Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A disastrous dog day

With the Canterbury Choir visitors safely on their way, much as I enjoyed them, and the Baylor speech behind me I  thought my life this week would be full of peace and tranquility. Not so! I took the older dog to the vet for his annual shots. Had to lift him, almost piece by piece, into the car--front end first, then hoist the back end. When I got to the vet, I called for help, and the tech had to put a leash around his rear end to hold it up. We got him into the office where he seemed a bit better. I said I was worrying about getting him to the groomer for a much-needed summer haircut, and they told me the groomer we all use picks up from them. So we agreed on that, and I picked him up about four-thirty, looking so much better and walking pretty well. But he wouldn't get into the car--the owner and I did the hoisting bit again. Once home, on familiar territory, he was much better.
Meantime, in the late morning I was happily working at my desk, thinking Sophie was safely in the backyard. Doorbell rang, and there stood a really nice gentleman--school custodian?--holding Sophie and asking, "Is this your dog? She was running in the street and schoolyard but she ran toward this house and I thought maybe she lived here." I have no idea how he managed to catch her, but I thanked him profusely. I had left the inner gate to the yard open, thinking I'd be straight back with Scooby while Sophie was in her crate inside. And then I forgot. With her new skinny body, minus all that fur, she can still slide under the electric gate.
So tonight, after the dogs were fed and so was I, I thought all was well. Went to let them in for the night--and the back door wouldn't open. Between 7:00 and 9:00 two boards in the floor had warped and jumped up, blocking it. Decided one gate would be better than two and tried the door in my bedroom--bolts were stuck, probably because I haven't used that door in the eighteen years I've been here. So I had to bring the dogs out two gates, in the dark, on leashes, to the front door. Let me tell  you that my dogs are sweethearts, fairly obedient, anxious to please--but they are not leash-trained because I don't walk them for fear they'll pull me down. It's my balance problem, not their behavior problem. Tonight may have been a wake-up call.
We made it--thank heaven for automatic gates, motion-sensitive lights and other conveniences. Both dogs are safely in the house, and Jordan has said to tell them not to pee until she gets here in the morning. Lewis, the life-saving contractor who keeps my house running, says he'll be over first thing in the morning.
I have the urge to say, "Why me, Lord?" but I know these are minor troubles, amusing in retrospect. Still when I did my yoga late this afternoon I thought how peaceful everything was and how thankful I was. Now, I'm grateful for all the people who allow me to lead the comfortable life I do--vet, groomer, contractor.Other days I add to that list the lady who cleans my house, the good friend who maintains my yard. If it weren't for these people I'd be in assisted living without dogs--a thought I can't bear.
And poor old Scooby? He definitely has a neurological problem in his back legs--the demonstration the vet gave me was revealing. Plus he still has balance problems--perhaps an inner ear thing, perhaps a stroke. But his spirit is strong, and he plays with Sopie when he can, scolds her when he thinks she needs it. I am not going for heroics, but I'll do all I can to make him happy and comfortable. as long as I can have him. Can't imagine life without dogs.

1 comment:

Babette Fraser Hale said...

We are trying it, life without dogs, and it is better with--definitely. I'm giving it a year. When they get old, it is a problem in the high-rise, much easier if there's a yard. I do wish you the best with yours.--Babette