I’ve been trying to walk Corwin more, since Old Dog. She and I both need exercise, in general. The vet said, too, that it would be good to get her out of the house so that she doesn’t just walk around, looking for Bridgett. Walking will give her many new things to smell, and take up space in that tiny brain pan of hers. We don’t go every day… it’s hard to make time for it every day… and we don’t go at the same time when we do go. I’d say we’ve been walking about three days a week, which isn’t the best but it’s better than NO days.
So far we’ve had a couple run-ins with other dogs. Most are friendly, but one the other day got out of the hands of the child who was walking it, and ran and attacked. I started yelling, like a mad owner, and it stood down and gave me side-eye… which is good becuase my next move was going to be to kick it in the head, since there weren’t any large branches or trash can lids near. Corwin was scared, but not hurt, and by half a mile later her tail was back up and she’d seemed to have forgotten about it.
I’ve noticed a few changes in her demeanor, too. She used to be a lot more independent. She didn’t necessarily have to be in the living room when Tim and I were watching TV in the evenings — a lot of times she’d go into the bedroom and nap on the bed (she’s allowed up there to snuggle with me, but gets kicked off when I get ready to start reading, because Tim says she makes his side of the bed too hot). So she likes to nap up there whenever she can. But since Old Dog, she wants to be near me a lot more. It’s not as frustrating to me as how Bridgett wanted to be near me all the time, because Corwin can actually move. Actually it is kind of funny. It took me a few nights to realize that the pacing back and forth she was doing in front of me as I’m on the couch didn’t mean “I need to go outside” but “would you put a blanket on the floor at your feet so I can lay there, please?”. She doesn’t go outside and play in the back yard as much, either, unless I go out with her.
I’ve noticed a few changes in myself, too. I didn’t realize how often I planned out what I was doing, or could or could not do, depending on where Bridgett was and how long she had been there and whether she was fully alseep or up and watching me with pain-filled eyes. A lot of the time I have things in the room where I’m not — little five-minute jobs, or things I need to get from or take to another room, dye or soap I need to check on, a ceramic piece I need to double-check the dimensions of (or worse, the weight of, or that I need a better picture for, because that means not only do I have to go get it from the ceramic room but then I have to take it back there immediately, meaning that if Bridgett catches me leaving the room TWICE, she’ll try to follow me… twice. Painfully. Poor Old Girl.). So for a long time I didn’t really put a voice to it, but I had this subtle math problem in my head of “what I need to do + where I need to be to do it + where is the dog + when did she lay down there + how likely it is that she’ll get up to follow me (divided by how much pain she’s in this particular day) = whether or not I get that thing accomplished.” And that’s a really hard way to work. I didn’t even, really, realize I was doing it until I didn’t have to do it any more. The first time I caught myself needing to go to another room and looking around to see if Bridgett was awake, and then realizing that well, no, she’s not even here… that was a weird moment. I was alternately sad, and relieved that I didn’t have to do that any more. And then of course I felt like a shithead for being relieved that I could better structure my work moment around me and not around my dog.
Corwin follows me just as much, now, but she’s not old. Yet. Sigh.
I no longer have to feed a finicky dog twice a day. I don’t have to be THAT PERSON that has to be home at certain times of the day, to give a pet medication. I don’t have to remember to order Pill Pockets, don’t have to worry about if I order a case of them that she’s going to decide she no longer likes that flavor halfway through the first bag, don’t have to worry about how much wet cat food there is left or how many pills there are left or calling the vet to get more pills and cringing at the cost of them but knowing that I’ll order them because I can’t bear to watch her be in pain. Suddenly Tim and I are going to have an extra $100 every twenty days, which is how often we ordered pills and how much they cost. Not to mention wet cat food and Pill Pockets. And I’m relieved about all that, too, but still feeling kind of like an asshole for being relieved.
I need to get to the place in my head where I feel that what I did was a necessary gift. Right now I still partially feel that it was a dick move — necessary, but douchy. We’re going down to Amy’s park in a few days to spend time with visiting family, and we can stay overnight and take Corwin with us (her crate will fit in the back of the Rav! Thanks, mom!). If Bridgett was still around, I would have been sending Tim on without me — there’s no way I could have felt that I could go to a kennel and say, OK, here’s the deal. Twice a day you have to completely inclose these three pills in a pill pocket — you can’t have any of the pill showing or she won’t eat it. Then you have to mix it up compeltely in a can of stinky wet cat food, and just a small handful, maybe ten pieces, of dry dog food. Mix it up compeltely so that everything is covered with the cat food (and it can’t be wet dog food, she won’t eat that). Then when she’s almost done with the wet cat food — be sure she’s eaten all the pill pockets but there still has to be a few peices of dry dog food left or she’ll get distracted and walk away — pour in a scoop of dry dog food so that she gets some of what she really needs for nutrition. But not too much, because I need to keep her a little hungry for twelve hours from now when we have to go through this again. Yeah. The kennel would have been all, hahahahahaha no.
It makes me tired just to write that.
And now I’ve got to go — I’m almost late for a chiropractic visit and massage.
Bring on the dancing horses
Wherever they may roam
Shiver and say the words
Of every lie you’ve heard
First I’m gonna make it
Then I’m gonna break it
Till it falls apart
— Echo and the Bunnymen