Hello Summer, Good by Mr. Chipmunk!

Over at my house, we couldn’t be more happy that summer is almost here. Although our spring was beautiful this year, nothing beats all the outdoor activities, and the one that I look forward to the most, is trying to catch that pesky chipmunk that has been residing at our house. It lives under the patio, has been torturing me for the last three years and frankly, I have had it. This is the year Mr. chipmunk gets an eviction notice.

It knows I am not fast enough to catch it and knowing that, it has the nerve to run right past me when I am lying in the yard trying to get some sun and shut eye. It’s not even afraid of Doc! Why, just this morning Doc was a bit miffed when she found that the little sucker had dug up her mulch and left it scattered all over the driveway. As she was trying to sweep the mulch back off the driveway, she noticed out of the corner of her eye that it was sitting on a rock in the garden watching her. She told me he had the nerve to sit and stare at her like he was laughing and mocking her. I know it is said that all creatures great and small should try to live in harmony, but who ever said that obviously didn’t have to put up with a diabolical rodent. I feel like I am in the middle of an old Warner Brothers, Road Runner Cartoon where I am the Coyote and the chipmunk is the Roadrunner. We all know the Coyote never wins and I am trying to be smarter than the Coyote by using something safer than Acme dynamite and a net to catch the little sucker. After all I don’t want to blow up Doc’s house in the process.

After some thought I may need to call in my two dog buddies Frankie and Norman that live next door for backup. That little Frankie is fast and maybe he can catch it. He did catch a skunk a few weeks ago and that didn’t turn out too well at all, as he got sprayed right in the face, so maybe I should rethink my plan. All of this is making me tired. That is the great part about summer, I can think while I nap in the cool grass under the Maple tree, after all, I have all summer to deal with that chipmunk. I will keep you posted.

Sick As a Dog

In case you hadn’t noticed, it has been two weeks since I wrote my blog. There was an event that kept me so busy that I did not have the time think about anything but Doc and her well being, because after three years of the virus going around, Doc finally came down with COVID. Up until now, I think Doc was starting to think she had some kind of immunity that was keeping her from getting it, but she found out she is not invincible, and is human just like the rest of you.

She started feeling tired on a Friday afternoon and then everything went down hill after that until she tested positive the following Monday. She became suspicious late Sunday night when she noticed the peanut butter ice cream bar she was eating didn’t taste like peanut butter at all. Yes, she had lost her taste, one of the symptoms. Of course I knew she was sick long before she did. Did you know that dogs can smell all sorts of illness even before doctors and their tests can identify them? There are dogs trained to sniff out cancer cells and In the beginning of COVID, before there were instant tests, they had dogs trained to sniff out the COVID virus. Yes, we are wonderful creatures if I do say so myself.

But, I digress. It’s rare I see Doc feeling so bad that she does not want to get out of bed, but she was very fatigued and needed her rest, the problem is, she doesn’t seem to have an off button. Even with her sickness she was either putting in a load of laundry, or doing some chore between naps. She often said to me ” Here I have this time off and I am too tired to get anything done. what a waste of time.” After taking care of her a few years back after shoulder surgery, I am very aware that she is not a compliant patient, so I was on high alert and found the only way to get her back in bed was to follow her everywhere. It is certainly tiring trying to care for someone that will not follow the rules.

As COVID was not enough, on the the fifth day of her mandatory quarantine, we were watching a movie and munching on those good Snyder’s Sour Dough pretzels when I heard a crack coming form Doc’s mouth. Holly Moley! Doc had chipped her # 2 molar on the bottom side of her mouth. What else could happen? Luckily she was not in any pain. The next morning she called her dentist, explained she was positive for COVID out of quarantine, but still masking, and much to her surprise they gave her an appointment for the next afternoon. The dentist did not want to run the risk of her being uncomfortable or the tooth getting more damage. After her appointment the next day, she came home good as new with a temporary crown.

Doc was lucky, she only had a mild case and the new medicine combined with the vaccines she had chosen to get helped her to have a good outcome.. I sure am thankful for all the help that Doc was given from her dentist and the nice medical people at Urgent Care where they treated her for COVID. I could not have done everything myself. It takes a village with that woman.

We are both happy to be back at work, but I have to say I am worn out. Luckily I have a job where the staff and patients don’t mind if I nap on and off through out he day, because this dog deserves a rest.

Deep Thoughts

Even though technically, I am not suppose to sleep on Doc’s side of the bed, I find it is the best place to do my problem solving, philosophizing and planning. As Aristotle once said, ” The most important relationship we can have is the one you have with yourself, the most important journey you can take is one of self discovery.” I just choose to follow Aristotle’s advice in comfort, and since Doc would be outside for hours doing yard work, I had plenty of time to ponder the meaning of my life while lying on a soft pillow.

You might think it’s not very nice of me to lay in bed all day while Doc is out toiling in the flower beds, but someone in this family needs to preserve their energy. After all, I have a good view out the window into the yard and it is impressive watching her edge the flower beds and then haul around over 25 bags of mulch that she then spread all around. She is focused about getting a job done, I’ll give her that, but I did notice that she had to come in a take some breaks through out the day and she complained that she was getting sore. After all, she is no spring chicken and neither am I. That is why I leave her with the heavy lifting and I provide the verbal encouragement.

Doc caught me several times snoozing away, and I could tell she was not thrilled as she had just put clean sheets on the bed, but I think she was too tired to complain. When she was finally done gardening, and she let me outside, I was thrilled when I smelled the manure aroma of the mulch. After all, dogs philosophy is the stinkier the better.

When Doc went to take a shower, that’s when I got busy doing a little landscaping myself . However, she was not pleased when she came to the back porch, saw that the dirt and mulch under the pear tree had been dug up and I was now asleep in the new soft bed I had created. Exasperated with me she exclaimed in a tired and slightly agitated voice, “Grover, did you dig up all my hard work?” I thought to myself, who did she think did it, the next door neighbor? For a minute I thought about throwing him under the bus, but came up with a better response, so sheepishly I responded, ” I am on my journey of self-discovery, just like the great philosopher Aristotle suggested and I have discovered that sleeping in a bed of mulch and dirt is more comfortable than sleeping in your bed”. Boy did she give me “the look” when I said that.

I knew it was a lame excuse, but lucky for me she was too tired to respond, or to make me come in the house. So I stayed under the tree appreciating the relationship I had formed with myself through the day and then promptly fell sound asleep while dreaming about my purpose in the universe.