This weekend I got to do something I haven’t done for probably close to 20 years. Stay alone – overnight – away from home – with a dog! [woof]
Throughout my adult life, there had always been some sort of animal living with us. (Considering some family members you could say that has been true for my entire life, but that’s a different post for a different day.) When the last dog who had my name on her license as owner went to that big off leash park in the sky, I was already battling Wegener’s and was having difficulty keeping a strong hand on the care part of the care and feeding of pets. I knew my limits, and pet owner was not within them.
Not so though for my daughter who continued the tradition and is and has been for many years the proud dog mom of a now maybe 6 or 7 year old pointer/husky/yeti. There have been times that I have been called upon to provide doggie day care services and have successfully and enjoyably fulfilled those duties, not to mention the meeting the daily expectations of proud grandpop to the grandpup. But when the daughter needs dog sitting of the extended overnight sort, I am not the one called into service. Not that I wouldn’t, I just couldn’t. Let’s say if I were to take the dog for his evening or morning stroll, and upon spotting a follow member of the canine community, or one of the more feisty neighborhood rabbits, and he so decided to pursue fellow canine or feisty rabbit, he would never be accused of being in violation of the leash laws, being firmly attached to a strong, appropriate length lead. It would nevertheless be a questionable defense as it would be very unlikely that the other end would still be firmly attached to my right hand.
Thus, when the daughter anticipates overnight travel (that doesn’t involve an airplane (he doesn’t do well much higher than ground level)) she considers pet friendly destinations or arranges alternate billeting for the pupster. For this occasion she was unable to secure either and I was called and asked if I felt up to just one night with the little fellow. “Of course I can” I replied and oh so nearly convincingly told myself I could do it. Given that she has a fenced in backyard and I don’t, and that the dog, although getting older by the day, still thinks of himself as young and energetic, it was decided I would visit him rather than he stay with me.
And that is how I found myself, Saturday morning, packing an overnight bag including laptop (with drafts for 2 articles and a speech all due within the next month) and heading out the door for the quarter mile walk to the daughter’s domicile. And straight into a pouring rain. A veritable downpour. A like “pair up the animals and ready the Ark” type rain. Concern for the environment be dammed, I headed straight up the driveway and plopped myself behind the wheel of my car for the short but soggy trip, and even that seemed not quite up to the challenge but I don’t own a boat. I felt right then that the next 36 hour period was going to be a mismatch. Unfortunately, when I could be accused of either hyperbole or understatement, I tend toward understating.
To make a long story short (I know, too late), he enjoyed our time together immensely! He was at his tail waggingest, face lickingest, muddy pawed jumpingest best behavior, which for him, are all the things that exhibit good behavior. He never tried to take advantage of an unsuspecting keeper and ate very little of my meals off my plate when his bowl was filled with yummy kibble (and only when I wasn’t watching), did not hide the television remote too well among his toys, and let me have the pillow in bed Saturday night which was only fair since he was using my legs as his. All in all he seemed to have enjoyed my company.
Me? Well I did get to unpack my laptop though never actually opened it, only had to go outside once to forcibly drag him back inside when he refused to come in after treeing some unsuspecting woodland creature, and discovered the desktop cup warmer I got my daughter as part of her Christmas stocking last year works really well. I guess you could say I seemed to have enjoyed his company too!
Well, that dog story was a good story of perseverance. Sort of. Here’s a better one in the most recent Uplift! We know we can do it, whatever the “it” may be, but someone else feels we can’t, but we will try anyway. Because the realty is we believe in ourselves. And reality is more important than feelings. Approximate reading time – 3 minutes