There’s been a lot of of silence here at my house. Or rather I should say the only sound has been me typing and the occasional squeak from Daisy’s Wubba. Today I turn in my tenure portfolio and things can get back to normal…we hope!
It’s a full on workin’ Sunday–complete with official letter writing (for tenure), 3 loads of laundry, and cleaning-out-the-fridge meals. None of this bodes well for Daisy, who is outside on her tethered cable as I write. She’s contemplating grass blades, neighbor kids on trikes, and has pretty much decimated the sorry remains of my tomatoes. They didn’t yield tremendous results, so I suppose it’s easier to relinquish them. But damnit, I’m still fighting the good fight to keep her digging paws out of my perennial bed.
It’s hard to juggle dog care with all the other demands, but she’s got to learn to keep herself busy. So far, so good. A little bit of freeze-dried liver stuffed into the cavity of a Kong doesn’t hurt. Life will definitely get more exciting when we go to our pre-arranged playdate with Winston, the white Terrier who lives behind us. Until that happens, the best part of her day was discovering a dead mole under the pine tree. Funny how we don’t share the same idea of a good time.
The past four weeks have been challenging. Between Daisy’s splint and bladder infection and my own mystery illnesses, we’ve been limping along. That’s all about to change, however, because yesterday the vet declared her fracture healed! So now we’ve just got 4 more days of bandages and plastic booties. This means the end of carrying her up and down the stairs! It means the end of the heavy metal splint! It means a return to puppy playgroup! Hoorray for both of us:)
We’ve been putting the recuperative time to good use and she’s learning how to heel on our walks. There’s still plenty of meandering and sniffing and grub-digging, but now we’re actully covering some ground and making time. I’ve learned to read the landscape in an entirely new way and can spot a chicken bone from three feet away, a wad of tinfoil from a yard, and can circumvent soggy tube socks on the sidewalk in under two seconds. I’d say we’re on our way!
Why am I always amazed at how much time goes into mere life maintenance? I’m thinking about my own basic needs (food, clean clothes, the badly needed haircut); Daisy’s needs (a lot about eating, peeing, and pooping); the house’s needs (vacuum much? bathtub? the neglected garage?); the car’s needs (rotate tires, change oil, figure out what that weird oily mark is); and then the needs of my job (which I won’t even go into here). It feels like every time I start to ascend Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, something (self, dog, house, car) pulls me right back down.
Is this how Sisyphus felt behind that boulder? Maybe I’m too focused on movement and progress. Maybe I need to appreciate the here and now and the daily a bit more. It’s not like there’s some final stage where all these things melt away or get resolved forever. It’s just life, baby. What would Maslow do?
The laundry, most likely.