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Dog Days of Summer

June 12 2017
June 12 2017

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There are days when it’s hard to get up and get moving.  Everyone has those days, right?  The kind of days where you manage to get out of bed but being curled up in a ball on the couch feels pretty good…much better than the idea of exercising, showering, or going to work.  I’m having that day right now.  I have a meeting in an hour but I’ve barely managed to sit upright.  I forgot to write this memo over the weekend so I’m cramming it in now. My husband is making breakfast, feeding the dogs, washing dishes, showered and dressed, and ready for his day… basically bustling around me making a lot of noise but I don’t feel guilty nor pressured to contribute.  I’m not hung over or anything… we had a busy weekend; mostly surrounded by people which for me is quite exhausting.  I didn’t sleep in my own bed, didn’t have a shower, and ate food that I normally don’t eat.  Yesterday, we rolled back into town and I went to meet a client, shopped at Whole Foods, walked the dogs, and got some last minute work done before collapsing on the couch to watch a mindless movie.  Ah yes, those dogs. The cute, furry, sweet animals that are a part of our family. They are a pain in the butt; mostly at opposite times. The little, old Jack Russell, Roxie gets up 3-5 times a night, click click clicks around the room until we get up, let her outside, wait for her to wander around, get a drink of water and ambles slowly back to her bed where she’s asleep again instantly.  Only to repeat two or three hours later.  She is the reason for most of my tired mornings, yet she has the luxury of sleeping all day so I’ve been nudging her awake every chance I get, so far to no avail. The other one, a lab/Australian shepherd mix (Chelsea) on the other hand sleeps just fine. She’s a pain because she either stares at me from 1 foot away, sits on me and nudges me for a rub, or turns her back on me in a huff and glares at me from across the room.  In all cases, I can’t get away from her.

Sometimes I wonder if other dog owners feel this way about their dogs or if they really do love them all the time.  I would never hurt an animal but often I fantasize about life without them. I see photos on social media of all my friends with their dogs and everyone just looks so happy together. I try to post the same just to fit in but the truth of it is, they test my patience all the time…. When I run with Chelsea, she tries to chase other animals, once landing me face down in the middle of an intersection and another time diving into a protected marsh, upsetting about 100 birds and their babies.  Yesterday, she tore away from me, barking ferociously at a Jeep and then wrapped herself in circles around the leash as she spotted some deer and tried to give chase.  It’s hardly ever uneventful.

Roxie came from a friend whose husband got ill and passed away.  We took her in as an old dog, hoping to give her back when he got well. She’s almost blind, almost deaf, and smells like she’s dying on the inside. The week we got her, she started having seizures. So now she’s medicated and spacey.  She forgets all day long that she was just outside to pee 3 minutes before so she paws at the front door constantly.  Never mind that the back door is open all day long for her to go in and out. She paces constantly, claws at her empty food bowl, and lurks silently at my feet when I’m cooking so inevitably gets stepped on or kicked. She still has those Jack Russell crazy moments where she’ll dash off at full speed and spin… she startles easily and that gets her going but because of her eyesight, she’s gone head first into doors, fences, and open cabinets, likely further rattling her poor little brain.


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