Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Love Our Dog, But . . .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We have the most wonderful dog. She’s got a sweet temperament, never has accidents in the house, gets along with other animals and people, including little kids, and is very well trained. I love her dearly. The only problem is that, after watching our previous two dogs get old and be euthanized, I vowed I’d never have another dog. Not only is it heartbreaking to lose them – they’re also a ton of work and responsibility. And I’m the one who always gets stuck with both.

She came to us two years ago, when I met a woman who was looking for a home for her dog. I casually asked her what kind of dog it was, and she went on to describe the EXACT dog that my husband wanted. Maddie is a golden doodle (retriever and poodle), and she’s the light color he wanted and the smaller size (30 pounds), being part miniature poodle, instead of the standard size.

Anyway, I resisted, but we picked her up after my husband swore that none of the responsibility for Maddie would be mine. He’d take care of everything – vet and grooming appointments, feeding, yard clean-up, etc. Yeah, right. Little did we know then that he’d begin working full time again (he was retired) and that his work would include occasional travel.

Plus, Maddie’s a very high-energy dog, and my husband’s the type whose ass is rooted to his recliner. So I’m the official Frisbee thrower several times a day, and everything else (except poop scooping, which is where I draw the line) has fallen on me.

Well, last week, my beloved was working out of town. On a hot and muggy day, I was throwing the Frisbee to Maddie (and throwing poorly, I might add), and it went into the woods that run along the back of our yard. Maddie ran in after it and ended up in some poison ivy I didn’t know was there. My husband really suffers from poison ivy, much worse than most people. So I knew I’d have to give Maddie a bath to prevent her from infecting him.

I was already sweating from the heat when I had to lift her into the laundry tub and struggle to keep her from jumping out. I got most of her shampooed, but she wouldn’t let me wash her head or face or rinse her off. (This is why we take her to a dog groomer!) So I grabbed the wet, squirming brat of a dog and carried her, dripping, up the stairs and dumped her into our tub. I knelt on the tile floor and finished the job, while she resisted me the entire time.

Then, when I took her out of the tub, she squirmed away before I could dry her. There was water all over the place. By the time I cleaned up both rooms, the whole episode cost me over an hour of time I didn’t have. And that was after having thrown that damned Frisbee four times that day in miserable heat and humidity.

And here’s the kicker – the next day, I couldn’t find the poison ivy I was sure I’d seen the day before. So it might well have been all for nothing. I feel like an idiot, but I’m still going to blame my husband. After all, he wanted the dog!

Photo: Maddie 2009
From: S.Laurence ©



Sunday, June 13, 2010

My To-Do List

Sunday, June 13, 2010
I’m a list-maker. I not only need lists – I love them. You see, I vacillate between being organized and in complete disarray. So lists are essential. Hell, my lists have lists. My Franklin Planner is always in my car while I run errands, so that I can get that little endorphin rush as I check off each item. It’s my version of crack cocaine.

So imagine how pleased I was after taking at least an hour late one night (actually at 3:00 a.m.) to come up with everything I needed to do the next day. I made an amazing list of errands to run, phone calls to make and various tasks to complete. It was a work of art.

I had to go to the post office, the produce market, my pottery class to pick up a finished piece, the bank, the Apple store, the mall to return something, and on and on. I was determined to do everything on that list that day, which never happens. I usually end up moving items to the next day in my planner and making a new list to carry in my purse. But not this time – it was all getting done that day.

My first stop was the post office to mail some bills and birthday cards. Not surprisingly, the bills and cards slid to the floor of the car when I turned into the post office lot. So I had to pull into a parking space and gather all the envelopes. But within seconds, they were all in the mail, and I was ready to tackle the next items on the list.

The only problem was I couldn’t find the list. It must have fallen between the seats, and once that happens, I have to get out of the car and look under the seats. So I did that, but the list wasn’t there. I knew I’d taken it into the car, because I’d looked at it a few minutes earlier.

I soon figured out that my amazing list had been mixed in with the envelopes I’d mailed and was now in the bowels of that big blue box, never to be seen again. It was the best list I’d ever made, and it was gone. As my son used to say, “Sucks to be you, Mom.” Yep, it does.


Thursday, June 3 - An Unbelievably Insane Day

It’s been almost an hour since I got home from my nightmare day, and my head’s still throbbing. I had three must-do things for today: have a TB test read, take my three birds in for wing and nail trims and pick up my niece’s birthday gift. And at some point, I knew I had to meet my husband to change cars, so that he could get my wheels balanced at the tire store for a second time (a crazy story that I won’t even go into).

