Working at home has a completely different dynamic than working in an office. For one things, the distractions are different. While there is no obnoxious co-worker hanging over the cubicle wall bragging about his son's latest football achievements, there are things going on.
For some reason, our neighborhood has recently been overrun with dogs.
I am not a dog person; I am deathly afraid of dogs. It goes back to my childhood. It's not easy to admit, because most people truly love dogs.
I swear there is something in my DNA that sends out a swift radar signal to canines within twenty miles.
For the past few years, there's been a carefree golden retriever who thinks he lives with us. His radar goes off the minute I want to leave the house, arrive home, or go outside on the deck. His aim in life is to get inside our house; I am the target and he is the four-legged cannon ball headed right for me.
Neighbors probably wonder why I pick up the mail from the car; it is because of this beast and others.
Our neighbors the urban chicken ranchers have a new German Shepherd which has the face of a Nazi general. He likes to chase cars and stands in in the middle of the street waiting for one to pass. He must have a very dull and boring existence as we live in suburbia and the traffic isn't much.
I swear he knows when I'm about to do my daily errands. I see him half a block away, standing like Rin Tin Tin on the top of a mountain, triumphant and waiting for his lunch (which would be my ancient Honda.) His ears stand at full attention, and he looks like the proverbial cat that is about to eat the canary. Which would be me.
He chases me and every day he jumps out of the way just at the moment I would almost hit him. I have no intention of hitting him. Of course I'm going about ten miles per hour, so his level of excitement is probably diminished. And he never catches me. Every day, he tries.
This morning on my errands I went to the pet food store for bird feed and suet cakes (another distraction out my window are my feeding birds).
Entering the store right behind me was a woman with a large boxer on a leash. The store owners seemed to know the woman and the dog, and one of them called out the dog's name.
Did "Killer" run to the counter to see the store owner?
No, the drooling, germ-filled beast went right for me, and knocked the bird seed out of my grasp and me to the floor.
And of course I react as I always do, like Lucy in "A Charlie Brown Christmas"....."ohhhh, dog germs...."
Killer's owner was embarrassed and helped me gather my wits about me.
I came home, and there waiting for me was Yappy, the world's meanest tiny dog; the sunny golden who wanted to tell me about his morning; the Erwin Rommel lookalike; and two new evil-looking black mutts I've named the Death Pack. All waiting -- all in my yard like unwanted sentries.
It's so great to be popular.