Friday, September 25, 2009

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Okay, so forever only lasted a day. Muzzy and I left Roma at home just one night. We had a fine time at Dog Park, but when we got home, I had to take Roma for a walk of her own around the neighborhood. Enough with all the walking. So now Roma is back at Park, but tethered, and when people ask me why she is leashed, I tell them "Because I can't find leg irons that will fit her tiny ankles."

We had a bad week, Roma and I. Granted, she may have had the worst of it, with the puking and the diarrhea, but I'm the one who had to clean it up. And after getting left behind for one night (one night!), she now is starts to wind herself up for Dog Park before I even finish eating dinner. When we finally get there, she hurls herself out of the car, writhing in my arms as I lift her out, which makes me frustrated and grouchy. I yell at her. I tell her that she's going to hurt one or both of us and then where will we be? I look and feel ridiculous, yelling obscenities at a deaf dog in the Dog Park parking lot. How undignified. 

So I was chastened and humbled when I read this blog entry by writer Dana Jennings, who has an old dog and also feels like one as he deals with cancer. My Roma is old now—she'll be 14 on Thursday—but she's a tough broad, and I realized, of course, that I should be grateful for instead of cranky about the energy she brings to the Park every night. For her, every night is game night. Go, team!

Take a minute and read Jennings' entry. It reminded me to stop and thank my lucky stars—for good health and good dogs. I hope you can do the same. 

Take care!-z

Monday, September 21, 2009

Roma: Banned from Dog Park

Warning: This entry contains grossness and anger. Proceed with caution.

Take a good look at that face, people, because you won't be seeing it for a while. Roma is grounded. She is banned from Dog Park until further notice, which means forever. 

Yep. It's true. Because, once more, I let my guard down, and she proceeded to sneak around the outbuildings and eat something that made her crazy sick--from both ends while I was at work. On the living room carpet. Right next to where I eat. And where I watch TV. And where Muzzy chews her Nylabones. I am not pleased. And I have no sympathy.

I got a frantic call from the dog walker during my lunch to tell me about the spewage, but I knew last night as I chased Roma away from the water bucket at Dog Park that whatever she was swallowing would come to no good. It looked like black razor wire, but I have to believe that even Roma has her limitations. It may have been chicken bones. It could have been anything. But I'm telling you, this episode was the last straw for me. In her long life, she has eaten glass (a broken jar of gravy on a sidewalk in Iowa City), rat poison (my neighbors' yard), ant bait (Dog Park), and human excrement (a park in lovely Worcester, MA), and lived to tell about it—although I have sprouted many a white hair racing her to a vet. I hope it tasted good going down because she's going to have to chew on its memory for a long, long time.

So, Roma sends her regards. She'll really miss sticking her nose up y'all's shorts sussing out those treats. She'll really miss having to give you the ol' paw on the knee to get your attention, too. Oh, and the dumpster. She'll miss it--and greasy grass spots--most of all. I know you'll miss her, too. You can write to her care of the Big House--where she'll be all alone during prime Dog Park hours. Muzzy and I, however, will definitely see you later.