Friday, October 28, 2011

Dessert Dog

Pretty sure my dog looks like a buckeye. The kind you make for dessert. Too bad he's really just muddy as hell and the dog park closed the hose for the season...

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Orion is back from day care. I'm cooking dinner and he's not under my feet.
I'm eating dinner and he's not by my side.
I look at him.
He's passed out on his bed.
I continue eating.
He's pretty cute when he's tired.
I look at him again. He hasn't moved.
I finish eating.
Well what am I going to do now? I putz about the kitchen, putting things away. Plunk down at my computer. He seems unphased. There's no, "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!" No stick being pulled up into the chair beside me to chew on while I work. No jumping up onto the counter top snagging what he can reach. No crash, boom, noise of toys being tossed about the floor to eject the kibble tucked inside.
Well. This is different.
I kind of miss my noise maker.
I kind of miss my pal who wants to play with me.
"Hey! Are you alive?" I call to him.
An eye lifts half open. An ear flops.
Back asleep.
Alright then. I guess I will just come up with something to do.
And I flop to the floor beside him. Kiss him on his head. "I just want you to know you're cute. And it's good to see you today. And I'm glad you had a nice day at day care."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to New Hampshire

"Orion, NO!" I hear from the downstairs. I'm in the shower and wondering what he has immersed himself in now. I hear Mum's footsteps making loops around the downstairs, Orion's toenails clicking along the wood floor. Welcome to New Hampshire my dear four legged friend.
I climb out of the shower and Orion comes pummeling through the door, ball of yarn in his mouth. My ball of yarn.
"Orion, really?" I snatch the ball, clutching the towel with the other hand.
His cute little face ducks into the shower, dragging a shampoo bottle out with him.
"O-Ryyyyyannnn." I elongate the syllables to make me sound more serious. "Can someone get that shampoo bottle from him?" I holler out the door.
"You little bugger!" I hear Dad grumble from his office. "Give me that!"
I stick my head out to see Orion happily exchanging the shampoo for Dad's duster.
I zip into my room, figuring I'm on borrowed time before my attention is needed to keep my boy from being strung up by his toenails at Nana and Grandpa's.
"I'll be out in five. Just keep him occupied for five minutes."
Hastily getting dressed I pop out to see Orion has made himself comfortable with a bone and the comfort of my dad's closet.
"Good thinking," I say, toweling my hair dry. The bone will buy us an hour easily.
"I'm thinking of going over to PetSmart to pick up some things to distract him."
"Yeah okay," Dad's refocused to his computer.
"Come on buddy, let's go downstairs," I call to Orion.
He trots out of the closet, bone dangling and next to summersaults down the carpeted stairs. I chuckle. I wonder if he'll get a hang of them before we go.
"Well hello Trouble," Mom greets a tail wagging Orion as she sips her coffee on the couch. Orion turns and leaps up on the couch. "OFF!" Mom bellows, a much more sincere deep tone than I've managed. Orion plunks to the ground. I'm off to the kitchen to snag the oatmeal Dad's brewed up for me.
"We're thinking about going to the petstore to get some bones to keep him occupied. Wanna go?"
"Why don't you call me around 3 as I will probably need a break then."
"Sounds good." I sit down on the couch. Orion jumps up to sit next to me. I look at him. "Nana does not want you up here. Did you ask her for permission?" He tilts his head, bone reacquisitioned. Ma glares at him. "Might be a smart idea to get down." He slithers to the floor and trots out of the room.
"Do you let him on the couch---"
Pet store here we come.

Tranquilizers please?

