Dog Gone

Mom’s visit to Miami went very well.  My sister, T, and her partner, TK, fussed over her, fed her*, entertained her, and spoiled her for a week.  i went to meet TK and Mom at the airport on Friday, and was expecting to find Mom tired.

TK wheeled Mom up the jetway. When they emerged through the door, Mom was all smiles.  TK was huffing and puffing a little bit, due to the weight of the loaded wheelchair, and the steep incline of the jetway.

We shared hugs and tales of adventure.  i started wheeling Mom to baggage claim.  TK headed to her departure gate for her trip home.

It required a bit of dexterity to roll the checked suitcase, and Mom, out the door and into the parking garage, but i managed.  On the ride back to The Trailer Park, i learned more about the week.

daisyfae:  What did you think of the house?

Mom:  It’s just beautiful!  Easy to get around in, too.  T helped me into the shower, and even helped me wash up my feet.

daisyfae [shuddering at the thought of helping her naked, 84-year-old mother bathe]:  Great!  Did Thanksgiving go well?

Mom:  Oh, they were bickering a lot on Wednesday, but it was a nice meal.  Sorry I had to leave today, though.  I was looking forward to some of those leftovers.  T made us sandwiches for the plane, so I did get more of that ham.

And on it went…  Tales of an escaped cat, a manatee (and baby) near the dock, and feeding turkey bones to the fish.  She enjoyed the visit, appreciated all they did for her, and even said she wouldn’t mind doing it again!

daisyfae:  Well, i’m sure you’re looking forward to getting back home.

Mom:  No.  Not really.

We pulled in the driveway, and i helped Mom out of my car.  She made her way to the door, as i wrangled luggage and the wheelchair from the trunk.  Getting my arms untangled from the folded wheelchair, i was distracted by a commotion on the porch.

One of the three hounds had escaped, and my niece, DQ, her daughter, DQ, Jr. and the 5-year-old, DQ, III, were racing out the door.  Mom dodged them all, and dropped onto the lounge chair on the front porch.  Chaos!

One of their other dogs is a 3-year-old Sharpei.  This dog has had allergies, skin problems, and stinks like swampass most of the time, but she’s a sweet critter.  She’s been getting out of their backyard fence and running the neighborhood.  She joined in the festivities, and went bounding down the street after the other escapee.

i suggested DQ hop in my car, and that we try the old “Road Trip” doggie retrieval method.  We cruised to an adjacent neighborhood, where the dogs had disappeared a few moments earlier.  Gave us a chance to chat.

DQ:  I’m glad she had a good week with T.  I REALLY enjoyed the week off.

daisyfae:  Well, Mom wants to try it again.  We’ll make it happen in March or April if Mom’s up to it.

In the meantime, the dogs had disappeared.  We returned to the homestead, and found the dogs racing up a neighbors driveway.  DQ jumped out of the car, and chased the sprinting animals.  They bounded away, and she turned around – taking a vaudeville-style tumble on the way back.

Nothing broken, but some scrapes on hands and knees. She returned to the house and i continued to chase the dogs.  Using leftover cookie shrapnel from the floor of my car, i was eventually able to get the wayward animal back home.  The smelly Sharpei followed along… i gave her a bit of a cookie, too.

It was a madhouse when i opened the door.  DQ pissed off at the dogs, and wiping her scraped knees with a towel, DQ, III howling in sympathy, offering band aids.  Mom trying to sit, without tripping over the dogs.  Television blasting at “eleven”.

DQ  [referring to the Sharpei] :  I swear, I’m going to have to put that damn dog down!  She’s losing her hair again, smells awful and she just won’t stay inside the fence.  I don’t care if she gets out!  Tired of chasing her!  Maybe if she gets hit, she’ll at least be going on her own terms, you know?

Figuring that the best thing to do at this point was disappear, i hugged Mom, said my goodbyes.  i’ve suggested finding an animal rescue organization before.  There was too much noise to bring it up again.

As i drove away, had to wonder if DQ’s approach to animal care makes Mom a little nervous…

* When she visits me, i give her fresh fruit and a bagel for breakfast.  They were dishing up cooked-to-order omelettes, served by the pool on the lanai.  Show offs…

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18 thoughts on “Dog Gone

    • i was surprised by that… she had been very wary of going down there, given some of the past issues and drama that have occurred. The Miami household has a degree of volatility, but it was momentarily level, even with the added stress of having Mom there, and hosting a large holiday dinner. Fingers crossed she can visit again… a year ago, we were all fairly certain it would never happen.

