Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sucky day I laugh at you hahahahahahahahaha. Be gone.

Mama Pajama hadn't done her trademark morning spinzoomies in a week. This was not unheard of, but troubling. She had left some food in her bowl on a few occasions, and a couple of times she couldn't make the stairs and had to be carried. Today, the 29th of September, she is sixteen years and three months old, so none of this is surprising. But.

Yesterday morning, I could tell from the way she bounced and wagged from our bedroom to the kitchen door this was going to be a zoomie day, and I was ready, iPad in hand.

She outdid herself!

We came in (juggling the breedable Tindra with the Boys with Balls - her father and brother - so we would have NONE OF THAT), fed everyone their breakfast, gave Tindra a chewie in her protected castle tower, and sat down to my own. (Breakfast, not chewie.) I went to upload my treasure to YouTube. (Have I lost you? I need more coffee. I'm back to the video of Mama Pajama  doing her zoomies.) (And this is probably enough parentheses for one post.) (Already.) I pushed the 'upload to YouTube' button.





Crash, crash, crash. I hadn't had but a sip of coffee at that point and the Boys with Balls were singing, as they had been since about 5:00 AM, addling my two functioning brain cells further, so I repeated the futile behavior about 1,738 times with, surprisingly, the exact same results. Crash. And then I surmised the problem.

iOS 7. The dirty little bastard. Dammit!

If you haven't downloaded it, friends: don't. Enough on that. You can thank me later. Nothing works, what does work takes ten times longer, and it's oh so frustrating.

Since Wednesday Paducah has been hosting BBQ on the River. Six blocks from our house, according to the official website, "50 plus BBQ teams from Western Kentucky and beyond cook up over 60 tons of meat" slowly over hickory. I told Laurie it was 150. Close. Our normal walking route is crowded with 200,000 - guessing, probably more - people who come to 'pig' out. So I thought, "This day started sucky, and I'm going to change that. I shall go for a lovely walk, two actually, now while the streets are empty, and the sidewalks are all ours. That will lessen the frustrations of the Boys with Balls and I will get over my frustration with iOS7. The dirty little bastard."

The first walk was Sam I Am, Lindy Loo, and Horny Butt, I mean darling Tindra. It's a shorter walk because Sammy is eleven and has an old back injury. Strange how many cars were in the neighborhood already. And people, very strange. It wasn't even 8:00 AM yet. I put the first three back and got the howling Boys with Balls. Their walk is two miles, so it's a much broader circle. I saw the cones. Then my friend Heather pulled up. "Hi Heather!!! Whatcha doing?" "Signing up the kids for the race." "Race?" "Yes, there's a 10K and a 5K and a 1K or 1/2 K later on for the kids." "Oh."

So, I got to visit with my friend Heather, which is always a good thing, but instead of dealing with 200,000 people with greasy fingers, we dealt with 500,000 people running at us, up behind us, zooming by us. It all started two blocks from our house. So much for a peaceful morning walk. So much for my big idea.

I will skip the three hours I assassinated trying to design an ad for the dogs. That is normally a rewarding activity for me. It was not. In fact, I was a foolish old woman crying to my computer, trashing every futile attempt, thinking well, that's three hours of my life I'll never get back and I still don't have an ad.

I am the luckiest woman on Earth for a bazillion reasons. One of those is that when  Horny Butt, I mean darling Tindra gets to the point in her season where the Boys with Balls start panting, shaking, and throwing up, Saints Lee and Dee let her come live with them. This is a love/hate situation for me. I LOVE that they are generous enough to do this, thus preserving everyone's sanity and my marriage. I HATE having to send away my puppy who is not a puppy but is two years old, though since she is the youngest dog in the house, she is my puppy. I cry.

So, I thought, "I'll do a happy thing." Some amazingly generous souls had recently given me a gift certificate for a new iPhone. I got my last one for a buck at the AT&T store because it was so outdated. I thought, "I'll go to the AT&T store and get my new, fancy iPhone and shew this sucky day to oblivion. Then I'll come home and do the 43 loads of laundry, and zip through the 21 hours of continuing ed I need to complete by the end of October to keep my nurse's license." Which just might be the thing weighing the most heavily on my head, making the day sucky no matter what.

I bounced into the AT&T store. Odd. There were people sitting in groups of three at tables as though it were a coffeehouse. A check-in man at a podium at the front of the store spoke to another man. They both went out of their way to ignore me. I circled them, much the way the Boys with Balls have been circling  Horny Butt, I mean darling Tindra's crate for the past two weeks. I may have even kicked imaginary dirt, such was my excitement.