It is day two of a fifteen hour car ride. Already Orion woke me up at 5 am in the hotel room to get going again. Already I looked up a dog park in southeast Cleveland and stood in the rain kicking a ball for a half hour so my dog got a break.
"Mom?" I say, sitting inside a gas station Starbucks looking out at my yellow dogs head as it pops up and down in the front of my car seat.
"Hi Molly, how is it going?"
"Mom, what did you do when you were ready to kill us on car rides?" I imagine what he might be shredding in the front seat, but my where with all has worn thin.
"Oh. You're ready to kill your dog?"
"Mom he's poked holes in my passenger seat, while seat belted in; ate the spray that I spray him with when he barks, even though I put it in the front seat and he was seat belted in the back, and he hasn't stopped barking for an hour."
"Well. I use to pretend to put up a sound proof shield."
"Yeah. I've been trying that. But I really feel angry towards him."
"What about getting him a bone?"
"Well I just told the gas station attendant he probably saved my dog's life by having bones on sale."
"Good. Where are you now?"
"At the gas station taking a break from him."
"I thought it might be a bit too much for him that long of a ride."
"He was fine with Dad and I, but I think he just doesn't have anyone to entertain him. And I know he's just being a puppy, but I genuinely want to explode my anger on him and I don't like feeling this way. That, or leave him in a big field with cows for a few days and then pick him up."
"Well hon, try the bone, and then maybe take a few stops to run around with him."
We hang up.
I sip my coffee. Continue staring at Orion in the car. He knows I'm watching him but fortunately has stopped barking. People start eye balling me funny anyways. "Oh he thinks I'm putting him up for adoption," I say as I fill gas and he barks as if he's being electrocuted. "Slight separation anxiety." If I let him out he's happy trotting along beside the car while the gas fills.
I'm still watching. His head dips below the steering wheel.
You can do this Molly. I prompt myself. I swallow the last of the coffee, sigh, toss it in the trash and grab the bone from the table, head out to the car.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Devil Cat

We walk around the bend, cutting through Herb's backyard. Herb's another dog-walker, usually up at 7 walking his small dog that he acquired by chance. The shade of the tree feels refreshing on this hot October day. I just had all my hair cut off, so I run my fingers through my inch-long hair, spiking it out with the lingering gel from the hair dresser. Good summer hair, but for today, good hair for the fall I think.
We loop out by the train tracks and I'm thinking about the picture of Orion and I when he was tiny, in the dusk, shot from behind as we meandered the tracks. Perhaps I should get Sean to shoot another one of us now, teenager dog and self. Orion finds the plastic container of water left out for the birds and decides it's his own water dish. We walk past the shot up plastic deer, and I wonder about if the guy who lives there might ever mistake us as bullets go flying by--luckily this has not happened yet.
Then out on to the sidewalk we go, and up the way I see a little dog trotting towards us. Drop kick dogs as I like to refer to them. "Rocky, come here!" A larger woman up the sidewalk calls to the little dog.
"We'll get him if you want," I call back. "My dog will only lick him to death." The dog approaches and lets Orion do his bouncy excitement around him. We continue walking past, the other dog stays put. "Come on little dog, let's get back to your owner." "Oh don't worry about that I was more concerned about him messing with your dog."
Orion climbs up the hill yard to say hi to the woman walking out with a leash in hand. "Well hi fellow!" He does his hops, then a leaf blows and he goes flying down the hill after it, and well, right into Rocky. Rocky, being less appreciative this time with the large yellow dog pummeling towards him, barks and lunges. Orion darts backwards, I keep moving forward. "Rocky!" Woman calls in horror. Then the pissed-off-grey cat we usually have to avoid, flies out of nowhere and jumps Orion. Orion yelps. I fumble, looking for what just hit him. "Tornado!" Lady with leash starts after cat. Cat's still attacking Orion. Rocky joins in. What the hell? I move out into the road to cross the street. Orion's yelping again. Damn cat. I drop his leash because the grey devil cat is persistent and I figure he has better odds without being restricted.
"TORNADO! What's gotten into you!?"
I hear that a lot.
I wanted to tell her that cat was the devil and weekly chased us, but I collected Orion and continued on. "I'm sooo sorry." "Oh it's okay."
"Orion, you've had a rough one today. Let's call it one, get you a frosty paws then I'm off to work."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oh Zachary you didn't...

