I spent most of August with my folks and their Boston Terrorists while my parents were each recovering from recent medical issues.
I packed up my computers, office supplies, suitcase and other required equipment so I could set up shop in Palatka, Florida, while continuing to keep my boss happy, SearchAmelia running and provide the in-home care my parents needed. Well laid plans, good intentions, I am well organized so this would be a piece of cake, right?
Taking care of the folks was the easy part, but those three dogs were an entirely different story. Skippy, the oldest, is frail, blind and deaf. He gets around just fine, has a healthy appetite and is very sneaky. Sassy, the girl, is about eight years old and not fond of humans. Snoopy, is still mostly puppy and the largest of the three. Snoop Doggy Dog, as I fondly call him, is a renegade. All three of them are spoiled rotten and daily life is a systematic series of events, and I did not have the itinerary.
“Skippy, the old man, awakens promptly at 7:00 AM‚” I was told. “Let them out and they each get a Beggin’ Strip when they come inside.” Well, Skippy is old, so the three sleep in the laundry room with big fluffy beds and 1/2 of the Sunday paper spread on the floor “just in case.” I awoke my first morning to Skippy the Crying Alarm Clock. He doesn’t bark, he cries. I stubbed my toe on my way thru the kitchen, pinched my finger opening the baby gate and gagged at the overwhelming stench of feces and urine, just trying to get to them. I tossed the gate aside trying to shake the pain from my throbbing hand. Letting out a worthless whistle, I coerced them to the sliding glass door and set them free! I glanced at the clock on the stove, it was 7:01. This was going to be a very long day indeed.
They are cute, don’t get me wrong, but I have always been a fan of big dogs, not ankle biters. On the first day, Sassy squatted to pee and Snoopy proceeded to hike his leg up and pee on her back, so Sassy got a bath. Snoopy fell off of the dock into the canal, so he got a bath, too. Luckily for me, Skippy didn’t see or hear any of this, so he didn’t try to one-up their antics.
Mom’s Boston Terrorists are noisy little creatures. They snort, whine and can clear a room when they pass gas, but they are also quite intelligent. It didn’t take me long to realize some new training had to occur, and I’m too old to learn new tricks.
They quickly learned there would be no people food received from me at the dinner table and Milk Bones would only be doled out if they behaved to my standards, not Mom’s. I never thought I would see my mother feed a dog from her good silverware! So over the month, I put an end to Snoop Dog hiking his leg up on Sassy and even got Skippy to go out one more time every evening, reducing the amount of paper needed on the floor of the laundry room.
Snoopy actually learned that he would get no Beggin’ Strip if he didn’t come in when I called him, and Sassy got over her aversion to humans and began napping at my feet. Snoop Doggy Dog learned I was not going to fight him for the tennis ball and he reluctantly would drop the soggy orb, so I could toss it again. They even kept me company at night when I would be working late on the computer.
When mom was declared no longer a shut-in and released from in-home nurses and physical therapists, I knew I would soon be relieved of seemingly endless classic movie marathons. It was nearing the time for me to pack up and go back to my own home. As I hugged Pop and kissed my mother goodbye, Mom asked me who would take care of the dogs if something happened to them. I should have been more considerate of my answer, but without thinking first I quickly blurted out, “Frankly Mom, I don’t give a damn.”