My life has gone to the dogs

My schedule has really changed over the past couple of days. Usually Jim and I stay up till at least midnight; he in one room watching TV and surfing on the computer, and I'm up in the bedroom watching the other TV. We usually wake up in the morning around 8:00 am. Remember that Jim is retired, and I'm along for the ride. Sound nice? It is.

Until I started dog shitting sitting while my brother goes on vacation. I agreed to stay at his house and watch his two hairy beasts while he's gone. Jim and I drove up to his house, which is located about 2 hours north of where we are currently camped. Jim only stayed over the one night because we had a family party to go to the next day, then he hightailed it out of here. He is NOT an animal lover. He grew up on a farm and firmly believes that all animals belong outside. Now me? I love animals. I would love a cat, dog, and bird. So I am animal-less, and have to get my "fix" when I visit my friends and family who have pets. Thus I really didn't mind being here.

This is Shawn. He's a 12 year old Collie, who's old and frail and doesn't have much longer on this earth I'm afraid. He weighs about 60 pounds. This is what he does best.

This big galoot is Reggie. He's a 100 pound Golden Retriever. He's the star of the show. My brother thinks the sun rises and sets on Reggie. I can see why. He will melt your heart. You just have to look at him, and his tail starts thumping.

Okay, so that sleeping in thing? Not gonna happen. My brother usually gets up at 4:00 a.m. and leaves for work by 5:00 a.m. He takes Reggie for a 2 mile walk before he goes to work. Umm, not gonna happen.

Soooo, there's a little bit of adjusting going on, on both our parts. I'm trying to go to bed earlier (at least by 11:00). My brother was in bed by 8:00 p.m. So I figure that if I let Reggie out right before I go to bed, he should be good to go all night.

Last night was our first night alone together. I woke up several times during the night, hearing odd sounds that the house makes, and keying in on dog noises. He'd scratch himself, lick himself, sigh, walk across the room, dog tags jangling, slump down on the floor, tail would thump when he'd hear me turn over. He probably couldn't sleep from my snoring. It will take a few days for both of us to get used to each other's idiosyncrasies, I guess. At one point I felt the bed jerk a little and I thought Reggie had jumped up on it. I even thought it was him in the dark as I felt around on the large king-sized bed, but it was only the covers that were bunched up. He must have hit the bed when he came to lie beside me on the floor. That's another thing - I have to be careful not to step on him when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. AND I have to ignore him, because if I pet him? He thinks it's time to go out and pee. I guess it's only fair since I just went potty, but somehow taking the dog out in the middle of the night while I'm all by myself doesn't sound like fun. And Reggie doesn't seem like he'd offer much protection. Unless you'd call licking the intruder to death something.

So my wake up call is a big, cold, wet nose shoved into any exposed body part of mine. Hello! That's worse than Reveille!

It seems that 6:30 a.m. is the longest that poor Reggie can keep his paws crossed. What a rude awakening. I fumble for my glasses, throw on my robe, stumble down the stairs, flipping light switches as we go. Reggie prances impatiently at the sliding glass doors while I try to clip on his lease and unlock the door. Finally the door is open and Reggie dashes out. By this time, Shawn has worked himself into a standing position and is ready to go out, too. There is a light drizzle coming down and of course, Reggie thinks we are out there to play. He has so much energy, but unfortunately, his current caregiver does not.

I know it's your duty as a dog owner to pick up your dog's poop, but seriously? Can it get any grosser than that? My twin sister has a husky, so she knows all about the poop issues.

"So, how was it picking up the poop?"


"Did you get the dry heaves?" She said laughing.

I really didn't see any humor in the situation. My brother just uses plastic bags to do the job. I seriously have to look into purchasing a pooper-scooper this week.

So I don't know how much blogging I'll be doing this week. I'll be busy doing this:

And if you see me walking Reggie, I'll be wearing my new hat:

But for now, I'm trying to tell Reggie that it really isn't necessary to slobber all over me. He seems to be listening intently.

Then he goes and plants one right on the kisser. I snapped the photo right after the lick.

So my week will be filled with dog hair, dog poop, dog drool, and dog smells. But it will also be filled with dog love, adoring eyes, and someone who doesn't mind my singing - even if it is a little off-tune.
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