Friday, August 03, 2012

Consequences


Patty is miffed at me today.
She has good reason to be – sort of.
Let me explain.

Last night, Patty awoke from her evening nap at 12:30 AM, came to my bed to be let outside.
I drowsily complied and went back to bed.
We had a pretty good rain yesterday afternoon and the ground was damp.
I was in the bed but five minutes when Patty began to bark.
This was not her usual announcement barks – deep, slow, grouped in fours or fives.
These barks were quick and short, grouped in threes or fours.
I let this go on for a about five minutes then reluctantly decided to investigate.

Outside, I find Patty with her nose under my utility shed and her butt in the air, tail in full wag.
Evidently, she has found some critter under the shed – perhaps a cat or raccoon.
Patty is running from side to side of the building, furiously digging in the nice soft clay to get closer to her prey.
Her nice white fur, from her elbows down, is a nice dark brown.
This can be seen even in the moonlight.

I ask her to stop but she pays me no mind, totally absorbed in the nocturnal hunt.
I dread what she will look like when she is done with her adventure, and what I must do to accommodate her dirty state.
I went back to bed, after locking the back door, so she could not reenter the house, disturbed by what was going on in my back yard.

What do I do?
Lock her out?
Yes.
Give her a bath?
Certainly, but when?
Outside, with the water hose, given her muddy state? (I had just mopped the floor yesterday because of another digging session by the quad-paw.)
But I know she would not like that and would be hard to keep still given that she would have the whole back yard to avoid me.
Or a bath in the tub – the usual method?
And when?
When we first wake up?
Before breakfast?
After breakfast but before her walk?
It might help her dry out to do it then.
Or give her a bath after her walk, when she is tired?
Or...
My mind was a whirl.
Meanwhile, Patty continued to bark.
After another 15 minutes or so of non-sleep I got up again and went out into the back yard.

Patty was more responsive to my presence this time. (a good sign).
She stopped barking and came over to me.
She was indeed muddy.
And happy to have something to do.
She seemed proud of herself.

At that point, the critter apparently escaped from under the shed and ran under my rear fence.
Patty gave chase but was too late for a capture.
After sticking her nose under the back fence (and rubbing her chest in more brown dirt/mud), she returned to me (standing on the concrete patio) for affirmation.
I complimented her on her keen senses and advised her to stop barking (which at this point was all but unnecessary – she had stopped barking on her own.)
I advised her to go to sleep, which she seemed to obey by laying down in the grass, and I went back to my bed.

I lay in the dark, my mind spinning at 10k rpm, regarding what to do with my mud-ball dog.
After ten minutes or so, I turned on the light and began to read my History of the Christian Church, Volume 2. After about 30 minutes, I was ready to try darkness and Alpha brain waves again.
I slept.

So this is what happened Friday morning and why Patty is ill with me.
I woke up at – correction – I GOT up at 5:50 AM (yes, I slept in...).
Shaved and did my usual Friday weight workout.
I fed Patty her dog food (no embellishments) outside.
I fixed my breakfast, ate it, and cleaned the dishes.
Then got myself ready for our usual dog-man walk.

I went outside, put the leash around Patty's neck (she is getting better at holding still while I install her chain collar around her neck), and off we went.
We did our usual walk, but I had a plan....
After about 50 minutes we were home again.
I left patty in the dining room while I prepared the bathroom for a doggy bath.
I removed her collars and gently grabbing the skin of her neck, guided her into the bathroom (which she does not like for this very reason).
I lifted her into the tub and began the soaking of her very substantial fur.

I did my best to clean her muddy legs, paws, chest, and tummy.
Patty tolerated my ministrations as best she could, but it was clear she wanted OUT.
Finally, I was done.
She was glad and did not take much urging to climb out of the tub on to the drying matt.
After a few shakes and towel rubs she was free to go hide in her place of choice.
It was at this point that I got The Look from my dog.

A mixture of betrayal and disappointment in her eyes.
And body language that said I am ready to run from you again if you have any further plans for me.
But I was mostly done.

I went to the store to buy our weekly food, leaving Patty inside to air-dry her remaining dampness.

We are slowly returning to our previous levels of cordiality.

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