All posts filed under: Pets

They are all completely unpredictable.

Leave the puffer behind.

70 degrees Fahrenheit. Possibly the most perfect temperature. And friends, I’m incredibly relieved to report that I’m experiencing it today. Experiencing it outside. Because of course inside my second story office in my antique house with antique radiators, it is usually well over 70 degrees when it is 65 degrees downstairs at the thermostat and 15 degrees outside. I’m not making sense. Blame it on the 70 degrees. On this day, I left my ankle length Patagonia puffer on the coat rack for morning dog walkies for the first time since mid-November. I felt mostly unprotected and I did worry a bit. What if the situation changed around the corner? Ok, now I’m bragging about my own bravery because the truth of the matter is that I had on thinsulate lined Carhartt bib overalls, blundstone boots, my red pompom hat, and a slightly lighter jacket. But not the puffer and that’s something. My smile actually ached in my cheeks in the final block, and it is certain any watching neighbors, and in the city there’re …

Double Dog Indignity

Ten decades. Ten thousand miles. Immediate indignity in the WideEyedHousehold. Or is it love? The old stuff I bring home despite long and windy WideEyedSpouse sighs seems to get along ok with the old stuff already here. Basement-abandoned, mildew-stinking, dusty, grandparent furniture, lamps, rugs, geegaws – they all seem to agree to the neutral zone pact of the WideEyedHousehold: meld or hit the road. Each of them has a history with other families, sometimes these are decades long histories of ill use and hard living. Sometimes they glow as the treasures they have been and are to me now. I like to think when they get here, they are open to new histories, new families. And, dogs. Two days ago the most recent old-thing arrived, a rug fragment originally from central Asia. It has been tooling around the world since 1920. Turkistan to someplace, [someplace to someplace], someplace to Arizona, Arizona to the WideEyedHousehold in Buffalo, NY. Packed in trunks. Rolled. Folded. Squashed. On trucks and boats and planes and feet. Ten thousand miles over …

Sticky missions

A year and a half, more or less, of stress and misery masked by smiling fortitude. Yuck. I’d rather wail and screech. Family deaths, an unjust nation, job hunting, and illness. The horoscope writer in the newspaper hates Sagittarians because every day I’m told to keep my head down, trust no one, stay close to home. I drag on my cheerful stripy socks and live each day like it isn’t preceded by something wretched. Miss Tibbit the Useless, Crooked Hankie the Corgi, the WideEyedSpouse, and I walk the three block walkies circuit most evenings. Christmas lights are going up all over the neighborhood and legions of bagged leaves line the strip between the sidewalk and the street. Hank pees on as many as possible, his stout corgi body rushing to the next leaf bag each time. I can tell he loves marking up the captive yard parts. After each leg lift, he gives me a sideways look and a grin and then accelerates to the next, ears aflap. Tibbit ignores the leaf bags and gathers …

Dogs like cookies.

Crooked Hank the Young Corgi and Miss Tibbit the Useless Little Black Dog arranged themselves nearby while I put on the Superga kicks this morning. (Note: this is the first day suitable for kicks rather than snow boots, rain boots, hiking boots, or warm-knee-high leather boots in living memory. Sing praise and joy to the kicks.) I held each sock for Hank’s inspection, prior to getting my foot inside of it. Tibbit sniffed shoelaces and inspected soles. I cleared my throat and leaned back, the aging settee creaked and the comfy pillows squashed around me. I smiled to the congregation before me, and opened the liturgy of the Church of the WideEyedDogs. I chanted, monophonic, “All the dogs should have cookies, all the time.” In my mind I heard the congregation chant the response, “Cookies all the time.” Hank and Tibbit sat up, ears perked in a participatory manner. And, “The dogs should have the good kind of cookies with liver and bacon, not the cheap wheat flour ones.” Response, “The expensive liver cookies, all …

Aggressive decency.

Most days I tell myself, today feels good. Birds chirp during morning dog walks. Hankie Smalls the Corgi and Miss Tibbit the Useless Little Black Dog – innocent and protected – are untroubled by politics, economics, or impending societal collapse. They are cheerful and hopeful every single morning. Interesting adventures in the confounding universe await. They smile at me and expect love back. So I smile and feel good, breathing deeply in the cold, hydrocarbon scented city air. Then comes the newspaper. The morning news on the car radio. The news synopsis emails. The Facebook feeds. From them I learn who died and how. Who was assaulted, harassed, or disempowered. Who has had their legal rights, access to medicine, or control over their own bodies stripped from them in the night as our political leaders sneak sly, lobby-fueled, religion-fired legislation into the system. The senators must be tiring of my letters. Ugh. I grit my teeth and work through it, distracting myself with the minutiae of academic program management and research. Time is passing and …

