the four flights of stairs.

What now.  Do I call ASPCA?  He has to belong to someone.  So I wander out into the lot looking for anyone that seemed to be looking for something…and I spot a girl.  She’s wandering down the middle of the lot, on the phone, but a slight look of panic on her face.  “Excuse me, are you missing a dog?”  “YES!”

Come to find out I was correct, this dog had been a rescue dog. “Roscoe” had been absued by his former owners and was terrified of cars, open spaces, and was just trying to find his way home.  We climbed back up to my apartment and found him pacing on the third level.  She called him over and immediate recognition flashed across his face.

And there it was.  I had done my good deed for the day.  I walked back into my apartment. All that was left to do was clean up the poop on my dining room floor, and ponder what kind of a person it takes to abuse a defensless animal…


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