Let me start off by saying I am a consummate dog lover. I will pet any dog that comes my way; from tiny to huge I love them all. I can even go a step further and say I am an animal lover. Cats, dogs, rabbits, etc, I think they are all pretty awesome. I know that probably sounds a bit like an enigma since I am also a bird hunter, but hunting is for food not for trophies. So in my mind it balances out.
Back to my “I am a consummate dog lover” statement, I love them all, but at the same time I am well aware of the power and strength of any dog, no matter its’ size or temperament. I believe that all dogs big and small should be properly socialized and trained to behave in a calm well behaved manner. Granted not every dog is going to perfect every day, but with consistent work, you should be able to walk with them and not have an aggressive dog. Good behavior starts at your end of the leash.
I am also a strong believer that not everyone should own a dog, some people are just not fit to take care of themselves let alone a creature that relies on them for all of their needs. Just as important is that people need to research the breed of dog they want to have before getting something just because it looks cute or the size of the dog. Looks are not the “begin and end all” of getting a dog. Do you have the time and patience to give a certain breed the exercise and interaction it may require? If not then please don’t get the dog, everyone will end up unhappy and the dog may end up in a shelter or worse put down.
This morning on our walk we ran across such a case in my humble opinion. There is a woman who lives a couple of streets over that own two Cane Corsos, a two year old male and a one year old female, neither of which is neutered. The male weighs in at about a hundred and ten pounds and the female is only about seventy five pounds. We have run across her walking her dogs on occasion, but Mitch has been with me to help, not this morning, though. The male is animal aggressive and lunges growling and barking which sends our dogs straight to the same red zone level in zero to ten seconds flat. Then we have a potentially serious situation on our hands. The woman does everything she can to hold the dog back, him standing on his hind legs straining to break free and one of these days I think it will happen. He is only going to get stronger as he gets older. Don’t get me wrong these are beautiful dogs and quite friendly when I approached her “dog less”. But when there is another dog in close proximity look out scout.
This morning walking in the dark I saw her walking toward us and she had both dogs with her. I moved as far to the left as I could and downed both Charlie and Orso, spoke calmly and quietly telling them to “leave” and re-adjusted my hold to the low end of their harnesses for a better grip. My two did awesome comparatively speaking. The woman moved as far to the left as she could and tried to get hers under control but the male immediately lunged growling and barking at us raising the female to the same frenzied state. Mine started to respond in kind when her two went at each other in a horrific dog fight with the woman on the end of the leashes. I jerked both leashes of my two and turned back the way we came and I walked as fast I possibly could to get away. I felt terrible for that woman but I was not going to put my dogs and myself in harm’s way. Even as I rounded the curve in the road and was out of sight I could hear them go at each again.
It was a very sobering and scary experience, which I hope to never live through again. It really drives home just how important working with your dog is, for their sakes and your own.
The other day I was sitting on the bench at the end of the bed putting on my shoes when I glanced up and saw a long brown streak on the wall a little higher than eye level. I walked over to get a better look and figure out what it was. You can imagine the look on my face when I realized it was dried dog slobber. Gross! Of course this isn’t the first time I’ve found dried dog drool on the walls, it is almost a daily occurrence around here. Ever since we brought Orso home we’ve had this phenomenon. So you’d think I would be used to finding it by now, but every time I spot a new blob of drool, I get grossed out.
I’m pretty sure there is a Saint Bernard hiding in that Labrador body. I’ve never seen a dog drool quite as much as him. Orso will be walking along and drool will be hanging down swaying back and forth with each step getting longer and longer. The long tendril will even pick up stray debris and add to the drool creating a sort of anchor at the end. It’s really disgusting looking. Mitch will take his shoe and knock it off, no big deal, but not me, I do not want that anywhere near me. I’ll take a twig to try and snag it, but I am not going to touch it with any part of my anatomy, unh huh no way. Yuck! I am pretty sure it is some sort of toxic waste or something like that.
What amazes me the most is how in the world it ends up splattered on the furniture, the walls and occasionally me. That is probably the grossest feeling in the world getting hit with flying drool. My stomach usually turns over a couple of times when that happens. Then I rush to go bathe.
Now my life is reduced to doing daily wall checks, where I walk around each room and check for fresh slobber shrapnel. I have found it as high as above the door jam, how he got it almost seven feet high amazed us both, but it usually is about five foot off the ground that I find most of Orso’s weapons. There is nothing more embarrassing than washing down all the walls and as soon as someone stops by the first thing anybody sees is the remains of a fresh nasty slobber blob at eye level.
That’s my dog.
“If we hang our tongues out far enough can we get a pool?”
Photos taken with my Canon Rebel
It’s just like old times. It’s just the dogs and me, facing life all alone in the wee hours of the morning. It has been eleven weeks since my foot surgery and one week bootless. This morning was the first morning that it was just me holding both leashes wandering around in the predawn hours. It was a nice quiet morning all by ourselves, no critters or other vermin about. It was a slow walk much to dogs dismay, my foot is still stiff and a bit tender, but I’m walking, and that is a wonderful feeling.
Charlie kept an eye on the road ahead as usual always on the hunt. Orso snatched as much tall grass to munch on along the way as always. The world is his “All You Can Eat Buffet”. I’ve never had a dog that will eat just about everything he comes across. Tall grass, mulberries and wild blackberries in the summer, acorns in the fall and hackberries in the winter are all on the menu, plus the undesirables, goose poop and deer droppings are quite the delicacy. Yuck.
This morning was quite uneventful and for that I am very grateful, because I know in the not too distant future, something will be out waiting for us. Waiting to run in front of us or make a noise in the dark and the dogs will lunge and drag me around like a boat anchor, and hopefully my foot will be able to take it, not to mention the rest of my body.
