My Knee Scooter

My knee scooter was delivered yesterday, a device designed to help me stay mobile without putting any weight on my foot.  I have tried to preplan for everything knowing I wouldn’t be able to walk for three months.  I bought extra skirts to wear, figuring that trying to pull slacks on over this big honking bandage would be a bit of a challenge.  I waited for the weather to warm up before having the surgery so my naked toes wouldn’t get cold in the snow.  I bought a backpack to be able to haul everything so that my purse wouldn’t slip off my shoulder throwing me off balance and causing me to crash and burn.  Or as Mitch describes it, that “Black Hole” I carry around.

I decided not to put in a garden this year because Mitch would be doing most of the work for three months.  I know that the harvest won’t be until August or September, but I figure that he has enough to do without me unnecessarily adding to it.  I have friends coming to walk the dogs in the morning while Mitch is at work so the heathens don’t get short changed.

My doctor had described the scooter as small, lightweight and collapsible so I figured that I would break it down and hook it to my backpack and drag it up the stairs with me while using my crutches.  You see, coming and going in and out of our home involves stairs.  Even though we live in a ranch style house, there are stairs going up to the garage to get in the car.  There are stairs going down to the street to get the mail and daily paper.  There are stairs to go out to the yard, just to enjoy a bit of fresh air.  That’s because our house was built into the side of a hill.  Stairs everywhere.

So much for preplanning, this is the Hemi of scooters.  It’s very nice, don’t get me wrong, sturdy, padded knee pad, hand brakes left and right and pre-adjusted to my height.  But small and lightweight it is not!  This thing is huge.  I am not going to be strapping it onto my back and hauling it around.  Now I have figure out how to get it and me up the stairs to get it in the car, out of the car and up the two flights of stairs at work.

So much for trying to preplan.

Just a Routine Visit to the Vet?

Even a routine visit to the vet to get the dogs their six month bordetella vaccination is never dull.  People can call dogs “dumb” animals if they want, but those that do evidently don’t actually own dogs.  Our three love to go with us everywhere and when we can accommodate them, we do.  Before Orso that was easy for us.  AJ and Charlie were always happy and content just to be in the car with us.  When we got Orso, dog rides became arduous to say the least.  He will howl and bark at us when he doesn’t get to get out of the car to go in when us.  Getting to ride in the car being out and about isn’t enough for him, he wants to get out of the car and go inside the store with us too.   Now he has succeeded in getting the other two to bark and carry on along with him.  Very painful on the ears, plus the looks from other bystanders are very embarrassing.  We’ve even been paged while shopping at Cabelas, that “the station wagon with the barking dogs, has left your lights on.”  I made Mitch go and turn off the lights on the car; I didn’t want anyone to know who owned the heathens.

A trip to the vet, no big deal, right?  Wrong, Orso remembers where places are and how we get there.  Once we start out on our treks, he gets his bearings and depending on where we are going he starts howling and barking at us, even before he knows whether or not he gets to get out or has to stay in the car.  Very annoying, makes me crazy having a dog bark at the back of my head to yell at me.  Coincidence, no,  because he doesn’t bark at us at the gas station or when I drop Mitch off at work in the morning, he knows that we’re not staying.  Not so dumb, huh.  He knows the road to the vet and starts barking and raising hell as soon as we pass the grocery store. 

Today we had the added bonus of road construction.  Yay.  Lane and road closures, oh goody.  The road to vet is closed and the only way in was to take the roundabout and go through the very exclusive golf course and housing addition that the vet’s office is by.  Here we were driving a seventeen year old station wagon with three dogs sticking their heads out of the windows barking at golfers and residents as we snaked our way through the detour to get to the vet.  We looked like the poster child for chaos.  Thank god no one holding a golf club was within throwing distance to our car.  Though I’m sure we caused a few muffed shots. 

After today I think the city may rethink their detour route after all the nasty phone calls they will probably receive.

