Six Socks Strong

Mom has handed the “pen” over to me today.  She has a whopper of a cold and is so tuckered out she can barely pull up her socks.  She didn’t even work as long as she normally does on a Sunday (yay!), then she came back pooped out and fell into bed for the afternoon.

She watched the movie “Fargo” on TV.  That seemed to make her a little happier, though I don’t know why.  It’s so oddly sweet and bloody.  Tomorrow she is looking forward to “Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla.”  I’m not sure at what point I should call in a doctor.

Fortunately for me, her odd behavior doesn’t stop her from leashing me up and getting us out for our walks.  Maybe not as many as when she is feeling on top of the world, but she surely does not neglect me and our fresh air needs.  One step at a time, Mom, one step at a time.  Come along, girl, we’ll get there.

I know all about that, you see.  My life hasn’t always been a bucket of cookies.  I was still a bit of a pup when I moved in with my family.  I was about eight months old, but Mom was amazed at how little I knew about life.  Uncle Buster had to teach me how to play fetch.  Ah ya, Uncle Buster.  He was good to me, welcoming me into his household.  Then I proceeded to take things over from him and I became the alpha boss dog.  Hey, what can I say?  That is my nature, and I followed it.

I came from a place of cold cement floors, bars and wires on the door, and hardly any fresh air time at all.  The first time I saw leaves fluttering down from the trees and snowflakes riding the breeze, I pretty much froze in terror.  For, being who I am, I deeply fear what I do not know.  And, like Mom would probably point out if she were participating in this writing exercise, I do not know a whole lot more than I let on.

Nevertheless, I must be alpha.  Full of bluster and constantly pushing the limits.  What’s that you say?  Don’t bark at that doggy through the window?  For the umpteenth time, then, make me stop!  Ha!  I still got in the last word . . . grrrrrr.

Time to go.  I’ve gotta help Mom find her darned socks again.  I do love her, but sometimes I think she’d be a total loss without me.  I must admit, that’s what helps keep me going on my hard days.  I suppose that, between the two of us, we do stand mighty strong.  I’m not just being generous admitting that. It’s the simple truth.

When we walk together, we are balanced.  We are six socks strong.  I have four.  She has two.  Just so we are clear on that.

Come Wednesday

Yes, Wednesday, please come.  Come sooner rather than later, if you can.  Come with a suitcase full of those boring, inane commercials I love to complain about.  There will be plenty of time to show them by then.  What a relief they will be from the shrill, hateful swill that has been crashing down like a tsunami on all of us non-combatants as we count down to Tuesday.

Better yet, bring a load of those crazy pharmaceutical commercials where they promise to heal our acne or solve a dandruff problem and at the end someone with a lovely, low-key voice notes all the possible side effects–heart disease! stroke! death! suicide! insanity!  I get a kick out of those.  Heck, at this point, I’ll settle for a whole series of disgusting shingles commercials where they flash lingering pictures of horrifying, weeping rashes on the screen.  That would be downright refreshing compared to the screaming crescendo of political hatchets currently hurtling at us through TV ads and newsy sound bites.

Bitter pills aside, I encourage everyone to exercise their precious right to vote.  If you have trouble choosing a presidential candidate then, please, base your pick on the issues.  It is actually crystal clear how the candidates differ on some really big things, such as taxes, health care, education, gun control, Roe v. Wade, to name just a few.  This election result is likely to have some huge side effects–very concrete, very real side effects–on many important matters.  I find it frustrating that that fact is so easily lost in the blinding avalanche of negativity and personal attacks.

While I wait, I think I will take a three-day nap (my mail-in ballot has already been cast).  Wake up just long enough to feed and walk the dog.  Then go back to bed, pull the covers over my head, and dream that, come Wednesday, the outcome will be clear and we can somehow find our footing as a country to move forward.  Regardless of which path is chosen.  Gather our wits, pull up our socks, and plod forth.  Back to work.  Together.

And if that doesn’t work out, then I guess we are lucky that National UnFriend Day is right around the corner, on the 17th (complements of Jimmy Kimmel).

(Note:  This post will not be open for comments.  Consider it to be a simple sign taped to my living room window while I quietly nap.)

Assuming a Position

Everybody knows the definition of “assume,” but it is so relevant to today’s post that it bears repeating.  Assume is where you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me.”  Hahaha.  I always loved that one.

As to its relevance to this little blog space, well let me tell you!  Dawny and I were recently enjoying a morning walk around the campground loop.  She had just finished watering a particularly interesting spot, when I heard a persistent pounding on the window of a nearby RV.  The window glass was darkened so I couldn’t see anything, but I didn’t look too hard, either.  As Dawny and I resumed our walk, I wondered if perhaps someone had been taken hostage and they were trying to get our attention!

Well, that’s just silly.  One must be careful about assumptions, both the wild ones and those more easily tamed.

It didn’t take long for it to occur to me that the pounding had started after Dawny had pee’d.  The pounding probably was not from a hostage, after all, but from a camper who thought Dawny had poo’d and I didn’t pick it up.  The problem is, being a girl dog, she assumes the same position for No. 1 and No. 2.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone assumed my dog and I were a dastardly duo.  At a campground in Ohio last month a man and a woman strode boldly out from their campsite and approached us yelling, “Hello, Ma’am?”

Oh, how nice, I thought to myself.  My neighbors are going out of their way to talk to me!

They continued, “Are you going to pick up that excrement!?!?”

Oh, my!  I responded that there was nothing to pick up and that, as a girl dog, Dawny squats for both functions.  They kept coming at us, yelling at me to pick up that excrement, jabbing their index fingers at me and my dog.  I pointed to my fanny pack full of plastic bags for picking up poop and told them, as nicely as possible, that I always pick it up.  They finally backed down and returned to their campsite muttering loudly about how they saw Dawny do it earlier, too.  What can I say?  She’s a heavy drinker.

When I was workamping in a campground in Texas, a fellow volunteer came running over with a baggie for me to pick up after my dog.  When I told him she had pee’d, he launched into a long, detailed, increasingly uncomfortable description of how a dog holds its tail differently depending on what sort of business they are doing.  Not only was he calling me a liar, he had obviously been paying way too much attention to Dawny’s tail end.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  Finally, I just turned around and walked away while he continued to lecture me.  That pretty much colored our working relationship afterwards, and not in a good way.

For my part, I have to try to be nice when defending myself and my doggy, and that is not easy.  Gracious defense does not come naturally to me (Dawny and I are a lot alike that way).  But it does help if I remind myself that most people don’t become poopy dogmatists out of nowhere.  I see loads of dog poop in campgrounds and other public areas that people have not picked up.  It is extremely annoying when people do not clean up after their pets.

Such a simple, considerate act.  There seems to be a terrible shortage of that nowadays which, I suppose, exacerbates the tendency of many of us to assume the worst.  The problem is, when we jump to the wrong conclusion–especially an ugly one–we often leap over a lost opportunity, such as a friendly chat, a simple smile, a lighter step.

Now, excuse me while Dawny and I get ready for this morning’s walk.  I want to make sure that the hostage is okay.  On second thought, maybe the knocking had nothing to do with me at all.  It could well have been the sound of little elves making shoes and then using the heels to pound picture hooks into the wall.  Or, better yet, someone was having an amorous morning.  Yes, that must be it.  How lovely is that!