Provisions

We ripped through the night in the Mighty Pathfinder, Enrique Iglesias’ Bailando thumping from the speakers, windows open, warm winds blowing. The WideEyedSpouse didn’t slow for a mad-big construction bump and the Mighty P lurched and waggled excitingly. “Bailandoooo!” the Spouse wailed. An old man on a porch swing creaked back and forth in time to the song when our crazed journey paused at a traffic light, and a flashing neon sign wanted to be on the beat but couldn’t get there –an electric version of me trying for the rhythm but never finding it. Cracked sidewalks sketchy bus stops stinky gas stations barking dogs blatting broken muffler cars – they are all better in the languid warm of long summer evening. I smiled out into the evening air, crumpling my reusable grocery sacks tight to me.  My heart felt full and light and easy. Buoyant. Which was nice because there hasn’t been much joy in the WideEyedHomestead since my pal Hamish the Corgi died a few weeks ago. It’s my big question, my conundrum again, …

Cats and Plants

Yep. That’s a Maranta leucomeura. A scraggly specimen, too. The WideEyedSpouse espied it lurking on the back of a table at the Home Depot. “Special Buy” the tag said. I snorted. What a mess. The Maranta lives in the WideEyedHousehold now. You may be unimpressed by this prosaic moment. So would I be except for one extraordinary and upsetting fact. The Maranta can live here because Ancient Wiggins the Cat no longer does.  Old-struck, life-weary, that creaky, foul-tempered and steadfast pal of mine left the building on Saturday morning. By Sunday afternoon the Maranta had moved in, that opportunist. For eighteen years the household could harbor no plants without inevitable hoorka, hoorka, hoorka noises and slimy green piles on the carpets. Always on the carpet, never on the tile. Eighteen years of raptor intensity attacks on even ears of corn from the farmer’s market left unguarded on the counter. (We once hid them in the oven to prevent the hoorkas, forgot them, found them two weeks later moldering, warm, soft.) “As soon as that cat …

Taller fencing.

When my neighbor’s daughter giggled at me, I thought to consider our situation. All I did was flap my hello-hand at her when she got into her dad’s car less than 10 feet away from me and Miss Tibbit – who was taking an eternally long sniff at something along the fence line. She found half a sandwich there about a month ago and she can’t let the memory go. Miss Tibbit found the sandwich, not the daughter. The origin of the half a sandwich remains unknown. It was 10pm walkies and the entire WideEyedHousehold was outside, except Ancient Wiggins the Cat who could be heard yowling for a snack in the kitchen. I waved my hello-hand and the daughter said hi but she said it through a sort of shocked-involuntary giggle. Weird. I pushed the side flap of my furry bomber hat out of the way and looked around a bit to see what was funny. The dogs weren’t up to anything. The WideEyedSpouse was…oh. The WideEyedSpouse was standing in the driveway in his …

Kitchen Transcendence

I meant to take a nap. Sunday afternoons are for napping.  Especially rainy Sunday afternoons. Really especially rainy Sunday afternoons that were preceded by a two-mile morning run in the park during a down pour. Blech in all directions on that little event: run (yuck), run for two miles (yuck), run in the rain (yuck). I looked at Hamish the Corgi and he gazed back at me, content laying in a sea of his own shed hair. We sighed at the same moment. Time for the Oreck Fun Police. Together, with Miss-Tibbit-the-Useless, we dusted and whirred around the downstairs. Miss Tibbit curled on the red tufted settee in the front parlor. Hamish lounged on the orange passion flower upholstered Victorian settee in the living room. Each dog picking the furniture piece that best set off their shiny, shedding fur. I put away boots, hung up coats, dog towels, and discarded umbrellas. I straightened pictures, cleaned up eviscerated dog toys guts. And I vacuumed. And vacuumed. And vacuumed. Tip: dogs shed. You’re welcome. When it was …

Independence Day.

Thanks to the bold minds and brave signers of the Declaration of Independence, and their willingness to see it through we are here now:  equal, free of abuses, repeated injuries,  and usurpations from Government, free of a Government which refuses to pass laws, free from the obstruction of justice, free of taxation without representation…er. Ok. Well. Thanks to the bold minds and etc. etc. were here now: basking in a glorious summer day of picnics and simply joys. The people of the WideEyedHousehold came of age in one of the New Jersey shore towns, working to serve the holidays of one hundred thousand city-folk. Now, we wallow in the quietude and privacy of a day of independence, without obligation. Sweet Tibbit the Useless-Little-Black dog waits patiently for more raspberries to ripen on the thicket in back yard. She already harvested all within reach using her front nibble teeth, stretching her neck, balancing her dainty toes on the edges of the raised beds to reach more. Hamish watches, pretty sure this is Not Allowed but not sure …