Tuesday, January 15, 2008

... her little girl should believe that her mom is the strongest

Imagine if you will a very large black lab mix who is almost 13 years old and weighs well over 90lbs. This particular dog doesn't get much exercise to speak of these days. He was shoved aside by a BOY & a GIRL who arrived within a year to usurp his place as the King of the household. He has felt a bit miffed about the whole thing. Especially during the period where that BOY would whack him just to see what would happen. Or dump the dog's water bowl on the dog's head just for kicks. After many months of very few walks, the dog is even older and fatter and his nails not only click on the sidewalk, but would make any Long Island woman envious for their awesome length. Although not polished, the dog's toenails are quite distinctive. It has been hard for him to walk, what with the old age, weight and now these nails to balance on. So, his Mistress at one time devoted, now noncommittal, has finally decided to take him to get his nails clipped.

The other dog, a medium sized snarky female blonde lab mix, could also use a good trim. Both dogs are leashed and walked to the back of the minivan. The blonde dog jumps in the back. The big black dog, known as Soul man, can't even move in any way, shape or form in what you would call an upwards direction by himself. So, the not very tall mistress at 5 foot 3 1/2 inches and weighing about 116lbs herself, attempts to get this large animal into the back of the van. There is much straining and flexing of arm muscles, which are out of practice since the days of arm lifting BOY & GIRL multiple times per day appear to be over. Finally the dog is thrust into the vehicle and the mistress quite out of breath from the exertion feels triumphant! Until the very dim witted mistress is struck with the fact that she will have to do this again at the vet's, again after the vet's and AGAIN when she returns home. Luckily this doesn't occur to her until after the 3rd time of lifting the dog back in the car. She is blessed with an optimistic outlook on most days. While trying to hold 140+ lbs of dog(s) on two leashes with one hand and holding the hand of a little GIRL who SHRIEKS and MOANS every time one of the anxious dogs (because they KNOW they are headed to the Vet's) bumps into her, the Mistress wonders why she decided to do this today. It had started out so nicely.

Afterwards the big black Soul Man appears to be hobbling along more comfortably. Once home again, after the final launch of Soul Man out of the car, the Mistress walks the dogs back to the garage. The Mistress has high hopes that now, Soul Man will embrace his pedicure and frolic about. Alas, it is not to be. He is just old. His silver beard now covers half his body. He retires to his bed, a contented old gentleman with a good pedicure. And the Mistress? Well, she feels GREAT that she finally got something done that she had intended to do for months...but, she will need to appreciate her accomplishments on the couch with a heating pad applied to her now very sore back, which feels that it will go out at any moment. The little GIRL has no idea that her mommy is not really THAT STRONG. But, the Mistress believes that her little girl should believe that her mom is the strongest, if not the smartest mom on the block.

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  1. We were looking at photos in the newspaper. My children questioned why the man playing tennis had a pony tail.

    "Are you sure it's a man?" I asked.

    "Oh, yes! Look at his big arms."


    I used to be a dog groomer, and I still vividly remember a day when I bathed and dried, one after the other after the other, FIVE golden retrievers. None of them had a cool name like Soul Man, though.

  2. Flex those muscles -- esp. the intellectual ones. And oh, I have stories about aging dogs (and many blog posts). Our dear Thurston died in August, just shy of turning 15. We did the whole deal: hand feeding, diapers, carrying. We finally put him to sleep when he suddenly became inflicted with wrenching pain that medication couldn't touch. Poor thing! We still miss him. Savor even the heavy lifting . . . .

  3. Oh that big black lab is melting my heart over here. Sould Man? PERFECT JCK!

  4. Makes me nostalgic for our first dog . . .

  5. I hear ya. Our dog is old as well with her long nails that look as if they were painted black. She also looks like she's wearing black eyeliner. The hussy. But I decided long ago that because it takes her about 2 days to come off her fit of anxiety after a visit to the vet; I only do it if she's sick.

  6. Oh, gosh.. yes. I can understand all of this. :)

  7. This made me laugh. And written so well, too!

  8. May your back heal up quickly, may your children alway believe that you are the strongest!

  9. My poor neglected rottweiler/shepherd mix is in the same predicament. He has had multiple surgeries on his back leg, which are little skinny shepherd legs and don't really support the giant Rotty rest of him. So he's pretty content to lie around. He loves going to the vet though. Unfortunately, the vet is an hour and a half away. We are WAY overdue for a visit. He's only 8, but the life expectancy of huge dogs isnt' that much. Since he weighs the same as I do (insert resigned sigh here), I can manage him, but as you noted, it's juggling both the kids as well that is the challenge.

    Hope the heating pad helped!


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