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 ©



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