Today was our dry run for the long drive to Montana. Can’t have a wiggly whining doggie for hours in the car, so I tried half of one of the pills the vet recommended. Poor little boy–slightly nervous but VERY sleepy. He managed to stay awake, just barely, and spent a couple of hours in the car while I ran errands. Very sweet, but not my usual perky guy!
I have visions of Chewy as an old man doggie, cuddled in my lap with no energy. Nice, but now I’m waiting for him to start barking at lawnmowers, demanding I try to get the ball away from him, and standing by the treat drawer with that look of royalty in his eyes.
I snoozed while Ellie was out this morning. Then she came back and took me for a little walk. Just down to the corner and back. I sniffed the grass, fell down, sniffed some more. Last night was terrible. I couldn’t get comfortable. I kept walking in circles trying to figure out what to do or where to go. Then I’d fall down. I get really upset when I can’t get up.So I’d howl for Ellie to help me.
At bedtime Ellie spread a blanket on the floor under my bed and shut the door. I walked round and round. She picked me up and put me on the bed with her. Usually that’s a treat, but I was so tired I just lay there. It was cozy to rest my back against her big body. Each time I woke up, I wasn’t scared. She was right there petting me. After a while she put me in my bed and I finally had a good sleep. Maybe tonight will be better.
I sneeze and my head bounces off the floor. Again and my nose hurts. That just makes me sneeze more. Now Ellie grabs me and is trying to wipe something off my nose. Tastes funny. She puts a wet cloth on me and it stings. I sneeze again. Oh, well.
These days I’m hitting my head a lot. I just don’t see that the door or table leg or box or bed is in my way. Or I don’t hear Ellie sneaking up behind me and I jump and whack my head on the wall. Or I trip on my water bowl and land on my back, my nose grazing the cupboard door. That’s life!
We just came back from a nice slow walk. I sniffed the bushes and picked up lots of good smells while the wind blew my fur all around. Ellie started pulling on the leash near the end of the walk. Achoo! This time she was sneezing. Achoo! Achoo!
“Come on, Foxy,” she said. Back in the house for treats and dinner and a nice long nap.
Any critters lurking? Neighborhood noises? Water falling from sky? Food smells? Cold wind? Do I want to jump over that threshold? If I don’t move now is she going to pick me up? Stairs ahead…oy. Couldn’t I just go back to sleep?
I used to run up and down the stairs from the house to the yard every day without stopping to look at them, without feeling any pain. That’s not easy anymore. I still run up, but sometimes it takes me a while to gather my energy to leap. And going down the stairs? No, thanks. Especially at night, I can hardly see them. So Ellie picks me up before our walk and at bedtime and places me on the grass or the sidewalk. I struggle to escape when she picks me up. I’m a guy! I’m tough! Well maybe not so much anymore. But I still want to do it myself.
Ellie gives me treats in the backyard every day. It has something to do with a metal pathway with a scratchy surface. She puts it down on the grass and holds out a treat for me. Sure, I want the treat. (It’s a piece of some little hot dogs that come out of a tiny jar…why are they called hot dogs?) So I jump up to get the treat and land on the grass or on the metal thing or halfway on each. Usually the treat lands in the grass, since I can’t find it in her hand. Then I sniff for it in the dry grass while she waits. After a few tries, she gets at one end of the pathway with me at the other and beckons for me to come get the treat. Sometimes I run all the way down the metal to her and grab my treat. When that happens, she’s jumping up and down.
Before we’re done, Ellie moves the metal thing so one end is on the deck and the other is on the grass. She climbs up to the deck and asks me to come up the ramp for my treat. I have to think about it. Sometimes I’m feeling the breeze or a fly going by or I hear a noise behind me. Sometimes I walk up the ramp and she gets all excited. Then she tries to get me to walk down the ramp, but so far, that doesn’t appeal to me, no matter how many treats she has in her hand. You must think I’m nuts. I don’t want to be picked up, I don’t want to go down the ramp or the stairs, and I don’t want to pee on the floor. That’s just the way it is. TIme for a nap.
From the front lawn I leave Ellie in the dust and run straight to the door. As soon as she gets the door open–sure wish I could do that myself– I race down the hall, slipping and sliding on the wood floor, and skid to a stop on the rug in the TV room. That’s near my food bowl and I like to check it often to see if anything new has turned up. Then I trot back to the bedroom and lie down. Or go through Ellie’s office and down the other hallway to the front room or the garage. Most of my walking is back and forth between the bedroom and the kitchen. If that floor was more like the dirt in the woods, I’d have worn a path into it by now.
At night I’m not sure where I want to be. Ellie is in her bed and the lights are out. I look around the bedroom, not seeing much. I walk to my water bowl in Ellie’s bathroom and give it sniff. I step out into the open space by the front door. What now? Where to? I saunter into the kitchen, sniff my food bowl, walk around the sofa. Do I want to go out through my door? Not really. Check the food bowl again–empty. Everything else the way it should be here, I walk back to the bedroom. Click, click, click, my claws mark my pace. I walk in, hear Ellie sleeping, check out my beds–the old one I never use any more, the comfy one that smells like me and is lumpy and ripped, and something new that Ellie keeps throwing treats on. It’s thick and spongy, hard for me to walk on. None of them seems very interesting, so I walk back out to see what’s going on in the kitchen. Click, click, click…