Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bringing Down the House

Sully broke the garage today. He saw something he wanted across the yard and he took off. With only about ten feet of a head start, I thought I could stop him, since he was running right towards me. I stepped in front of his path thinking I would pin him between me and the garage. I was a second too late. He ran past me and took down a pretty large chunk of siding and splintered the corner protector halfway up the garage. Also, my hand hurts. Because he smashed into it. And my leg is bruised. He just went right on his merry way though.

That's when I realized I wasn't wearing my left sock anymore. It was halfway across the yard with a big muddy paw print on it. I don't know HOW he knocked my sock off and took it with him. My foot didn't even hurt.

That dog's crazier than hell. Love him to death, though.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


It's scary to just be cruising along and living your life with your dogs. Sometimes you take them for granted.

I've learned not to do that. I used to sometimes just give my dogs a head pat after I got home from work and then go about my winding down. Not anymore. Not since Daisy's cancer.

When I look at her with her shaved patches and the hair growing back strangely from the chemotherapy and the missing leg, and the scars, I think to myself how I could have easily lost her. Either one of them. How do I know how much longer I have with either of them? With any of my pets?

Working where I work I see a lot of people who didn't think they were coming in to put their dog down. They thought it was another routine visit and then the ultrasound finds a huge mass or the CT shows something ugly. And on the way home I cry for the dogs who's owners chose not to fight something they could have won. I cry for the dogs who's owners didn't cry for them. SOMEONE needs to recognize that those dogs gave everything they could every day of their life until the very end.

So now I make sure that when I get home I scoop up my little dog and give her kisses on her little, shaved, hopefully-cancer-free belly. I make sure I squish my fat man's cheeks between my fists and plant a kiss right on his gross, wet nose. I grind my hands against his huge ears so that he leans into me and his eyes close. I throw the ball across the house for them and I don't care if their nails are scratching up my hardwoods. I'm just happy they are still here to do it.

And when they're gone, I'll be able to look at the well-loved hardwood floor and remember.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How I Wake Up.

Every morning between the hours of 4am and 6am there is a war going on in our house. The dogs always win, but the humans fight hard every time.

At 4am, my eyes snap open as the small dog shakes off her sleep, her collars jingling loudly in my once silent night. I call to her softly hoping I wont wake up the larger dog. Sometimes, on lucky days, she comes to me and I can put her in bed for an hour longer. She's a sucker for cuddling. But then there are those days where she sits down in front of the door to the bedroom. It's open. The door is open but the dogs do not enter. They stand with their toes on the line and they whine and back up. Then they hop forward. Whine and back up. Hop forward. One of them accidentally steps on a squeaky toy. The whining stops. The squeaking starts. The taller human yells from his sleep, "STOP STOP IT!" and the dogs fall into a stupor.

This must mean the humans are awake now!

They leap about the living room until either Ellison closes the door in their face or he takes them out. The dogs always win because at some point, one of us has to go to work.

One night, the night before my day off, I took the squirt bottle to bed. I cuddled it lovingly knowing the next morning would be different. This morning I would not be woken up at 4am and made to stay awake listening to the whines and hops of 122 pounds of dog.

Sure enough, at 4am, the collars jingled. The dogs approached the front line. I was already sitting up letting my eyes adjust to the dark, watching their shapes dance across my doorway. I took moment to orient myself to the larger one's big head. I squirted once. Direct hit! He immediately retreated with a shake of his big body and curled up, dejected, in his bed. The smaller one was harder. I squired and missed twice. The third one was a hit to the side. She took another hit to the butt before she retreated away from the door to her bed.

And from her bed, just out of reach of my weaponry, she whined from 4am to 6am when Ellison got up to feed them.

I have given up on the squirt bottle and we're just back to being the loser humans who are ruled by our dogs.