Around 8:30, they all got restless, and I ended up with a handful of leashes, struggling with the dogs. Loki just bullishly powers ahead and takes charge. Leo tries all sorts of sneaky ways to oops suddenly slip by and end up in charge. He's the instigator of the bunch. Buddha, who is easily twice the size of the other two combined, does not want to take charge. Instead, he's passive-aggressive. Whichever way the other dogs are going, he'll just lean his weight a little off to the side so that the others will have to struggle to go the direction they want. If the geography doesn't permit this, he'll just suddenly stop and plant, jerking the other dogs to a halt, and then start walking as if nothing had happened.
So we made it most of the way around the block, and as we're coming up on an intersection we come across a passel of people coming from the ice cream store at the corner. Dad's pushing the baby carriage, Mom's got the toddler, and there's 3 other young kids. And they're all holding up ice cream cones at close to dog-nose level. So I try to rush the dogs across the street so we don't meet up in close proximity.
"Look at that!" says Dad. "He's got three dogs!"
"He's got four dogs!" says one of the kids.
"No, no. He's got three dogs."
"He's got five dogs!" says the kid.
"There's only three dogs, dear," says Mom.
"He's got ninety-nine dogs!" shouts the kid.
I hurried down the street, wondering how I was going to feed them all.