a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Scattered Reflections

Friday, November 07, 2003

Scattered Reflections

Casey needs to Think Pink. Mucking around in the garage, turn and step into a shadow--which turns out to be a little black dog with sensitive teeny feet. Toss a t-shirt into the pile of dark laundry--and the shirt rises from the pile in bewilderment. Gaze around the back yard, trying to figure out where the LBD has gone--Ah! There's his toy on the ground, but where--Oh, yeah, standing right over it, but blending into the shadows in the background. How about a Little Pink Dog instead?

Are you deef? Jake's been failing to respond to his name. Unless it's pronounced in a particular way, something akin to this: "Jake. Jake! *Jake!* JAAAAKE!!!!" Is he getting hard of hearing? Some dogs do. (MY ears ring when he squeaks that squeakie a zillion times 5 feet away from me. Rock stars go deaf from all the loud music they create; do dogs go deaf from squeakie concerts?) Or have I discovered yet another trick that I have inadvertently taught my dog--Ya don't hafta respond the first time because she'll yell when she gets serious? Will have to test--

Layers upon layers. Went over to The New Improved Westfield Shoppingtown Oakridge Mall (commonly referred to by locals and oldtimers by the fond name "NIWSOM") (OK, not really, I made that up) yesterday with the dogs. They weren't interested in bathrobes at Macy's, so instead we went for a walk around the lovely new grassy landscaping they've installed along the back side of the block. A nice brisk walk on a crisp fall morning. Except that it's right across the street from the cancer clinic where Remington was treated, and where I walked all the dogs each time Rem came in for an appointment, or walked the other dogs while Rem was in the hospital, or--lump in throat--walked Rem by himself for the very last time, scared to go very far or very long because what would I do if he again went into those horrific convulsions out on a deserted street at 2 in the morning, and what if it killed him right there?
Many, many, many walks, all emotionally laden.
So I can avoid walking the dogs anywhere in that area for the rest of my life, or I can start trying to layer on memories that don't involve Rem's fatal illness, so that that corner of the world is once again safe to walk in. Or am I layering on memories like "I walked here last time because I want to forget about Rem's last illness--I'm walking here this time to forget that last time I walked here to forget Rem's last illness--"?

Poop. What *is* it with people who don't pick up after their dogs? Yeah, it's gross, smelly, disgusting stuff. So why would you think that someone *else* would want to pick it up? Or step in it? Whoever you are, I hope you walk right down the street and step in someone else's dog's poop and that that starts your little pea brain thinking. You bought the dog; you bought the dogfood; you're responsible for the results.

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