Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Word "Dogged" Comes From

My dog is dogging my footsteps. Again. In his case, arthritis has its benefits.

That’s because I give this 13 ½ year old lab & golden retriever/terrier mix a variety of arthritis treatments. He actually gets around pretty well and doesn’t have any of the dreaded hip problems, but it’s clear his joints just aren’t as cooperative as they used to be.

First there’s the liquid glucosamine, which I originally bought for myself on sale. One swig, and I couldn’t help but imagine a frustrated chemist in the glucosamine lab, attempting to come up with a way to make this foul fish-liquid into something palatable. First he tries grape soda. Then orange cough syrup. Then chicken broth, Liquid Pledge, a few urinal cakes and some liquid cherry Tylenol. It is a vile and violent war of flavorings, and the even the dog was so unenthusiastic in lapping it up at first that the children and I had time to take bets on whether he’d give up altogether. I guess he eventually decided that anything under the heading of People Food is worthwhile, because now he’s convinced himself that it’s a yummy alternative to the constant diet of senior formula dog food.

After that I give him an omega 3 wrapped in cheese, and it gets sucked down so quickly that I have to stop and count my fingers afterwards.

Then he gets a dog biscuit to help clean his teeth.

I originally spread these things out to make his night more worthwhile, but it’s made my nights miserable with the continuous begging. And don’t tell me dogs can’t count. That dog knows exactly how many things he gets and at what time. So night after night, he stalks me with wide, pleading eyes. And when we are finished for the night, he stalks me some more.

I used to think it was that he was getting forgetful…and then I realized there are nights when I honestly can’t remember which I’ve given him, so I give him some more, just in case.

That dog is smarter than he looks. I’m no longer sure the problem is his senility. Could very well be that he's just exploiting mine.

The dog has got more fun out of man than man has got out of the dog, for man is the more laughable of the two animals. ~James Thurber

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