Spring in Indiana is slow to commit. We’ve turned the heat off, the A/C on, the heat on, the A/C on, everything off, and sought shelter from hail and tornadoes. I think the weather angels have been forgetting to take their Ritalin. I appreciate a few rainy days curled up with a good book, or watching Lord of the Rings again. Yet I’m a heliophile at the core, and this chilly grey spring is wearing on me.
We were teased with some beautiful weather a couple of months ago. The family enjoyed long walks, started weeding flower beds, and cooked out. Lately, the only yard time I get is rushing home to mow in between stormy days. I’m not enjoying my lawn, I’m just maintaining it.
The kids are grumpy, and I’m stuck in a routine of ennui. Poor Josie Junebug hasn’t had a proper walk in two weeks! We’ve scheduled a couple of days at the local doggie daycare to tire her out, and I’ve attempted to entertain her with some riveting games of tug-of-war and fetch. Overall, though, our seventy pound baby is also bored. She’s tried to help us with some spring decluttering by destroying a toy or two each night, but the kids are not appreciative.
As we all stare at each other with tired anticipation of sunnier days to come, I realize that there are some things I had forgotten about life with a dog. My friends kept encouraging me to adopt a canine companion, regaling all the fun things dogs bring. You can hike together, cuddle her, she’ll make the kids feel safe, bah, blah, blah.
Here’s what those “friends” forgot to mention:
- Muddy Paws: she’s a year old. How many times does she want to go out and play? Approximately 6,340 times/day. And she must dig in the mud each and every doggone time.
- Seasonal Shedding: what the hell just happened?! I wanted to greet my dog when I came home, not summon a mob of tribbles to invade the den.
- Gas: our dog is beautiful. One friend calls her the “Brazilian supermodel of dogs.” The smells that come out of her, however, are neither dainty nor lovely.
- Rolling in smelly dead things: I don’t know if I really forgot about this one; I think the dogs I had growing up just didn’t do this. Josie Junebug, however, seems to have unearthed a stink bug nest in our back yard that is terrific to roll in. She comes in with a cloud of STANK on her that does not wash away.
- Vacuum furniture? Yeah, right: All those cute little attachments for your vacuum? They are as helpful removing dog fur off car seats and sofas as my four year old is at sweeping. Which is to say—not helpful.
In the long run, I’m the first to admit that all these complaints are minor, and nothing compared to the years of joy a dog brings. With a foul mood reflective of the weather, I could add more petty whining, but I’ll stop there. I’m sure Josie Junebug has her own list of grievances about her human mom:
- Hasn’t taken me on a walk in about 100 years.
- Sometimes steals my side of the couch.
- Closes the dishwasher before I’m done cleaning the dishes.
- Tries to drown me in the tub after I’ve just gotten all interesting-smelling outside.
- Forgot to freeze a Kong for me that one day.
Keep heart, friends. The sun will shine on us again. There will be flowers and Frisbee golf, hiking and hot dogs. In the mean time, take care of yourself and each other.
Also, feel free to add in the comments something people “forgot” to warn you about living with a dog (or humans).