This morning jet lag was still toying with my eyelids, not that they are super light and springy in the morning anyway, but their lack of bounce was a bit more pronounced than usual.

Unfortunately, Lola my Foxy Cleopatra standard poodle had spent the week with 5 AM morning dogs while I moved to the rhythm of Pacific Coast time in San Diego. As far as she was concerned, I was being a lazy butted baboushka. A snarky little bark was enough to express her objection.

Lola had missed last Sunday’s duck hunt as expected When Ducks Fly South, so her deprived prey drive left her etiquette-challenged, a foray into alpha dog territory which I quickly intercepted. Teenaducks are bad enough. Who needs a teen dog first thing in the morning? But just in case the yelp really was the “gotta-go-NOW” omen, I grabbed a few toothpicks and scooted her out the condo.

There is something eerie about early morning Sunday walks in downtown Toronto. If it weren’t for the occasional encounter with other canine-human pairs, I’d be feeling a little like Will Smith in “I Am Legend” whenever I pass the deserted condo construction site down the street. Luckily it’s just a remake of a Charlton Heston movie and purely fictional.

If you ask me though, I think a 40 something French Canadian dancing down the post-Saturday-night-apocalyptic streets of Toronto’s “nouveau” club district with her sexy Lola Ginger Rogers prancing partner and the duo warding off mutant ducks lurking in the shadows would be a more compelling adaptation. Seriously. It could be as terrifying as an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

What a relief when I realized my brain was still sleeping. There were no half-gargled duck musings coming from beyond the “CAUTION Hard Hat Area” sign. Phew! So I gave my head a shake and continued the morning poop walk.

I had just made it past the covered pedestrian walkway when I slammed into the invisible dog-not-moving-anymore wall. I turned around and saw Lola’s paws planted firmly on the pavement and her body rigid.

“Here comes more teen dog attitude,” I thought to myself.  I nudged the leash and said “Keep walking”, but instead she started to back up and drag me along with her.

Don’t be fooled by the frou-frou do. Standard Poodles have the hind strength of a mini-horse.

Little did I know, that a serious-looking duck-like creature with work boots, a white hardhat, and rolled up blueprints under her wing had turned the corner of the walkway between us and the park.

As I struggled with my back to the approaching creature, trying to coax Lola to keep moving, Lola started barking. Before I had a chance to turn around, I felt a heavy feather slap on my shoulder.

I jolted forwards and turned around to come nose to beak with an unusually tall duck. Lola scooched up to me and hid behind my legs with her head poking around my left thigh.

“Qua quack!” (You’re late) she quacked with her wings on her hips.

She unrolled the blueprint, grabbed the pencil stuck in her temple feathers and began drawing lines and figures on the paper.

As I looked closer, I noticed that the architectural sketches did not quite translate to the building she had emerged from. It looked more like a circuit board with processors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, switches, light emitting diodes, and a mess of multicoloured wires.

The title? Karen’s Brain.

The architect? Ms. Waddlefoot, Professional Duckineer.

Ms. Waddlefoot was quick to explain the urgency of her Sunday intervention. She had been analyzing this circuit ever since the start of the Gangnam migration in The Ducks Are Quacking and just realized that the elevated ratio of resistors to capacitors was interfering with her master plan.

The redesign was instantaneous in human terms. She handed the new map to me with all but a few key resistors plucked out— sleep, food, exercise, meditation, family, friends, service, laughter. Ms. Waddlefoot placed her wing tip on the main processor chip and all went silent.

“The rest,” she etched into my brain, “deserve no audience with a Woman Not Waiting.”

The list was extensive: fear of failure, fear of success, analysis paralysis, overwhelm, doubt, fear of ridicule, unworthiness, destructive habits, loss of hope, and so on.

“Take these loose wires here,” she continued, “reconnect them directly to the I/O bus, flick that switch over there, and watch those overflowing capacitors charge through the diodes to light up the world. Just quack if you need me. Oh and don’t forget to apply The Fitnoduck Principles.”

And poof! She vanished, sucking up a trail of crushed golden egg shell from inside the construction site with her all the way to the heavens.

Is the Great Duck in the Sky trying to get your attention as well?

What kind of duck do you imagine she is?

Ms. Waddlefoot has her own schedule. She does not wait for permission to intervene.