I pull up to the curb. It's ten thirty because i had to stop at the grocery store for toilet paper. I hear high pitch barking from the outside of my apartment.
Oh geez! I think as I scramble up the sidewalk. Orion must not have liked going back in his crate after my nine-year-old neighbor was done watching him. I figured it'd be smart to break up the evening when I have 1-10PM shifts with the neighbor kid as I wouldn't have hyper pup in the evening... but if he barks like this...
I open the door.
"What are you making all this racket about?" His little blonde self is standing in his crate, expectantly. I walk up, open the crate door and give him a gentle hug as he struts out.
"Well hang on! I need to get your leash," I say as he continues strutting right out the apartment front door. I scramble after him, tossing the purse, the groceries and keys to the futon and snatching the leash from the floor. I smile as I notice the water bowl my neighbor put in the crate. I suspect it was not Zachary so much as his mom, but it warms my heart all the same. Orion stands on the steps scanning the scenery. Apparently the barking was not due to excessive need to go pee.
"Come on Orion, let's go pee." We walk about the yard. He's moving slowly. He pees, we return to the inside.
"Would you like a frosty paw?" (Dog ice cream) I figure as I fed him at 5 perhaps a small treat would be a nice carry over feeding till the morning. Popping open the freezer, I pull one out.
No interest.
I look at it. Take a lick.
Hand it to him again. No interest.
It's then that I notice the bag of bones on the top of my fridge is empty. Not just shy one or two, but flat out empty.
Oh my.
I look at Orion.
I look at Orion's sides that are now clearly bulging out at the sides.
He didn't... I'm thinking...
But it's true. There had to be eight plus bones in there!
Zachary must have fed him every single one in the two freaking hours I left the two alone.
He wouldn't know better. I already tried having the conversation with him as to why he shouldn't eat 30 chicken nuggets just because he could and he got all pouty with me, how can I expect him to understand it's not okay to feed my dog 8 chew bones??!
Orion's going to be so sick.
Four chew bones was diarrhea for two days. EIGHT???!
"Oh Orion."
I put the frosty Paw back in the fridge. "Well, let's see if we can work out a poo in the back yard."
We waddle around the yard, sniff this, that, whatever. He pauses once for the tinest liquid poo. I can't help but think of what it feels like when you eat the wrong thing and it's just brewing in you and then finally purging from your system in a glorious rejection poo. If only he could get there.
We walk around. I feel around his tummy to make sure it isn't twisted. "Kate? Do you think he'll be okay?" I ask my sister as she's the only one up. "Oh yeah. He'll be fine. I just wouldn't feed him tonight."
"Myle's has eaten worst than this right?" I ask. Myles being her dog who as a puppy destroyed everything in the house.
"Oh sure; he's eaten lipstick, diapers...and you can see his stomach stick out too."
"Oh good." I pause. "Maybe the best rule of thumb is to tell Zachary he's not allowed to feed Orion ANYTHING." My mind drifts back to the day Zachary fed him a full, and I mean full, bowl of food when the little pup only ate a cup twice a day.
We wander back inside and I settle in to the futon. Orion puts his nose on the cushion but doesn't make the effort to jump up. Eventually he opps to make the effort and lies curled next to me.
"I hear you buddy. I'd be in the same boat if I kept eating those fuzzy noodles today for lunch." I say thinking back on the year old can of soup I was attempting to eat.
"Well, maybe we can just have you sleep it off. You're laying low in the morning no questions about it."
He doesn't even bother to argue.
"Come on now, we're going to bed."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Toy time

"Can I help you?" A PetSmart employee pauses as he walks past the aisle.
"Yeah, actually. Can you give a suggestion as to a toy that might occupy my dog for longer than 10 minutes?"
"Have you tried the Kongs?"
"Useless. I don't even get 5 minutes with those."
"Really? Everyone loves the Kongs."
"Nope. Right now I'm leading with the bottle and rope toy but I've observed him mouthing the bottle and shaking it upside down so I fear that won't last long."
We walk down the the puzzle toys.
"Have you tried this?" He holds up a ball with a tiny opening.
"Yeah. I love the bounce, but food only lasts 5 in it." I shake my head. "So far my squished milk jug and the rope toy are the best. I was thinking about this," I say holding up a plastic hollow bone with clover openings at the ends.
"Yeah. I think that should work."

At home...

"Look Orion I got you a new toy!"
He happily gets the toy in his mouth than rips off part of the clover leaf, leaving a gapping hole. He lifts it in his mouth and shakes. All the kibble falls out. I check the clock. Three minutes. Suck.
Try again tomorrow.