I Hate Spring Cleaning

Every spring as soon as the weather gets warm, Doc starts on a cleaning frenzy. First she makes a list of everything needing done, then goes to the garden store for mulch and spring flowers, starts cleaning off the porch and the outdoor furniture, edges and cleans the flower beds and cleans the winter scum off the windows. I get tired just watching her. I should have know when the weatherman said that the weekend would be in the 80’s that I would be the next thing on the list to be cleaned, but somehow I am always surprised, and not in a good way.

It’s rather humiliating to be hosed down in the front driveway for all the neighbors and my doggy friends to see. Even Mason , the boy next door looked like he felt sorry for me as he watched the whole ordeal while he played basketball in the driveway. Don’t worry, I sought revenge. When the bath was over, what did I do but find the wettest and muddiest spot in the yard to park my behind. ” That will show her. ” I said out loud to myself. But that only led to Doc looking at me with exasperation and hosing me down again. I growled and grumbled under my breath, ” Curses, foiled again!” ” I heard that!” Doc said to me. ” Why do you always act like I’m trying to kill you? It’s Just a bath. No one likes a stinky dog accept other stinky dogs. In this house, when we stink, we bath so we can stay acceptable in decent society.” A very dramatic diatribe in response to my complaints I thought to myself.

After I got over my hissy fit from the bath we moved on to other things that needed done. While I was helping Doc by putting my doggy toys away in the basket, I thought about how sometimes life is a balance of doing things you need to do like chores, things you hate to do, like baths and then rewarding yourself with something fun, whatever that may be. Balance is important for a happy and healthy life. So at the end of our day of chores and baths, we unplugged and it was warm enough to spend a glorious evening on the back porch watching the sun set and remembering to count our blessings. A perfect ending that took my mind off of a not so perfect day.

True Confessions of a Guilty Pooch

Did I feel any remorse for what I had done? To be honest no, not at first. I had no feeling about it at all, that is until I got caught. I had done what I did because that is what dog’s do. We live in the moment and don’t really worry about consequences. If it suites our needs or brings us happiness we go for it. I suppose that makes me sound rather self-centered, but dogs don’t really get diagnosed with such things. We are just dogs acting in the way our animal instinct drives us, and what I did the other day is a perfect example.

Doc has a wooden picket fence that goes around our back yard. It is about twelve years old, so some of the pickets have gotten weathered over time and Doc has been replacing them as needed. Well she missed one that was rotting and that is where this story begins. I was playing over by the fence and I must have leaned against it, when snap, the bottom of one of the pickets broke off. It was just about that time that my doggie friend Frankie, came outside. As he ambled over to the fence and noticed that I had broken it, we looked at each other like we both had the same plan. I guess great minds think alike, so we started digging furiously. There was dirt flying everywhere. We knew the gap at the bottom of the fence would be big enough for little Frankie to slip under if we just dug a little deeper into the earth. It didn’t take long at all and Frankie was able to wiggle his way under and into my yard. We must have played a good fifteen minutes before Doc noticed from inside the house. As she came outside she looked confused, not understanding how Frankie had gotten in the yard, when she looked over and saw the damaged fence and the hole in the ground. She did not look happy.

Frankie got sent home and I had to go back in the house while Doc surveyed the damage. I didn’t really feel guilty until Doc came in and told me that she would have to replace the picket and fill the hole. More work added to a long list of things needing done she said with exasperation in her voice. I felt a little guilty but knew the fence wasn’t my fault so I let that go. But digging a hole and letting my friend in the yard without permission, well that was another story. I went over and hid behind the couch laying nose to tail trying to get my 82 pound body as small as possible hoping Doc would not see me. While she went outside to fix the fence and fill the hole, a wave of remorse came over me. I tried to shake it off, but it didn’t work. Soon I fell asleep.

The next day I was still feeling guilty and decided to make amends. I found Doc in the kitchen getting breakfast and asked if we could have a heart to heart. ” Sure” she said. So I sat down in front of her and told her I was feeling guilty about causing her more more work and wanted to know how I could make it up to her. ” Think before you act the next time”. she said. “Dogs and people get themselves in trouble by not thinking things all the way through before they make a decision.” I forgive you Grover, now you forgive yourself as well. It’s time to move forward.”

No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worry can change the future.” Umar Ibn Al-Khattabb

Should you Consider Spending the Day in Bed?

