Friday, December 7, 2007

All Before Nine in the Morning

I woke up this morning from an odd dream. It had to do with giving birth, and in it, Bill said, "Patience, if you just let go, I think it will come right out." Made me think about the trouble I'm having with my novel. In my dream I didn't "know nuthin' about birthin' no baby," and in real life I don't know nuthin' 'bout writin' no novel, but perhaps if I just let go, it will come right out. Even in my dreams, Bill is so wise.

We ate our yummy organic non-instant oatmeal with real maple syrup and started right in on walking the waggle. Very Old Dog has been having a bit of trouble lately. The ligaments in one of his toes on his right front foot just gave up working at all last week. So this one toe is flat instead of arched like its neighbors. And it hurts. I've been giving him some Trammadol, and wrapping his foot in Vetrap, and that has helped a lot. We've been able to do our usual walk that way, around just one block with the Lady Maria.

This morning, after I wrapped his foot and put on his coat, Very Old Dog went into a crate and wouldn't come out. (He doesn't even have a crate; he has a special bed, so he got in Maria's.) He just looked at me with one ear kattywonkus and his worry wrinkles had sprouted on his forehead. For all of his thirteen and a half years, there was not a dog in the house more enthusiastic about going "walkies." Back at the farm, he would leap straight off all fours like a pogo sticking cartoon character as we headed off. We walked miles in the farm fields on lead and off, chasing deer and fox, squirrels and groundhogs, cottontails and the wind. And for the last five years we've walked all over this southern city, never shedding the leads, but losing none of the enthusiasm. Trading sunsets for river views, fields for sidewalks, deer for Stupid City Squirrels, fox for admiring strangers. Even two weeks ago, he was trying to pogo stick at the sight of an Evil Kitty, which is how he injured his toe.

But this morning, he went in that crate, and he made it clear that he did not want to go. So I told him it was fine and gave him his biscuit with the rest of the dogs waiting their turns to walk, and Maria and I headed out alone. I was crying a little bit.

We got to the next corner and Maria and I got attacked by the Evilest Evil Kitty of Them All. It's our new neighbor's cat, and I'm sure he is a wonderful companion. He is certainly quite the Character. He goes on walks with their dogs (though he's loose), and he spends a lot of time outside Stalking the Neighborhood. We heard a great commotion in the leaves to our left, and turned to see the Evilest Evil Kitty of Them All charging full speed at Maria and me. Yikes. At the last second, he charged up a tree right next to us, stopped on the first branch and blew a big raspberry right at the stupefied Maria. If a dog could stand with her jaw down around her ankles, Maria did. She looked up at me with big eyes.

I gave her a yummy for having not barked and we proceeded. We went about ten steps when I saw a very large, loose dog come around the corner of the next house. My heart jumped. Maria would be so vulnerable. Oh, thank God, it was our sweet neighbor Woody. Woody looks like he is maybe a Rottweiler/German Shepherd cross and is just the most wonderful guy. He belongs to our friends, Keyth and Elaine, and they take the very best care of him. They walk him miles and miles and pick up his poop and he's always beautifully groomed and he is loved and socialized and oh my good Lord, what a relief it was Woody. I called him and he came up grinning and got a treat and we headed back to his house. I knew Keyth and Elaine would be frantic that he had gone AWOL.

I rang the doorbell at Woody's house. Now, I must describe my typical morning walkies appearance. I am not a morning person. I usually get up, eat breakfast, and start to walk. Then comes the showering, getting dressed in real clothes, brushing teeth, putting on make up, doing hair part of the day. So I can look a little scary when I walk, but my neighbors are a tolerant bunch, and they're used to me.

I rang the doorbell again, somewhat urgently. Woody had run around to the back of the house, presumably to the site of his escape, but I couldn't see him. Luckily, I didn't see Keyth coming down the stairs, as the door surprisingly opened. OH! Oh, dear! Oh my!

My father had wanted to name me Prudence, but my mother prevailed. Something must have stuck, because I really am a prude.

I had rousted Keyth out of his shower. Keyth grew up in California. I don't know why I mention it here, but it seems important. He was holding a towel in front of his wet unadorned self. I don't know anything that was going on below his bare, nekked shoulders, because my eyes never went below shoulder level.

"Woody's loose!" I blurted, my eyes fixed firmly on Keyth's face.
"Oh, OK, wow, thanks," said Keyth. I don't know which sight was more scary. My morning walkies appearance, or Keyth's birthday suit. I did not see him turn around (thank God in heaven) because Maria and I were already scurrying down the sidewalk, back on our merry way.