After a good five minutes of ignored circling I said, "Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt. I'd like to purchase the new iPhone!" I knew the check-in-man would be tickled: a customer! And for a new model, not the $1 variety.

Without remotely turning in my direction, or acknowledging my meager existence, the check-in-man said to his ear piece, "There's at least an hour wait."

I looked around to see to whom he could be speaking. I tried again. "Excuse me, sir. I'd like to purchase a new iPhone!"

This time he made eye contact. "An hour. Or more."

Which is why I'm writing this from Jail. I feel bad for the cleaning people at the AT&T store, though the new enzyme products get blood out of carpet pretty well.  I don't have a new iPhone. I think Bill has started on our laundry. And I won't need to complete those pesky 21 hours of CEUs if I'm incarcerated, now will I?

It's a whole new day!

hug your hounds

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Walking Nekkid?

I have been walking for so many years like this:

That if I have to walk anywhere without my dogs, I feel as though I'm walking like this:

Hug your hounds, fully clothed please and thank you!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Life With A Sixteen Year Old Dog

Here is Mama Pajama this morning. We celebrated her sixteenth birthday in June. She was born on June 29, 1997 into my hands, so we are not guessing her age. Her sister, Jessie, is also thriving in Baltimore and loved by her Linda. We lost their brother Fat Charlie just this spring. Good genes.

Those of you who have shared your world with a Very Old Dog will understand. You'll nod and your heart might feel a bit full and for a moment you'll have to think about breathing. In. Out now. In again. Okay.

It's that juxtaposition of one moment you're staring hard: oh please! Are you still with me? And you see your old dog's ribs moving and yes everything is fine. You go back to getting dressed, or doing the laundry. And the next moment your old dog is looking at you through her cloudy eyes and wagging her tail. She smiles at you, which makes her sneeze. You laugh. You scratch her neck and she's not sixteen, she's just your dog like she has been for sixteen years. More than half of your thirty year marriage. Feels like she's been with you forever.

Mama Pajama is particular. She always has been, in her quiet little way. She will not sleep in our bed. Will not. We have seven crates in our bedroom. Mama Pajama's "crate" is the first soft-side (mesh) I ever bought, back in the '90s. The zipper broke somewhere around 2001, so the flap stays open 24/7. She has always been an upper-berth-er. No bottom crates for her. Which means she still jumps in and out of her crate. Which means I try to help her every single time and every single time she sees my approach, gets a stubborn look on her face, jumps in or out by herself, and then turns around and tells me told you so.

We have - mostly - come to an agreement concerning stairs. She agrees to wait for me, unless she is absolutely positive she doesn't need my help, in which case she launches herself willy-nilly and I have a heart attack every single time.

There are more agreements. I give her a nightly all-over massage. She gives me one kiss at some point during said massage. I stick to her schedule. You can't have a Very Old Dog without sticking to their schedule. And even though I stick to her schedule like it's Velcro and I'm dog bed fluff, I understand there will be Accidents and the Accidents are All My Fault. You have the immense privilege of a Very Old Dog in your life? You pay for that privilege with clean up. That's the deal and it's a great good deal.

 I feed her her very favorite food, until she decides it's poison, then I find her new very favorite food, and feed her that. She holds up her end of the bargain by licking her bowl of Grape-Nuts and goat milk, or boiled meat and oatmeal bread with the sugar snap peas cut up into indiscernible bits shiny clean. Woo-weeee now that is some happiness: the shiny clean bowl of a sixteen year old dog!

Sometimes, because I am only human, I do not live up to an agreement. Last week I forgot to turn on my bedside lamp in the evening. We were watching TV in the other room and I thought, "Crap! I forgot to turn on a light for Mama Pajama." I spilled all the dogs who were using me for extra cushions and ran in to our dark room and flicked on the light. I found Mama Pajama facing the back of her crate, staring hard with her filmy eyes and special ears at the wall, wondering why on earth I had shut her in. "Oh honey, I'm sorry!" I told her. "Here!" I clapped my hands. "Here! You're not closed in, you're just backwards, sweetheart!" Because she is not only human, she forgave me.

She has forgiven me for so much in 16 plus years. Only dogs and God are capable of that. All the nail dremelings, tooth scalings, late dinners. The getting left behinds, that whole nightmare of her illness, the accidental toes stepped on, the empty water dishes. I mean really, as you know, it's infinite.

But after all of that, with all of my disappointing shortcomings, she is here, welcoming me home.

And I am the luckiest person on earth.

Hug your hounds...