The day started badly when the lawn crew showed up a day later, and about three hours earlier, than usual. Apparently, all the rain we’ve had put them behind schedule. Because of the horribly loud mower, followed 10 minutes later by the hateful sound of their weed whackers, I ended up getting only four hours of sleep . . . again.

I did stuff around the house ‘til 2:30 and then started scurrying to get the birds’ travel cages ready and load them into the car. The plan was to get the birds in and out quickly and then get my TB test checked, which had to be done by 4:00.

Because of construction and rush-hour traffic, I didn’t get to the pet store until 3:20. (So much for having the TB test read.) The owner was helping a new customer, explaining how the store’s discount card works, and there was another customer ahead of me, so I ended up waiting until 4:00. By that time, my hair was damp with sweat from the temperature in the store, and I was worn out dying to get out of there.

While the birds were being trimmed (at least another 20 – 25 minutes), I walked around the store in a state of near heat exhaustion, checking out the parrots and looking around. Some interesting cage-top playscapes that were placed on a ledge overlooking the parrot “day care” area caught my eye.

They were brightly-colored acrylic, with little toys hanging from them. I was curious about the price, which was on the lower front side of one, but I didn’t have my glasses on, and the light was poor. So I tilted it ever so slightly to help me see the numbers and was horrified to find that the top wasn’t glued down to the base!

The unattached pieces toppled from the ledge to the tops of the cages below, and several broken pieces were scattered over the floor. It was at that moment that I realized I was buying that damned playscape, for which I had no need. The store owner, who was in a back room with his assistant and my birds, didn’t know what had happened. So, of course, I told him.

He found all the pieces and put the thing back together as much as he could, while I apologized profusely. He was not happy, and I was really upset that I had to spend $66 because of carelessness. It was my fault, but I’m disappointed that he didn’t sell it to me at his cost, since he would’ve been whole on the deal, and he had at least two more available to sell. I’d been doing business with him since he bought the place years ago, and it would’ve made good business sense to charge me only cost. But he made me pay full retail, and I won’t be going there again, for anything.

When I left the pet store, I called my husband and told him to meet me at the tire store. As I drove, I mentally berated myself for wasting time that morning and making it impossible to get everything done. And I drove right past the tire store exit. No big deal, you say? Well, having to go back in the direction of rush-hour traffic kept my husband waiting an extra 20 minutes. Another screw-up.

Finally, I was on my way home from the tire store, when, after dealing with unbearable traffic yet again, I saw a huge snapping turtle in the street. It was in the middle of my lane on a street that runs along a large wetlands area. It was just sitting there looking around. I suspected that it might have had a close encounter with a car, because one leg was tucked inside its shell, and the turtle just didn’t look right.

Naturally, I stopped my car, backed it up near the turtle and put on my emergency flashers. I had to move that turtle. But how? One dumb ass drove by and hollered out the window “Kill it” and “Run it over.” I wanted to run him over. I tried to nudge the turtle back toward the curb with my shoe, but he wouldn’t move. I had to pick him up. Remembering that a friend of mine almost lost her thumb to gangrene when a turtle scratched her, I got a bag from my husband’s Jeep. I used it to protect my fingers from the turtle’s nails while I grabbed the back of its shell.

Well, the turtle was so upset at being picked up that it started wriggling like crazy, and I ended up losing my grip. I dropped the poor thing, and it landed on its shell. Thankfully, I was leaning toward the ground and not standing upright when I dropped it. It was able to right itself, and it peed right there on the spot. Thinking it was going to die, tears welled up in my eyes.

Then that ungrateful beast opened his jaws and was inching toward me - he was going to bite me! (Notice how, when it became threatening, it became a “he”?) I ended up getting him to the curb, and then I left, worrying all evening that he was probably dying. I can’t stand it when an animal suffers, even if it is an ingrate.

I wanted to tell my husband what had happened, but my iPhone was gone. I’d left it in my car, which was probably on a hoist while some mechanic was playing with my phone. And I couldn’t even let my husband know to look for it before he left the tire store. I was frantic. Luckily, I got home in time to call him before he left, and he confirmed that my phone was still in the car. What a relief – I didn’t have to call the police to put the store in lock-down until my phone was recovered.

It was at that point that I realized I hadn’t picked up my niece’s birthday gift and that now I’d have to do that and get my TB test read tomorrow. So I’m in for another loony day, because I’ll be leaving town for the weekend and have a ton of things to do before I go. I’m afraid to think of what else might go wrong.