Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I look over from dragging my clothes out of the dryer.
"Orion what do you have now??"
He's pulling something from the ground, smacking his lips, pulling again.
"Oh for the love of God that's gum!"
To bother getting it out of his mouth, me all sticky, or just let him have it?
I walk by hands full of laundry,
"You know that's not digestible."

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pure Grumpiness

While I am practicing not letting what people think bother me--a skill I am considering mastered for myself, I bump into every now in then glitches in this skill set when I get commentary about my dog.
Example: "I think you really ought to get your dog a gentle leader leash."
I hear this at least a couple times here and there. I have acquired through gifting two of them. I have repeatedly said, "Thanks but I'm not interested." Am I being stubborn? Partly. I have absolutely NO interest in using this type of leash. Sure, would it save my arm here and there? Likely. Does it look like a mussel? Yeah. Why does this bother me? I decided it's two fold. My previous friend who had labs didn't like them and she raised three labs. The look makes me think "unfriendly dog", which is not the vibe I want. I am the one walking him, so if my arm is pulled off and I don't mind then why does it matter? There have been countless dogs before the gentle leader came out that survived puppy hood just fine without them. And if they don't like it pulling on their nose, why do I like that idea? So no. No gentle leader. Enjoy them Mom--she asked about them for Chloe, I said, "oh for the love don't buy one I have like twenty."

Example two: "Have you taken your dog to puppy school?" This one I take personally. While the poor innocent person doesn't know, I am thinking, sure, when I'm pay check to pay check, in a job that does not have a set schedule, nor can you request a set schedule, and I am spending 15 minutes minimum three days a week training Orion because I'm trying the best I can for my dog, no, I am not taking him to puppy school because I'm a horribly irresponsible dog owner. Overly sensitive? Totally.

Example three: "Oh my gosh your dog is so dirty. Don't you think you should get him out of that mud puddle--aren't you worried about your car?" No. I am not. Do you see that smile on my dog's face? He likes mud puddles. He's happy. When he's happy, I take great joy in the shared happy. So what? I will wash my clothes.

Then, after I recognize my sensitivity, I revisit my practice at not caring. I look at Orion and I say, "I like your pinch collar just fine. You don't seem to mind it either. As for school, we are doing the best we can and that's all I can ever hope for and I do take care of you, and we still have stuff to work on." Then I think, "Molly, this is part of growing up. He is your dog. Do whatever the hell you want with him, and don't let it bother you."

So I sit here after two hours in the rain watching him run around happy as can be, one vet visit down to treat the ear infection, he's sleeping on his dog bed, and you know? Things aren't so bad. He is a puppy. He does eat my glasses. He does jump. But, we're working on educating him and also acknowledging the perfect behaved dog doesn't happen over night. He's also educating me on patience.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wood walking

My body hurts from three hours in the car in a traffic jam that required the highway to be shut down. I walk up the rain streaked steps, pull out my keys, pause. Is that Orion I hear barking? He never does that! Mind bounces, he's been in the crate for awhile but my neighbors said they let him out when I asked after the unexpected time delay... he can't be that bad.
I open the door.
"Is that my bogger dog making all that racket?"
Orion looks at me in his crate.
I smile because my neighbors put his water bowl in his crate for him.
"Aren't you lucky they like you?"
I pop open the crate, Orion spins out, back legs prancing, eyes looking up at me.
"Need to go out?" He flies to the door. I trudge after with a tired smile on my face.
In and out, I'm flopped out on the futon. We still haven't moved back into the hazard room. Hive free for two weeks is kind of motivation enough.
"I feel like an old woman Orion."
Orion prances around, stepping on me, chewing my fingers, my toes. I'm too sore to move rapidly to save myself. I prop up on my elbows.
"You want to just go for a walk?"
Ears perk up. Mouth goes limp on my foot.
"I know it's raining but who cares? Let's go."
I get up, dig around for the boots and out we go.
It is perfect. The misty rain, the wet earth. "Orion, this is what it would be like in New Hampshire right now. This is good for us."
He's happily retracing the morning steps, checking out the new smells.
"I miss New England a lot right now. I know I have a fun job and good friends here, but this helps. Us and the woods." Orion does his usual zig zag.
"Please don't forget I'm attached to you," I say as the leash tightens around my waste. I have him double leashed so he gets about fifteen feet of his own, with me trailing behind. It has it's perks, but also back fires if a squirrel or human catches his eye before I can center my gravity.
We walk past an off shoot trail, Orion scurries, nose down up the trail a bit. "No, Orion, we're going this way." I say, continuing past on the path we took in the morning. We walk a few steps. I stop.
"You want to go there?"
Orion cocks his head up at me listening.
"What the heck. It's not like we have any other plans, and I'm enjoying myself and your company, no point in cutting it short."
So off we go.
"Remember this is the path we took in the snow Orion? When I felt like I was going to pass out and have to eat kibble, when we didn't know the way out or how long it was?" I'm smiling. "We both looked like wrecks, you slipping face first into the mud, me face first into the snow." Orion's plowing ahead, slip sliding on the mud.
"Quality bonding."
My footing slides slightly. I'm glad I choose the boots rather than my Keens.
"Orion, wait." I need a moment to slow him on this decline. He trots up, accepts the treat, then bolts. "Remember, I'm ATTACHED!" I grab a tree on the way down, feet wobble as they're sliding down the muddy decline. The tree branch saves me. Orion stops. Looks back. What's going on up there Mum, hurry up, we have stuff to explore! I can see it in his face. "No pull Orion."
Pointless comment at this juncture as I right myself and carry on, thanking the tree branch as I release it.
And we are off again, Orion flying across the wooden bridge only to slide into the muddy ledge and look as if he went to a war paint convention.
"We could still win a competition some day for cutest mud dog."
He stares up and smiles.
I smile back and we keep going.