But there is hope, our wonderful friends that walked the dogs for me while I recovered also worked with them daily, training them to heel, do stupid pet tricks and not lunge at other dogs on the walk. I intend to carry on and continue the training; otherwise we’ll have dog stew for dinner. Just kidding, we don’t eat stew in the summer.
It felt good though, almost as though life is almost in balance again.
We have a prowler. I made this disturbing discovery last evening when I went outside to water the tomatoes. I found a beer can in my garden outside our bedroom window and a cigar butt about five away from the beer can. The beer can still had about a quarter of beer left in it and the cigar had been smoked down to about two inches left. It still had the cigar band on it. So somebody stood outside our bedroom drank beer and smoked a cigar, and our two “watch” dogs never made a peep.
Can you believe it? There is somebody out there that has the nerve to stand outside our house drinking beer and smoke cigars, or maybe I should say the stupidity to stand outside drinking beer and smoke cigars. What did they think they would see? The windows are closed and the blinds are drawn, it’s summer, moron. It is hot outside, the air conditioner is on.
But more importantly, our pampered pooches didn’t make a sound. No they were sound asleep in our bed snoring away. Charlie snores louder than Mitch and Orso sleeps like a puppy, totally unconscious. I’m not going to get any help from Mitch either, because he can sleep through a gun shot, so I either become a lighter sleeper or get a bigger dog.
So I think I might place an ad in the paper:
“Wanted” A big honkin guard dog. Looking for the biggest, baddest, watchdog. One with fangs three inches long and jaws with a two thousand pound crushing force. One that can run faster than a speeding bullet and jump higher than six feet (I figure the creep can’t be too tall) and have an impact force of a runaway freight train.
Maybe if I get a dog to fit that description no one will come and hang out in the dark again
A game of tug o’ war is always great fun
Charlie looking quite dashing
Orso is just Orso
The alarm clock shrieking in my ear
Head pounding a leftover of last night
Sitting upright slowly with great effort
Feet slow to hit the floor.
Shuffle to the shower
Stinging spray brings a gasp
Adjust the faucet to a more tepid degree
Shampoo in my eyes causing tears.
Stubbed toe getting out of the shower
Could this day get any worse?
Getting dressed and nothing matches
Monday morning has come to visit.
The boot is off! I am a free woman. Oh what to do, what to do? Now I can do all the things that I have put off for nine weeks. Now I can go get a pedicure, go shoe shopping, do all those mundane glorious chores that I haven’t done for the last nine weeks. I can get back to hiking, working in the yard and walking the dogs among all of the other things on my to do list. Right now even vacuuming sounds fun, sick huh?
After a two hour surgery, five screws and a plate, thirty-six stitches with bones moved and removed and nine weeks of recovery, I am finally completely healed. My doctor said I did awesome on the healing and recovery. He asked if I brought a shoe and I pulled out a pair of three inch strappy sandals and said that I was planning on wearing them home. He looked at me like I was nuts, and I said that it was a joke, that I had brought many pairs to try on. We settled on the mate to the one I already had on
What I couldn’t believe was how weak my leg is and how tender the bottom of my foot is. I went to stand up and my left leg almost collapsed from the weight and pressure. My foot is still a bit swollen and my toes sort of jut upwards, but the doctor has assured me that they will lie down as I walk more. Toes pointing towards the ceiling, cute huh? I have been walking around in a walking boot for seven weeks and thought that shedding the boot and going back to shoes would be a piece of cake. Not so, this is going take bit of time getting back to a hundred percent. I guess this means I’m not running in a marathon next week.
Poor Frankenboot, what should I do with him? Maybe we’ll have a giant bonfire and burn Frank in effigy, Viking style or have him bronzed like parents used to do to baby’s first shoe. Or on a more practical note, maybe I should save him for future use. At the rate I’m going, I’m pretty sure I will probably break something in the future that would require a walking cast. I could even sell it on EBay and maybe get ten dollars for a slightly used black neoprene walking boot.
You have no idea how excited I am to be mobile again. I feel like I’m coming out of a kind of suspended state where most of my life has been on hold and in reality I guess it has, I’ve spent most of my energy healing. Now I’m ready to get back to full steam ahead, even if I have to take it a little slower than I originally planned.
It’s the little things that count the most. The unexpected thoughtful acts say, “I love you” more than flowers or flashy jewelry. I’m talking about the most mundane daily actions, like bringing a cup of coffee to your partner, just because you made one for yourself. Simple thoughtful, considerate boring actions that truly say, “I love you.”
I know that Mitch loves me, he has to, to put up with me but that’s beside the point. It wasn’t until my foot surgery and total dependence on him, did I realize just how much. He could have gone through the motions and did only what was necessary, take care of the dogs, feed me and chauffeur me around. He didn’t, Mitch did the little things, the deeds that you don’t notice until one time it gets missed and you realize how special it is and how much you depend on him.
Since my foot surgery, I have to shower in the guest bath, because it has a walk-in shower stall, easy access for me. And every morning Mitch carries over my hair turban before I get in the shower so I don’t have to crutch back across the house with wet drippy hair. I don’t see him do it, the turban is just there when I get out of the shower. I never even asked him to do that for me, he just did it. What man would care or even notice that a woman would want a hair turban to make a difficult experience a little easier to deal with? This is just one example of so many silly mundane acts that Mitch does without being asked.
This says more about someone than all the expensive gifts in the world. This says that he’ll be here through thick and thin, good and bad and especially when I’m at my worst and can’t even take care of me. I think this what the great marriages and relationships all have in common, sensing what the other needs or helps make their day a bit more comfortable and easier to get through a difficult situation. I am truly lucky to have him in my life.
I guess I’ll have to step up my game when I shed the boot.