Dead Batteries

The batteries died in the indoor shock collars the dogs wear when left alone in the house.  Why do the dogs wear shock collars in the house and how did we find out that the batteries were dead you ask?  Well let me tell you.  First off we discovered the indoor shock collars when AJ and Charlie discovered the pantry while being left to their own devices during the work week.  After eating their way through the well stocked pantry, we had to find something to keep them out of the kitchen.  Kennels didn’t work, AJ would either destroy the metal ones or chew through the plastic airline crates.  Quite by accident I found these really nifty indoor collars that emit a high pitched squeal then a mild shock if the dog gets too close to the transmitter you place wherever you don’t want the dog(s) to be.  Works like a champ with good batteries, not so much with dead batteries, as we discovered today.

Today we came home from work for lunch as usual, but there was no barking dogs waiting for me to open the door.  That should have been my first clue.  I opened the door and two of the dogs, AJ and Orso came running.  Charlie was a little bit further behind.  That should have been my second clue.  After the dogs rushed out the door toward Mitch to go pee, I walked inside.  As I rounded the corner from the entry hall to the living room two things caught my eye.  A can of whole cashews standing upright with the lid pulled off  and the empty meat tray I had washed this morning and had placed in the recycle bin.  The lid to the can of cashews sporting chew marks was lying on the rug next to the can of cashews sans cashews.  Somehow one or more dogs had stuck his muzzle into the can and scooped out all of the cashews.  They didn’t knock the can over just sucked out all of the cashews.  My dogs have true talent.  The can had been on the counter in the kitchen and was almost full.  The plastic meat tray had housed the boneless beef ribs that I was cooking in the crockpot.  I had washed the tray to remove all meaty traces before putting it in the recycle bin.  Obviously someone was paying attention this morning and watched me put it in the bin. 

I almost picked up the evidence but decided to leave the crime scene intact so Mitch could experience the scene as I had.  I walked into the kitchen expecting the worst.  Luckily the crockpot was still cooking away on the counter unmolested.  I couldn’t say the same for the recycle bin.  It had been pulled out to the middle of the kitchen with the lid pulled off.  For dogs without thumbs, these three are extremely adept at getting container lids off.

Thinking this wasn’t as bad as I imagined it could be, I turned around and saw the trash can lying on its side with the contents strewn all around.  Oh joy, what a way to spend my lunch hour, cleaning up after heathens had gone shopping.  I see a trip to the store for more batteries in my future.

It’s a Conspiracy

My dogs are trying to kill me.  I’ve suspected this for a while now, but after our walk this morning I’m sure of it.  Yesterday, they were straining against the leash searching the dark for an unknown opportunity to jerk me around like a puppet.  This morning I saw the deer a fraction of a second before they did, but not soon enough to rein them in before AJ and Orso lunged forward to give chase.  AJ weighs in at seventy five pounds while Orso weighs a mere ninety five pounds for a combined weight of one hundred seventy pounds, just a bit more than me.  Not to mention the difference in muscle mass.  I come out the loser on both counts and they know it.  The only thing I have in my favor is opposable thumbs.

Charlie trying to get a better angle at the deer made a quick turn from being on my right to circling around behind me and lunge forward on my left, with the leash positioned perfectly behind my knees.  My only saving grace was that he bumped into the other two keeping me from crashing to ground on my butt.  They dragged me about a half of dozen steps forward before I was able to get them under control with my steely voice. I really screamed loudly enough to wake the neighborhood.  The three heathens didn’t even have the good sense to pretend to look repentant. 

I don’t understand it.  I am the bringer of food.  I take them hiking and swimming.  I’m a good time.  Why would the dogs want me dead?  Just because I make sure they get a bath every two weeks in the winter and at least weekly in the summer.  More often depending on what they smell like.  I make them behave, no chasing the cat or running up and down the neighbor’s fence taunting their dog.  I don’t let them eat the disgusting dead thing they have found.  That couldn’t be it, could it?  Surely not.  Maybe I should sleep with one eye open.