So… yesterday. My dad went to the zoo with two friends of his, a dating couple in their thirties, whom he knows from the local tavern that he frequents. I was in charge of the dogsitting, so they left their cockerdoodle puppy (or whatever the heck that furball was) with me so that I could arrange a playdate between him (his name’s Phoenix) and LuLu, my female Newfoundland.
Yeah. I’m sure you can see where this is headed.
The two dogs didn’t hit it off. Who’d’ve thunk it? LuLu took a perfectly innocent sniff, and Phoenix got mouthy with her. Before violence could erupt, I yelled, “It’s time for treats! Treats!” and I grabbed a handful of dry kibble and tossed it all over the floor.
The two dogs loved it! They raced here and there to get all the kibble.
Two minutes later, they were no longer friends again and were starting to get mouthy with each other. (And by this, I mean they were fake-biting each other in a way that seemed to be heading someplace dire.)
“Treats!” I yelled. “It’s time for treats.” And all was forgiven between them… for another blissful minute.
Let’s just say they were both extremely overfed by me.
I put Phoenix in my dad’s front office and secured the access by pulling over a small side table. Peace reigned supreme for a whole minute, right up until Phoenix leapt onto our cushy chair, and from there leapt onto the sofa, and then he was back in the living-room area. “Oh, Phoenix!” I squealed.
I went upstairs and asked LuLu to come with me. She was compliant, and this worked out because Phoenix wasn’t familiar with my stairs, so he remained in the living room. So LuLu and I had a certain amount of peace for several minutes, until…
“AROO-ROO-ROO!! AROO-ROO-ROO!” It sounded like an injured sea monster. I raced downstairs with LuLu hot on my heels. Phoenix had poo-pooed right in the middle of the living room floor.
“Oh, Phoenix!” I wailed. “Oh! You’re a puppy. You can’t help it. It’s okay.” I cleaned it up, but then the bickering continued, so I gave the dogs even more treats.
Then LuLu and I went back upstairs, but again, we were regaled by a sound sadder than I can readily articulate here, like the braying of a drunk, heartbroken donkey. Back downstairs we went. Again, the dogs couldn’t get along. Desperate, I went down to the basement and retrieved an old dog cage. Upstairs, I assembled it and put Phoenix inside. Phoenix was not pleased, so he started barking like a banshee who was on fire.
Feeling bad for him, I grabbed a strip of precooked, seasoned chicken from the fridge (I use it in my salads) and slid it through the bars for him. LuLu curled up on the sofa and posed no threat to Phoenix, so when Phoenix continued barking and barking like a canine maniac, I knew he was throwing a tantrum; but I was out of options and couldn’t let him out of the cage.
Instead, I went back down to the basement and got my noise-canceling headphones that I use when running my table saw, Blades of Glory. I put them on and worked on a creative project at my dad’s secondary desk. I could still hear that dog! Good grief. I had a stress meltdown of sorts where I felt like I’d be a terrible parent if I were to ever have kids. Being stressed, it felt as if my psyche was fractured into a million little pieces, which was an odd experience. I can’t handle stress, and that’s the nature of my disability.
So then, my dad and his two friends came home and came inside. Our house is a mess, I should add. I’m in charge of the cleaning, but since I’ve been killing it on the treadmill, I’ve had less energy for it; and we’re slobs, to be completely honest.
“He got sent to his cage,” I explained.
Dani asked why, and I was unable to articulate a response. My brain was fried. I muttered something about fighting and nipping and roughhousing, but mostly it was a struggle to send Dani and her boyfriend on their way so I could collapse and recover. It’s an interesting experience to be so stressed that you can only interact marginally because your brain’s shot to hell.
Dani asked me something like, “Did they bite?” or “Did they fight?” and I couldn’t tell what she asked. (I’m half-deaf, and stress makes my auditory processing issues act up, I’d wager.)
“Uh… yeah. No. Not really. I don’t know,” was the best answer I could give.
After they left, I came upstairs and took a nap. Ahh, sweet sleepytime bliss. I needed it!!
In other news, I’ve still managed to use the treadmill twice a day (except on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, so I can take twice-weekly showers). Go me! Yeah, I’m super-impressed with myself.
Also, I made it to round 2 of the contest! And I’m supposed to be writing a story right now. AAUGH! Get some inspiration, Meg! Write for glory!