    • DQ works hard to help Mom with her bathing habits – so there IS that. i wouldn’t be able to do the level of cleaning that DQ does for her… i’d probably contract that stuff out. One of the ways that DQ earns it, for sure…. Was good for sister, T, to get a sense of how much work it is to care for Mom, too.

  1. Wonder if there is a spare bedroom for more permanent residence down in FL. sounds like Mom would have a blast. Sunshine, peace, relaxing water..just what the Dr. orders. do they have a spare for me too? And the shopping Mom could do..Oh the shopping in Miami!!
    Perhaps the Whitebird could become a Snowbird? 6 months there and 6 months here?

    • There’s plenty of room down there, but this is the sister that has plenty of her own issues, and i think if the visit went more than a week, it would end badly for all. Mom is a lot of work, and will not accept ‘contracted’ nursing care. We all do the best we can when she visits, but DQ is the only one willing (and at least being partially compensated) for taking on that responsibility. It was a good week and i think we can try again in a few months. i’m going to try to get her to my place for a few days in December… but i have a job, and can’t really leave her unattended for too long!

  2. We used to have a shitz-zu (too lazy to look up the correct spelling – sorry) that stunk like 100 year old feet because of a rampant, incurable yeast infection on her skin. She was a great dog but you couldn’t stand to touch her or hold her. It was so bad we briefly entertained the idea of putting her down, which the vet supported amazingly enough. However, sanity prevailed and we gave her to a rescue place specializing in shitz-zus. So – Sweetie Pie (yes, I know, she was named that by the kids) got to spend some time at OSU – THE Ohio State University – until she was placed with an old couple in New Jersey. I have to believe that they were retired and had lost their senses of smell. Bottom line is that there is always hope.

    Now that we have gotten over the guilt of giving Sweetie away we just got a Maltese-Poodle mix – a Maltipoo, or Moodle as I call it, named Molly who is doesn’t stink at all. I am a cat person – which i had to give up when I married into the family – but she is growing on me.

    Lastly – my mother-in-law, who lost a leg at an early age has been living with my wife and her kids long before I came into the picture. She still lives with us and we’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to add on a suite for her complete with accessible features. Granted my kids are a lot younger than yours but I think it’s been really good for them for the most part to have her in their lives so much. An unexpected double bonus is that the rest of the family comes to our house for holidays so we never have to go anywhere AND I get to cook for a big crowd!

    • i do think it’s something ‘yeasty’ that is causing the Sharpei to smell like butt. She is SUCH a sweet dog, though. Really hard to see. Then there’s the expense of gluten-free dog food and all the vet bills they can’t afford. The rescue option is the best route – and i admire you for toughing it out…

      The living arrangements in DQ’s Trailer Park are not what i would choose, but it is what DQ is willing to do, and what Mom chooses, so it’s fine. And there is a marvelous connection between Mom and the great grandkids that gives her purpose sometimes… Love the idea of the nuclear family, but it would cramp my sex life i’m never home and have stairs.

  3. I’m to lazy for a dog, Nick Disaster would love one and once he gets old enough to take care of it maybe i’ll cave in (i do have a soft spot for Boxers) but until then i’ll stick with my pussies… and couldn’t Mom stay in Florida? just wondering cuz the other place is/was/seems like it’s nut house.

    • Dogs are definitely more work than cats, but as a lifelong ‘dog person’, i can’t imagine life without one… although i am also quite fond of my pussy. It’s been fun to watch The Unbearable Banishment slowly make the transformation from “cat guy” to “dog guy”. There is nothing like the love of a domesticated canine.

      And as for Mom permanently in FL? Remember, this is my bipolar sister. She had a good week, and her partner was home all week. Long term? This is a disaster. Twp years ago, i never thought Mom visiting florida again was possible, and sister T would not have considered coming to visit The Park. This was a miracle.

    • We’re going to try for another week in March. Fingers crossed that we can do a week a quarter…. My Thanksgiving was delightful – mostly because it was warm, and i got to go out on the motorcycle, then hang out with a few friends and play in the kitchen…

  4. I did the same thing, worrying about Mr. Pickles! I’m glad he’s okay. And I’m glad your mom had a nice trip, and I’m glad you, DQ et al got a break for a week. Poor little Sharpei, though, I feel sad for her.

    • Really sorry about the misleading title — he’s fine! Bloodwork results this week (as well as the degree of “sproing” in the old boy) are all showing that he’s over the liver trauma, and the partially torn ACL. Amazing… My sister, S (DQ’s Mom) and i are continuing to research Sharpei rescue organizations to try to find an alternative to euthanasia for a sweet animal. May not be possible, though. Really sad… Some people should not be allowed to purchase pets…

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