Girl stuff

I sit on the toilet. Orion makes a grab for my undies.
"Nope. You do not want to do that."
I hop up waddle to my cabinet, reach in for a pad.
"See, I often forget I get my period. Really sometimes I don't think I even should have it."
I sit back down.
"This is the reason you had to get neutered. So you wouldn't make any other little girl doggies pregnant. Although rumor has it, when you are pregnant, at least for humans, you don't have to have your period. I bet a girl doggie would like to skip the whole process too. It's a shame there are so many strings attached with that one." I pause, thinking this over, would a girl dog be bothered much? Thoughts drift in of Tessa, our Sharpei and her modified undies, with a pad and a hole cut for her tail while she was in heat. How long are girl dogs prego for? Brain drifts back to humans.
"Yeah. I doubt I'll be getting prego in my existence but I do like the idea of a natural reprieve." I stick the pad down. Hand him the wrapper to shred. "I appreciate the offer for help, but like most things here in the bathroom, I'm pretty confident I can handle them."
Orion wanders off to grab a pair of undies I may have dropped on the floor this morning.
"Remember I told you those are not good for you? Orion, everything I tell you is for educational reasons. I'm helping you catch up to my 27 years worth of wisdom."
He ignores me and continues on his way down the hall.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Neuter aftermath.

"Orion you have to settle because you just had surgery."
Orion ignores me and struts out to the kitchen. I hear him jump up to the counter top.
"Orion, you're not allowed to have people food for 7-10 days."
Orion ignores me and I hear the sound of silverware hitting the floor.
I get up off the air mattress and stroll out to the kitchen. He looks up at me.
"I know. You know I have no issues with you eating people food, but it's the rules Orion. I don't want you to get sick. Now, do you want some water? You're suppose to drink small amounts."
I fill up his bowl.
He drinks the whole bowl.
"Orion. That was not a small amount."
I hear his stomach processing.
"If you puke it's okay. Surgery is tough."
He struts back to the air mattress.
I follow.
I sit down to look up apartments, thinking maybe he'll rest. He gets up, goes back out to the kitchen. I hear him grab a bag and start shredding it.
"Orion, that's not being very calm you know."
He brings it back to the air mattress, lays down, shreds.
"I know. I wish there was something I could do for you. It'd be easier if you slept. Healing goes faster that way."
He gets up and whacks his bell to go out.
I get up.
"We're only suppose to go on short leash walks and pee breaks."
Out the door, Orion starts to bolt for a cat.
"Orion! No pulling! They said NO PULLING! I do not want you getting sick!"
He pees, we go back in.
"You have to think of this as playing puppy. You're supposed to be drugged anyways."
He finds a bottle and starts chewing on it.
"Well, I guess it's good you're not licking your wound. We get A+ points for that."
He wiggles off the air mattress legs sprawled, surgery area rubbing against the mattress.
"Yep. We suck at this rule following."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Collect and conserve.

I go running from the room.
I had just finished wrapping my mattress in a giant plastic bag, tipping it slightly to scoot the bag up further, when I saw six bugs crawling on the reverse side.
Orion, puzzled, nearly trips me in the hallway rush to the front of the house.
"Ew. Gross. Disgusting." I'm squirming in a frantic dance that resembles one warding off bees rather than imaginary bed bugs crawling all over.
I take a deep breath and quit wiggling.
"Orion. This has stepped up a level. Cockroaches were one thing. Bed bugs? Disgusting. I can't take any more. We're moving out. We're finding a house. How do you feel about a back yard?" I pause. "Gross."
Then I return, packing tape in hand and wrap it around my mattresses like a girl on a mission.
Orion attempts to nibble the plastic.
"NOOOOO!" I shout so loud I think he feared for a moment the sky was falling.
"Orion, it's VERY important you don't touch this plastic."
We finish the tape job, then I power up the web to construct my plan of attack. Phone to my ear, I inform my landlord that he also needs someone to tackle bed bugs.
"You mean we've been spraying for the wrong thing all this time?" he asks.
My head reels temporarily. I see red.
"No. I have cockroaches too. I am completely cognizant of the differences between cockroaches and bedbugs."
And I apparently am living in the slums, I think, but choose to refrain from including.
"Oh. Okay. Well it costs ninety-five a visit. I'll have him in there by Tuesday."
I let the phone hang up, snap the computer lid shut and turn to Orion, passed out at my feet.
"Cockroaches and bedbugs Orion, can you believe this? We'll show them!" I get up and march out the studio door, list in hand of the various sprays, supplies and powers I'll need.
"Let's find ourselves some bugs. See if we can't give the health department something to think about."
And we're off. Collect and conserve.
Orion sees one move and makes a dive for it.
"NO! Orion, we have to kill and conserve." I step on it enough to keep it still, then scoop it up. We pull out the futon and there's a good cluster of four. "Bingo buddy." He wedges his nose over.
"EW! That one's still moving!" I squish it.
Orion follows me back to the bathroom. I let my collection slide to the whiite porcelain toilet top.
We stick out noses closer. Orion's feet perched on the toilet, checking out our progress.
"12 critters. And they think they're spraying is for nothing!"