Ivan and Dasa stood in the grass, a safe distance away, and watched suspiciously as I hosed the paint off the patio. This was not the result I had hoped for when I overheard someone at aerobics talking about using her Golden Retriever, Lolly’s pawprints to make artsy frames, stationery, etc. She made it sound so easy.
In my defense, Ivan and Dasa’s feet are a lot prettier than a Golden Retriever’s. On those dreadful occasions when they encounter moisture and leave little footprints on the patio, I always think their footprints look like flowers. So, when I heard about Lolly, I thought only of how sweet those little flower-like footprints would look, and mentally skated past the whole dreary matter of logistics. Very much like the cartoon that shows someone scribbling equations all over a chalkboard with “And Then a Miracle Occurs” written at a crucial stage, my mind skipped merrily over the how-on-earth-am-I-going-to-get-the-Munchkins-to-cooperate part?
I assembled my washable kids’ paint and selection of poster board & paper on the patio while the Munchkins followed me watchfully. When I added freeze-dried chicken bits to the collection, they looked decidedly more interested. “OK. Nice day, chicken treats, we’re in—at least for the chicken part.”
My plan unraveled quickly. Ivan and Dasa were happy to eat chicken. Dasa allowed me to dip her foot into the paint, and then decided she was terrified of the paper and scampered into the grass. Ivan also allowed me to dip his foot into paint, but he too decided he could not possibly walk on the paper.
Ivan and Dasa’s plan was as follows: I will not step into the paint. I will not step on paint rolled across a poster board. I will walk all over the blank poster board until I have paint on my feet. Then, I will not walk on the poster board. I will not walk on the paper if you dip my foot into the paint. I will not do this with any color you try.
Ivan and Dasa accidentally stepped on the edge of the poster board a couple of times as they reached for the chicken bits I held over the middle. Somehow, this was not the colorful collage of tiny flower-like footprints I envisioned.
After I conceded my grand experiment did not go as planned, Ivan was happy to sit on my lap and allow me to praise him lavishly while I washed his feet with warm water and heated towels. Dasa thought the entire process was torture.
Ivan and Dasa have beautiful feet and leave little footprints that look like flowers; however, my Munchkins are not Golden Retrievers. Thank goodness! If they unquestioningly did whatever I asked, I’d be worried that aliens had replaced them with mindless clones. No need to panic, I think the aliens would soon realize their error, return the Munchkins, and sigh with relief.