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I was soaking in the bathtub wondering what I could write about this week in my blog. Not too much has happened but hard work. The most comical moment was funny to me but not funny to my husband. It had to do with our nearly three year old, eighty-five pound, brilliant white, golden doodle, Aidan encountering another creature’s excretory substance.
On the day in question all I know is Aidan came bounding in front of me. His long ringlets of poodle hair filled and matted with a brownish-smelly (hmm…) substance. Did I mention Aidan’s hair is white? Wait, both ears, and behind and under his ear, along the sides of his chest, down his front legs all smeared in poop. How could this possibly happen in this configuration?
Now you might wonder why it was my husband’s job to bath Aidan when I usually clean him.
Flashback: Two nights after we married, lounging with Bill, I jumped out of bed and said “Do you remember the labordoodle puppies? I’m going to get that one who crosses his paws when he sits, the one who walks with his tail curled up behind him.”
“Wait,” Bill stammered. “What about Scott’s allergies?” But I was already flying and floating, down the hall, into the office sitting at the computer and purchasing Aidan.
I returned with the glow of achievement. “Done,” I announced.
“Will Scott ever forgive you getting a dog?”
“He will,” I assured Bill suffused with memories of our family dog Blackie. Here is what my husband could take away from that situation. When I am at my most adamant, I am dead wrong. Repeatedly.
Aidan arrived filled with energy, too much intelligence, good spirits and a willingness to please. The first night, walking the neighborhood with Aidan, I smiled my most dazzling smile up at Bill in thanks. Looking toward his face, my ankle gave way and I fell. Anyone can fall, spraining an ankle, right?
This was the first in a long series of falls related to neurological weakness and neuromuscular pain. Four months later I had my third and massive back surgery. Even with a lego erector set in my back I continue to fall.
But prior to the surgery I found a trainer for Aidan. I had the idea Aidan could become a disability dog for me. Bill watched from a distance. When the dog trainer came he drifted upstairs into the office. Aidan followed, leaving me alone with our trainer to be trained, I guess.
Long story short: Bill continues to wrestle Aidan, overpowering him into obedience. When Aidan then walks with me, the habitual pulling he does with Bill; is greatly reduced but it only takes a tweak and I can’t walk for three weeks. Yes, to all who doubt, we as people can really become this fragile...And more. I am actually lucky.
This has lead to a great many fights. It might start with me lamenting I can’t walk Aidan on a leash. Bill bursts out “are we back to that discussion again? It (dog training) happened a long time ago.”
“It happened a long time ago to you! But I can’t walk my dog on a leash today!” I say this with never-ending indignation.
I have come to realize this is an essential fight between men and women. For the men it’s in the past. For women, it (whatever it is,) continues to happen today.
Bringing me to why I didn’t have to wash the poo out of Aidan’s long curly hair. Bill said at the outset of this walk, in deference to the earlier fight, “I’ll keep Aidan between us. You just enjoy the walk.”
Bill is referring to another strange quirk: On our walks, I correct Aidan because he listens better to me and wants to please me more. The irony! I can’t use the leash but I’m in charge of his behavior. (And yes we do run into the people outraged we are not walking our dog on the leash.)
On this day, Bill did not keep Aidan between us. As a result Aidan was covered in the feces; the mass which must have been excreted from the most enormous creature in the forest. What would the author of The Secret say? I cringe at the thought of the standards of spirituality stood next to the grunt work of our life.
What would the Fairy Godmother say?