This is a time of year many people make resolutions, to make changes for the better in their lives. I am not usually one of those people, but this year is different. I hit a wall this year. Metaphorically, that is. And emotionally, hormonally, and ultimately financially. So, a rise in certain hormones, led to a rise in weight, which led to spending more money on new clothing. I was on the fast track to becoming a snausage. You know, a waistless resemblance to a cocktail frank? Envision a pig without the blanket. Pink grapefruit and carbless juice drinks are now my new best friends. My new, near starvation status has forced me time to avoid the kitchen and reflect on things. I seclude myself in my office, separated from the knives and my happy family munching away on gourmet cookies and aromatic brownies, making me want to slap them silly for their cruelness.
I think you are getting a feel for the funk that I have been in. So, I rallied and thought about other things that I could improve upon in the upcoming year. I decided to focus on my dog, and how I could improve my pet parenting skills. You might suspect that she is cared for in tip top condition. You might be wrong. She has had to have her teeth cleaned under anesthesia just like so many of you may have done. I brush her teeth, “on occasion”. She is poorly trained, majorly spoiled, and I could definitely groom her more regularly. I will admit to inadvertently locking her in our basement storage area on several occasions. So… that’s it. India will be my other main focus for resolutions this year. Don’t want to set the bar too high, with a list of 10, or even 5 goals. That would result in disappointment, and we don’t want that.
So, off I head to Petsmart. Yes, I sat down and trimmed her nails, and brushed her teeth. But don’t most resolutions begin with a credit card purchase? Or is it just me?…
I proceed to buy things for India that any sane, well fed version of myself would never have bought. I got her a navy down vest, to match my navy down coat. Of course we would be strolling around the neighborhood in synchronized technicolor! Next aisle, new leash. I was feeling oddly festive, so I went for the glitter, bling, collar, with gold running through it, and two, large loud reindeer bells attached. No more collar from puppyhood. To coordinate, I purchased a snazzy leash, to replace the one she has had her entire life, gnawed 3/4 of the way through, yet still hanging in there all these years. The leash I now chose coordinates with both of her current collars, and had an extra loop near the head, for what I presume was to save her from a snarling attack by a dog or wildlife on the trail. I wondered if I would need it, having now attracted the lone coyote sighted just over the river in New Jersey to her whereabouts with the bells on her collar.
Of course, I got her a large bag of treats. Greenies, organic sweet potato bones, a new comb to brush out all the knots that I have let go, and another blinking light attachment for all those walks past 4:45 pm in the cold, dark winter that we enjoy here on the east coast. I buy her an unstuffed, but crinkly and loud , furry pet to play with. I resisted the little reindeer antler headband near checkout, because I am not one of “those crazy pet parents”. Some items, seen below, were easier to resist than others. The happy, “poop” shaped bed, and biker tee below are some examples.
I arrive home in good spirits. The dog is admittedly confused by all my attention and the rustling of bags. I ring the bells on the collar. I obey her demands for treats from the cookie jar, and then get back to explaining how she and I are going out, together, shortly, in style. And then we commence to wrestling for 20 minutes, while I work up a menopausal sweat, and she is finally wearing her fashionable vest. I hook her bling collar to her, and have 3 poopy bags ready to go. This is not a 1 or 2 poopy bag walk. This will be an epic hike for the ages! And then I instruct her to follow me. And nothing happens. She is frozen in space, unable to figure out how to ambulate. She is confused, annoyed, and stubborn. I do not back down. I bargain, and bribe her with the new schmancy sweet potato treats. I pull out her favorite dental chew (pictured below, with her and her angry face). I promise to get her a little brother or sister…. She was not to be swayed.
She wins. Did I mention that she is 23 pounds? The only thing about us matching is that we both have knots in our hair, and our nails are unkept and unmanicured. I remove the offensive vest, and off we go, 40 minutes later than intended, in the dark, with her blinking and bell clanging gear beside me. She stops short abruptly, several times, having gotten tangled in that damn loop thing on the leash, close to her head. I have to bend down and free her one too many times, and finally let her off leash. We both trotted home, she triumphant, me a bit dejected, but happy to be getting out of the cold.
I had half a chocolate chip cookie. She proceeded to dismember her new fur toy, and we both cuddled near the fire. Lesson learned.
Happy New Year