Well, after that, the rest of the dogs' walks were just tame. Never mind the eight Stupid City Squirrellies during Fat Charlie, Mama Pajama, and Swede William's walk. "Oh, that's nothing!" I said to them. Puhff. And the bus full of high school students touring the galleries who thought it was clever to bark at Sam I Am and Lindy Loo? Forget about it. I just waved at the kids, delighted that they were fully clothed. "Oh yeah, no one has ever barked at a dog before. You're so original and clever, even the dogs aren't impressed. Have a great day!" I said under my grateful breath.

Very Old Dog did not lobby to go on any of the walks, so I was confident that I had understood his wishes. I gave him an extra treat, and he is now on my lap as I type. Such a huge change in our lives.

All before nine in the morning.
Hug your hounds!


  1. OMG Patience! I'm sorry but we just can't stop laughing at your picture! You're just so down to earth and NORMAL!!!! We just love you so! What a hysterical story!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

  2. (spst...Pee....there are a couple of typos in the fifth paragraph.:))

    Great story. I particularly love the photos. :) Sending gentle hugs to Giacomino.

  3. Hi Patience! HA HA! Love your pic! My mom/secretary has a similar morning real tidying up of herself until I'm walked & fed & have been cuddled, bellyrubbed & burped..OK..I burp on my own..but everyone needs a little nurturing now & then...

    Love & Licks,

  4. You have the virtue to make us laugh pretty loud!
    Enjoy your weekend

  5. Hounds have been hugged, as per instructions. So glad someone else goes out "unadorned" in the mornings. Rich, of course, always is well pulled together and looks groomed even when he has not looked in the mirror. I, on the other hand, have a morning face only the dogs can love.

    Gentle hug to Old Dog, we hope he is feeling well enough to join you in the morning. And great big terrier hugs to you and all the rest

    Gussie and his muzzer

  6. Maggie and Mitch- that's the first time EVER I was called normal!! Thanks for being so nice :-)
    Mel- thanks! I think I got 'em?
    Randi- you wouldn't believe the volume at which a whippet can burp! Good for you!
    Lorenza- I'm so glad your smart vet is going to make you feel so much better - glad we could bring you and your mom a smile.
    And thanks and smiles to Gussie and your muzzer... your kind words are much appreciated.

  7. Patience
    One of the reasons I like living in the west village is i can go out with a parka over my pajamas, so believe me you look very pulled together.
    I was sad to hear that very old dog is in pain and doesn't want to go walk..please give him soothing pats and hugs and kisses from Asta and me.

    Lady Maria you should not even consider staying to help clean after one of our's our pleasure..we had such a great time, and as for Asta and Sam i Am, well she thinks he's pretty special and needed some comfort and warmth..I'm glad they got home safely and that the Lady Maria enjoyed herself with all her hairy friends
    smoochie kisses from Asta
    hugs from me

  8. Patience normal, hahaha!!

    Love the pics.

    Smooches to dear sweet Giacomino.


  9. A brilliant tale (and picture!), but of course, tinged with sadness. Let's hope that VOD is simply going to slow down and enjoy a more sedentary period of his life...

  10. What a hysterically funny thing to happen! Good thing that he didn't drop the towel! My what big eyes you already have! Valerie

  11. So that is the time to see Keyth naked... I'll have to take note of that. I brought my bf over yesterday but you were not home. What gives?

  12. Oh haha that made mom laugh. She said that was great but wanted to know if Keyth was cute why weren't you looking? hehe

  13. What a day that started out to be. I hope it got better.

    Love and Koobuss Kisses,

  14. I wonder if Very Old Dog would enjoy going on walks in a stroller or wagon since his toe is hurting him?

  15. OMG Pee, I had such a laugh with this last night and had to pop back and read it again and comment! LOL! The pictures are just p r i c e l e s s !

    Hugs, Ane

  16. Well, I believe VOD is just a little psychic and had no intention of being embarassed!! Here's to less eventful morning walks!! Martha and P-Doggy

  17. Such a great story. Thanks for the hearty laugh and lift. And, thanks for stopping by to see me. You are, indeed, a special person.

  18. Dear sweet Beeners, your hunman needs you to keep her out of trouble. She looked so shocked in the photos! I can totaly imagine her horror when the neighbor appeared! Give your human an extra hug.

    Ms. Snickers sends her biggest smooches to you, her one and only love.

  19. I'm sure Keyth's coming from California had everything to do with the nothing he had on at the door!
    I'll bet that Evilest of Evil Kitties is the same one that comes into our basement and eats the landlord's cat's catfood.
    Just one question: Was Keyth carrying a camera in his free hand?

    Sam-I-Am's Linda

  20. Dear Prudence..err..Patience (too bad-we could have been a Beatles duo!!) well,never go looking for an old doggie stationary supply place called "The Hairy Beast" if you're prudish-so NOT what I was looking for!! Love ya anyway-Martha My Dear


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