Doc actually read me an article on the internet the other day that said humans need to stop pushing themselves so hard and think about spending the day in bed. I was suspicious at first thinking this must be written by a company trying to sell more mattresses, but it ended up being legit. The article said humans need to stop exposing themselves to all the anxiety provoking news on television and social media, slow down, shut everything off and stay in bed. Doc and I being open to trying new things decided we would give it a shot and see if it worked to reduce our stress. Lets just say things didn’t work out exactly like we had hoped.

It all sounded so luxurious, just laying around in bed all day like a couple of rich movie stars. The problem was that rich people have staff to do things for them and keep all their balls up in the air. On the other hand, working stiffs like ourselves our responsible for getting our own stuff done, so we decided the best course of action would be to get our chores completed ahead of time. That meant packing all our chores into one day. So exhausting! As we were working so hard to get everything accomplished for our day of rest, I thought to myself that maybe that this was just a big set up. After all the work we were doing, we would need a day in bed to crash, so what’s the point? Yet we persevered and went to bed reveling in the thought that the next day we would do nothing.

One of the luxuries of having a day with nothing to do is that you can sleep in. There was just one problem with that, I go to the bathroom outside and can’t open the door myself. So I had to wake Doc up fairly early to let me out. After that we went back to bed. About an hour of relaxing my stomach started growling and since I don’t have opposable thumbs, I had to wake Doc again to get my breakfast. Then it was time to go outside again to sniff around the yard to see what creatures of the night had left their scent. Doc was wide awake by then, so she got up, got dressed and made her own breakfast. Then she did the dishes because there is no maid to help her. Later in the day I needed my walk, some treats. Well you get the idea, I am high maintenance.

We really tried hard to lay down and relax after all the activity but it was a nice day and too good to waste being inside. After all there was yard work to do and it was just nice to be outside in the warmth after the winter we endured.

There is kind of a happy ending to this diatribe. After a few hours of Doc cleaning up the flower beds and me supervising, we were a good kind of tired. So Doc came in, took a shower and we finally both laid down on the bed. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching some good old movies and one even had a dog as the star. We lazed around until the sun went down and then it was time to sleep.

Maybe we just aren’t the kind of people that can unplug all the way but we did learn that we need some balance in our day. Nothing in this world is just black and white, so I encourage all of you to find what brings you peace and then set aside time to do it. After all, balance is the ultimate goal.

April Showers, the IRS and Mower Issues

After complaining about the dark and the cold for months, now Doc has switched to complaining about new issues that spring has brought forth. She is not the only one, so I guess this is just a thing that humans do and I have to bare my cross by acting interested and concerned, when to be honest I would rather just take a nap.

For what ever reason, humans have to fill out long forms every year for the IRS, to declare how much money they make and this makes them very grouchy. Then the government checks those forms and either gives you some of your money back or asks you for more. When I asked Doc why we give them the money we worked hard for she said because if you don’t give it to them they will cause you big trouble. When I asked what they did with the money, she said that some of that is even a mystery to her. She guessed some of it goes to programs to repair roads, help with schools and good things like that and then some of the taxes go toward and I kid you not, for NASA to study How Religious Groups Would Respond to Aliens, and to the National Science Foundation to find out If Dinosaurs Could Sing. (They couldn’t.) I asked Doc if they could send me some money and I would let them study me. She just gave me “the look.” when I asked that question.

Next on the list of grievances was how the April showers were making the grass grow too fast. She went out in our back yard yesterday to look closely at the grass and then shook her head and said, ” All this stupid rain is making the grass grow too fast. I am going to have to start mowing in about another week.” She acted so perturbed about the whole thing that I knew not to confess that I had been helping the grass grow by watering it as well.

Trying to be prepared for the inevitable, she went straight to the garage to check the lawn mower that had been shoved way in the back behind some outdoor lawn furniture. After pulling it out she checked to make sure there was gas and pulled the handle. Not a sound. After a few more tries she gave up. It was dead. Luckily, Doc knows how to fix stuff, so we went over to one of the big hardware stores and I got to go too. That place is almost as interesting as the pet store and lots of people stop and pet me when we go up and down the aisles so I like that. After Doc got a new filter, spark plug and some oil, we headed back home. It wasn’t long before she got everything done and even sharpened the blades and after just two pulls it started right up. She was relieved and so was I because it put her in a better mood for the rest of the day.

Now its Tuesday and all I have on my list for today after work is a mani-pedi over at the vets office. After all since spring is here I will be showing my paws more and I want them to look nice. Since I am a famous therapy dog I need to stay camera ready for my fans. That’s the least I can do.

Happy Spring!