Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making amends

Dear Ralph,

I know, I know. I'm such a bad mom. You don't get enough walks. You don't get to play fetch enough. And the poop is starting to layer itself in the backyard.

It's not you, it's me.

Actually, it's also E.

She's just not a very fast walker, and she's so dang opinionated. And sadly, taking you for a walk isn't high on her to-do list most days. That dad of yours isn't much help either, being at the hospital around the clock.

When we first moved here you were so excited about all the exercise you were getting. We were too. But the whole thing was kind of a false pretense. You see, dad was off for that month and it was pretty warm outside. Now that we've hunkered down for six months of snow and ice, and dad had his drivers license updated to reflect his new address (The Hospital), we're facing a new reality. And it's not great news for you or your cardiovascular health. If you're an optimistic sort of fella, and I feel you must be, July 2012 is looking good for a bout of regular outings. Maybe even another trip to the lake. Remember that one time last summer? Pretty good day, huh? That could be in the cards.

Until then, I promise to do better at remembering both of your meals each day, not just one. (Which reminds me...I'll be right back.) I'll set time aside just for cuddling every day, although it will be on the floor as there's no chance of revisiting the "dog on the furniture" embargo. I know you can't possibly understand the sheer joy that fills my soul when I think about how I haven't vacuumed a couch in almost a year, and I don't wake up with dog hair in my mouth, but just know I can never go back.

When ice stops falling from the sky I promise to go outside and pick up the superficial layer of poop, mostly to prevent it from ending up in pawprint form on our floors, but I feel confident that you will appreciate the aesthetic value as you roam the yard, scanning for errant squirrels. I'll also bring that giant box of Costco dog treats up from the basement and give you one once in a while.

Oh, and I've decided to stop yelling at you for barking every time a door opens, or you hear footsteps or - God forbid - a siren*, or you see a squirrel/bird/cat/other dog/movement in your peripheral vision. I'd like to try to stop yelling at you altogether, but let's stick to baby steps for now.

You used to be a good dog:

Then again, I used to be a good mom. I'd like to say we failed each other to relieve some of the burden, but given that I'm the only of us that has the capacity to think these thoughts, I guess I'll go ahead and take the blame on this one. I can do better. Just watch.


The hand that still loves you, even though it screws you


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