Sometimes, in the middle of the day, I will have the smallest moment of panic. I worry if I gave Stump his pills. Stump isn’t with us anymore so it only takes a second to go away.
Today, I got a familiar, but not the same, text from my husband. Only this time, instead of Stump, the med check was for Haas. His medication is for something much more minor–an infected toe. I found the morning routine of loading up pill pockets to be strangely…comforting? soothing? normal, maybe. It isn’t our normal anymore, but it was for almost a year.
The new fuzzy face was much more enthusiastic about taking meds and ran off happily to play with his brothers. I still miss the old fuzzy face who would begrudgingly swallow a meal’s worth of pills to treat congestive heart failure and epilepsy before lying in the bathroom doorway to watch me get ready for work. I miss him but I am glad he doesn’t hurt anymore.
I am especially grateful that Haas only has a few more days and he will be back to being medication-free. I feel blessed that my boys are happy, healthy, and playful even if that means I will spend forever cleaning up after them. I’m not even too upset that they ate the vent covers for the space under our house.
Someday, they may need maintenance meds and help up off the floor but until then, I won’t borrow trouble and I will laugh at a 100 pound puppy bouncing around leaving slobber trails while trying to get Dad to play chase. I’ll even forgive him for pulling my nativity’s Mary out of a box and trying to eat her. (She’s fine)
There are 23 1/2 days of school left for this year. Mentally and emotionally, the kids are done and I am done. We will power through and finish writing papers (and grading), presentations (and grading), final novel projects (and grading) and all of the clean-up that goes with this time of year. There is a light at the end of the tunnel but it won’t be bright enough for another week or so for the kids to get their rears in gear.
The kids will make it. I will make it. Eventually, Percy and I will be full time training students.
We are going to spring for a private lesson or two, and go to every group class we can sneak into before the trainers catch on that we are repeats. I think we can wear disguises and use some of Percy’s nicknames.
On Tuesday nights, I will wear contacts and a ball cap. I’ll let Percy roll in the dirt so he looks part black lab and part dust bunny. I will refer to him as Linus.
For the Wednesday afternoon class, I will wear one of Oldest Child’s cosplay wigs and put Percy in an argyle sweater. He will be Perseus the dignified.
For our typical Saturday class, I can wear my glasses and Percy can get a bath before hand so he is going as himself. Maybe in his way our geriatric-sloth-like progress can become more middle-aged-turtle.
I did see some of this progress over the weekend. The boys shared a banana and I was lazy and put the peel on an end table. Drake decided he was still hungry and entered stealth mode to hide on the couch and enjoy his contrabanana contraband.
Since I have long conversations with/at the boys, I was explaining while I headed to the kitchen that they had consumed enough of a snack and didn’t need a banana peel. At “peel,” Percy ran to my left side and walked right next to me. He even sat when I stopped. It took the entire trip to the kitchen before I realized Percy wasn’t after the peel. Percy heard “heel” and was actually doing it!
This action, while a wonderful victory, confirmed my strong suspicion that I am the hold up on training, not my slobbery sweetheart. Those extra lessons are actually for me. Bring on doggy summer school where I don’t have to be the one grading!
Every job has benefits and drawbacks. April, for teachers, is one of those drawback times. The kids are done (mentally) and getting them through testing season requires super hero stamina. Add in the sudden realization that we have a large, year-long, project due and if kids don’t start turning in work they will get to spend not just 47 minutes each day with me but allllll day long for 2-4 weeks of summer school and people start to get irritable.
In my infinite wisdom/stupidity, I do the year-long project with my kids. This year, the project revolves around Percy. I have the rough draft of the paper done but I need to finish the project presentation. My original plan had been to have Percy all trained and ready to bring to school. That ain’t happenin’ so now I get to figure out how to make a video.
Percy has improved tremendously but he is still a wild man. He’s handsome, loving, and maybe 1/4 tamed. He also tends to be a bad influence on the other two. That happy face, according to online articles, should be lowering my blood pressure and making my stress vanish. I think the jury is still out on that one. The study and article authors probably don’t have giant dogs who tore up a window screen, ate a crepe myrtle bush, uses a log for fetch, or left a paw print like this on a front door when someone knocked.
Actually… the list of current things that drive me nuts about my trio of terror was a bit hard to come up with. Yes, prying a paint pen out of the shark-pig’s mouth can cause a jolt of fear (poison!) and going after the suspicious item you caught from the corner of your eye disappearing into Haas’s mouth is disgusting, the sweet moments outweigh the infuriating. I tell myself that it’s like exercise to emotionally swing back and forth in this manner.
Last night, it was about 10 minutes until bed time and my boys put themselves to bed. I could handle starting bedtime early, so I began the nightly routine.
First to bed, Haas gets a scratch on the head every night and praise for going into his crate. He was sitting quietly in the back corner and when I reached in, somehow I fell over, landed on my right knee and skidded to the back wall. There may have been some loud and not quite polite words.
As Haas tilted his head in concern or confusion about why mom was taking up half of his room, I heard the other two bolt from their crates and try to crowd into the still open kennel door.
Fortunately for me, Drake’s wiggly rear kept both him and Percy from being able to enter what they must have thought was one of Haas’s famous house parties. I was stuck since I couldn’t back out of the crate with Percy and Drake in the way. I ordered them “out” and Haas gave a doggy shrug and tried to do what I said. This meant he would have to walk on me to do what he thought he had been told. (The other two seemed to think I was just joshing them.)
After much confusion about who was to “stay” and who was to “go,” my skinned knee and I finally got everyone to bed and situated only to find that Youngest Child (the band-aid addict) had left me with only teeny bandages or some cut-off-a-digit-sized gauze.
Here is where I got some perspective. These three are friendly boys and are only doing what comes naturally. They get tired and fussy with each other just like my students do with each other and their teachers at this time of year. None of us want to do what we are supposed to do, but at the literal end of the day, some of my last thoughts are about my boys, my children, and my kids. I couldn’t do what I do if I didn’t love them, terrible or not. Here’s to the next six weeks of the blood pressure roller coaster.
I love lists. That is actually an understatement. I love them as much as my dogs. Lists rule my life. If there is a “listicle,” I will read it. It doesn’t matter if I know anything about the subject matter or not, I will probably read that list. If it can be put into a list, I am on it faster than Percy can gobble an unattended cake.
On any given day, I have four different lists on my work desk. They are short term lists, long term lists, things accomplished, and grocery lists that will never make it to the store. Some of my lists have sub-lists.
I like those “Things You Can Learn from a Dog” or “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten” type lists. They are almost always happy and good for a laugh or smile. The things I learn are seldom that fun, though. They often earn a sigh and occasional profanity.
Here’s what I have learned from my dogs (and demon cat). Your results may vary.
Flower pots can be shattered and then double as chewing gum when mom won’t let you have the real thing. (No backyard container garden for me this year.)
There’s always room for treats and eating slippers. (Apparently, the more expensive the slipper, the better it tastes.)
Flossing is great, especially when you use an iPhone charging cord.
Someone will fall for sad, puppy-dog eyes. You just have to find the person who wasn’t in the room when you got in trouble.
The more you yowl and stir up the dogs, the faster someone will scoop out cat food.
You are never too heavy, or have too bony of a butt, to be a lapdog.
100 pounds can sit on the back of my sofa without tipping it over. 120 pounds is too much.
A closed dog mouth is a suspicious dog mouth.
Anti-gas dog treats exist and are a nose-saver. I recommend them for daily use.
(My personal favorite) Dogs will love you and still want to snuggle when you come home sick from work on a Monday and look like a zombie.