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December 30, 2014


I have been neglectful of my blog. I have been neglectful of writing. I have been other directed. It seems as though life just takes me where it will -- I follow the tides as they ebb and flow. They certainly have not been flowing towards creativity! Nonetheless, I thought about the blog today for two reasons. The first is that my writing group and I check in with each other on Tuesdays, and it is a Tuesday! We haven't been exactly good about this lately, but I still remember each Tuesday morning that I'm supposed to check in. Secondly, I am taking care of my neighbor's dog, and that in itself deserves some writing. So, as I was walking down Forest Street in freezing weather, having forgotten that my hair is not as thick as it once was and I needed a hat, praying that Charlie would poop so I could turn around and go back to my warm house, I thought about my blog. Perhaps writing on the blog is my therapy in times of need!

Charlie is a long haired, medium sized, sweet little dog adopted by my neighbor Shannon a few years ago when the employees at the Woods Coffee Shop down at Boulevard Park found him wandering around for a couple of days. Shannon tried hard to find his owners and to also find a new home, and finally decided to keep him. He is mellow, well behaved, and a real sweet pet, Shannon is single and travels often. Dani and Charles take on Charlie when she is gone -- he just joins the family's other two dogs with ease. However, they decided not to take him to Leavenworth after Christmas because taking three dogs to visit Charles's parents was a bit much. So, Shannon asked if I would take him for a few days after they left. Since I was going to be home putting stuff back to normal after a busy Christmas, and since Shannon does many little nice things for me like sometimes mowing my lawn while she mows hers and having her tree man cut off a few branches of my tree without letting me pay, I really wanted to give her something back with more than a few cookies.

I don't have a dog. I don't want a dog or any pets. I like my life. I love animals, but I like my life better. Charlie is a perfect pet. He is easy to take care of. He will walk by my side off leash. He comes when I call him. He never strays. He doesn't run into the street. He is extremely loyal and well trained. But those good qualities also have a back side. He will not leave my side. He won't go outside without me. I can't just open the door and tell him to go pee. He just looks at me dolefully and refuses to go. He must have a huge bladder. Every morning he waits patiently for me to take him for his walk so he can take care of the rest of his needs. It's been below freezing these past few days with high wind chill. I don't want to get up let alone walk in this weather. However, when you have a sweet thing looking at you with yearning eyes, you begin to feel guilty about what you want and feeling like you need to think about what he wants. Or needs! So, I dress as warmly as I can, grab the leash in case we run into other pets, and off we go for however many blocks it takes to move his insides to working order. Once done, I turn around and call him to reverse our steps towards home. He comes obediently wondering why we are stopping this great adventure he is having.

The problem with all of this is it reminds me of my terrible selfishness. I never wanted my parents to follow me around. I never wanted a husband that hovered. I never wanted to be a perfect mother. Even as a child, I needed space in my life. I needed time to muse, to think, to relax, to create. I was extremely fortunate to have a husband who worked a lot and left me on my own. When the children were babies, he would send me out to shop or to play from time to time when he saw I was getting wound up with too much chaos. We were a great team. And, since my children are grown and great parents, I probably didn't destroy them with my independence. For all my concerns, I was a fairly traditional mother. I'm sure they learned when to avoid me when I was overwhelmed. Nevertheless, I hate to be reminded of my selfish nature. I would rather think of myself as completely giving! But, alas, I'm surely not that way.

Shannon will be home tomorrow evening. Dani and Charles get home today. If I'm lucky, they'll take Charlie tonight so I can sleep in tomorrow. They have a fenced in yard so they don't have to take their dogs walking for their morning obligations. However, they do run their dogs daily. Of course, they are much younger than I am! When Shannon gets back, we'll go back to Charlie wandering over to my house from time to time. He will even sit in my chair with me while I read. But, just like grandchildren, I can give him back before I need to do anything but coo and pet.

No poop or pee
or responsi-bility!

Here is the sweet little guy!

Posted by Marilyn at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)