It has been a dog day. A day of dogs. I washed my own dogs, the guilt of not doing it for so long washing over me like the warm water I used on them in my own beautiful bathtub. I washed them first with diluted Dr. Bronner's almond soap and then with oatmeal shampoo for dogs. I washed them, I dried them, they were fluffy and invigorated. Greta got a treat with the other two after their baths.
Dolly climbed up on Greta's bed and started gnawing her giant bone and growled when Greta wanted to take possession of her own things.
I tried to lay down for a nap. I had just fallen into sweet sleep when...the dogs...woke me up. Barking. Not Greta. My own stupid yappers.
I got up, I made coffee, I went out to the garden to weed. Buster began to bark. Bark and bark and bark. I came in the house. He was barking at Greta. "Stop it! Just stop it!"
I went back out to the garden.
This happened again.
Mr. Moon called and I told him I was going mad. "Put Buster in the Glen Den," he said.
I did. He barked from there and scratched at the door.
I let him back out.
I finished the weeding. I put the water on the mustards, the collards, the arugula, the just-coming-up cilantro. Don't ask me why I'm planting cilantro but I am.
I made dinner. The dogs followed me around the kitchen. Food, they want food. They want attention, they want love and scraps and discipline and instructions and mostly food.
My dogs are fourteen, fifteen years old. How much longer can they last? They are small and could last another five years and I never take them to the vet unless something horrible (and yet, somehow never terminal) strikes them. Remember when Buster's ear swelled up like a pillow and had to be operated on and he was sent him with a quilted ear? Twice? Our dog Pearl lived to the be oldest surviving boxer on the planet. Fifteen years. Unheard of. She wandered the house in a daze of dementia before we finally did the right thing and put her down. Because I want so badly for them to be gone, I have too much guilt to have them killed.
Does that make sense to you?
Nor to me either.
A friend of mine's black lab has a cancer and he's in an expensive experimental study for treatment. Another friend who has cancer herself was just gifted a new dog. I shake my head. I know that some people love dogs. I know that some dogs are worth loving. They are smart and do not bark at the leaves moving on the trees. I look at those ads on TV about the poor abandoned animals, the mistreated, the cruelly suffering animals who just need a little money. A little money- it's like LOVE! Just a few pennies a day.
Guilt, guilt, guilt. The camera pans on the faces of these poor, mistreated dogs. My heart is supposed to break for them. Here's my guilty secret: it does not.
I would pay more than pennies a day for someone to come and get my dogs and take loving good care of them for the rest of their lives. I cannot truly say they DESERVE that but maybe they do. I think that trees are sentient beings. I have no doubt that dogs are too.
My dogs deserve better than me, I'll tell you that.
Well. A dog day. A dog's day. A dog's life.
At least today my dogs are clean. I washed them. Gently and well.
It didn't wash away my guilt. The guilt I have for not loving my dogs.
Jesus. It's things like this which make me wonder whether it's me that's crazy or the world we live in.
At least they're clean. My dogs are clean. My conscience most decidedly, is not.