Monday, October 3, 2011

20-Yr-Old Dog Avoids Papparazzi


Delilah

So I just spent a three-day weekend babysitting two dogs. Delilah is 14 years old and Cuda is 20, and they are both quite fragile. They have very specific diets, needs for frequent walks and basic 24/7 on-call care.  They are, however, quite lovable, and since I live only two doors away, I didn’t exactly feel put out by the request from neighbors who have certainly done their all for my dog.
The first morning I woke up there, I opened an eye and there were two dark brown eyes, inches from face. It was Cuda, letting me know that it was dawn and they needed to go out. It was more like 7:30am, but when you’re a freelance writer, time is relative. So we got up and did the go outside thing. Then we made the involved breakfast concoctions, which included pulverizing different amounts of prescription Deramaxx for each dog for arthritis, and mixing it in with Iams specialized kibble, Iams specialized wet food and a little warm water. Seven in the morning not being my best time of the day, I amazed myself each time I was able to accomplish this task.

Mandy

Then I went upstairs to make the bed so I wouldn’t get back in and fall asleep all day. When I shook out the covers and blankets, to my surprise, a little gray cat named Mandy went flying out of the sheets and across the room. I felt horrible, but she looked at me like, “Oh, it happens all the time,” and went about grooming what fur she had, having had all but her head and the tip of her tail shaved for the hot summer months.
I brought my camera along so I could make a quick slideshow of what we did while Mom and Dad were away, but Cuda would have none of it. Every time I lifted the camera to snap a shot, Cuda would, literally, turn tail and run off.  So I have pictures of Deliah, a shot or two of the humorously shaven Mandy, all cuddled up in the new dog bed, and Cuda’s butt.

Cuda's butt

The big concern about the dogs was if they were going to have messy accidents in the house, but I was lucky. Not a one. Though there was the walk we took to my house where I ran upstairs for less than a minute to do something before we walked back. Sure enough, when I came downstairs, there was a nice little gift for me in the middle of the TV room floor. Both dogs looked up at me as if to say, “I didn’t do it.” C’est la vie.
Then there was the groggy-eyed morning when I got to the bottom of the stairs and stepped in it. Literally. So I cleaned myself up, cleaned the rug up, moved over a few inches and stepped in it. Again. It was one of those dark patterned rugs that are all the more confusing at 7am. Like I said before, luckily, there were no messy clean-ups.
On my final morning on duty, it was mid-morning and Delilah came to visit me while I sat on the couch. I petted her and then she headed for the front door. Like a shot I got there at the same time she did, but not before a small trail of “bread crumbs” had been left on the living room floor. At least most of it got outside that time.
And now it’s time for me to leave, which I find bittersweet. Realizing what it takes to keep these dogs going, I am afraid to leave for the three hours before the owners get home. And they’ve grown on me even more. Even that silly-looking cat, who is totally lovable. But I will gladly say good-bye to the poops on parade, and thank the newspaper guy for delivering the paper in a plastic bag.
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