- On the 1st Day of Dog Day, my true dog gave to me, a back yard soaked in dog peeeee.
Our 11-year-old yellow lab T has started getting up at random intervals during the night and walking up and down the stairs before settling back down outside our room. What is going through his mind when he does this? I’m not sure. But a funny new quirk in that funny, quirky dog… 🙂
Our 11 year old lab T is flat out old. Not on-the verge-of-death-not-knowing-where-he-is kind of old, but unpleasantly old. For example, he used to lay at Wife M’s feet, his legs tucked beneath him, his head resting on one paw, lifting his head alertly if anything caught his attention but otherwise silent and still. Now, he lays at Wife M’s feet, his four legs splayed out on either side, his head plopped on the ground, smacking his lips with an occassional belch that seems to come from an unspeakably deep place in his digestive system. The entire display is quite unpleasant, and kills my appetite for breakfast 🙂
Our dogs are well-trained – as long we issue them the right commands. There are certain commands (“Stay,” “Fetch”) that are doomed to failure. But there are some (“lay down”) they are great at, as long as we issue them while they are already in the act of doing them. Otherwise, we are screwed. I am sure there are great dog gratiners out there. But we aren’t some of them 🙂
There is no justice in the world – just ask the 1,300 pound cow that gave its life so my 80 pound dog could eat tonight. Although it probably makes no difference to the cow, I offer a word of thank you to said cow on behalf of my dogs…
Last Fall, my wife arrived at our house with a kitten. He was a cute little guy who’d followed her home. I recognized the kitten – I’d seen him in front of our neighbor’s house a few hours earlier. “I think he is lost,” M said. But he didn’t have a collar. We took him to a 24-hour vet to see if he was microchipped — but he wasn’t. What else could we do? We bought him some food, a little kitty bed and some kitty litter and housed him for the night. He was a curious little guy – he explored our house, purred up a storm while he explored our couch, and even sniffed the dogs. Our older dog, T, went to sleep, and T2, the younger and smaller one, ran away to the other room. We actually really liked having the little kitty… In the meantime, we posted ads on Craigslist, our neighborhood websites and so on. I’ve never been a cat person, but even I was hoping on some level that maybe we could keep him. But the next day his owner reached out to us. He’d slipped out the door ujnexpectedly when she’d removed his collar for a few moments. She was ecstatic he was safe. So our friend Bonk was gone, just like that. But I still think of him from time to time, like right now when Johnnie in Night Of rescued a cat.
When we got our dog T, wife M was wise enough to carve out a small area of our backyard and mark that as his toilet, so only a small portion of our yard is soiled with dog waste at any given time (I pick it up 1-3x per day to keep it reasonably clean, although I can’t imagine what it would look like under a blue light). But today it dawned on me that in addition to being a toilet, that this area is a stuffy graveyard… What happens is we buy the dogs a stuffed toy, they play with it for a day or two, then carry it out with them to use the bathroom. T, of course, plops his toy down next to his toilet, then promptly forgets about it when he trots back to the house, so over time the stuffy gets soaked with rain and (even worse) dog urine. Initially, we are diligent about T dropping the toy before going to the back yard, but eventually someone forgets (or one of the kids lets him out unattended), and the process repeats itself. Over the past few months, 4 or 5 of these stuffies have accumulated in his area, so that today it looks like a graveyard of broken down and discarded dog toys. At one time, I collected them, washed them on “sanitary” setting, and returned them to the dogs, but in addition to my feeling guilty about the waste of clean water to do this, I’ve discovered this is fruitless – within a day or two, all the stuffies have gathered once again in Dog T’s toilet.
When we left for vacation 3 weeks ago, our lab was old but reasonably functional. But in the three weeks we were gone, he aged an awful lot. He barely gets up anymore, even for food, and is having a difficult time finding his food bowl and gets confused that it is okay to eat. In the three weeks, it is like he went from an old person who is a little confused at times to drooling in a wheelchair. He was loved in our absence (our son and our dog-crazy friend watched him) and exercised daily during that time, but it is like the character said in The Sun Also Rises, it happened gradually then suddenly. So it seems to be with our dog’s aging. Poor guy.
A new app can now track whether a dog walker is walking the dog. But brother strikes again… What happened to trust? Where we trust that 90% of people do their jobs, so there is no need for micromanagement? We all worry about Big Brother, but perpetuate it by tracking everyone and everything. 😦
Me: “Go potty.”
Dog: (stares at me, as if to say, huh?).
Me: “Go Potty.”
Dog: (Rrreeetttcccchh! Vomits his entire dinner on the lawn. Looks back at me, wags tail timidly, as if to say, Is it okay that I did that?).
Dog: (Perks up, takes two steps towards the hosue as though his job is done and he can return to his bed. Has not yet gone potty. When he finally goes, I swear it is at least several quarts and I have no clue where all that water came from or, more importantly, why he needed to be asked to go potty).