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Pet People

Monday, July 30, 2007

A perfect life: No house,no pets, no wife

The Boss thinks his life would be perfect if he didn’t have a house, a Yankee wife and a pack of pets. One out of three might be tolerable, but the trio is a recipe for constant aggravation.

Years ago, when we’d just finished building our house as still-deluded newlyweds (the only good time to build a house together, while still in a rose-colored dream world), The Boss picked me up at the sign shop where I worked. My real boss, Earl, asked how the house was coming along, to which The Boss replied, “I’m glad it’s finally done.”

Earl laughed and said, “Son, it will never be done.” The wisest of sages has never uttered truer words.

Since the day our house was “done,” we’ve added a two-car garage, deck, tons of landscaping, new flooring, several new windows, an apartment addition, new siding, several new light, sink and bathroom fixtures and numerous paint jobs. Whenever The Boss is working on something, I’ll say, “Son, it’ll never be done.” He doesn’t find Earl’s wise words as amusing as I do.

But it’s the pet projects The Boss gripes about most, because if it were up to him, we’d have none. First was the installation of backyard fence when we got out first dog. The Boss put the gate in sideways to accommodate the riding mower. Tramp jumped the shorter gate, so The Boss added chain link to the top. That worked until Scooter arrived and figured out how to climb and push between the added chain link and post. The Boss installed a brand new, higher gate. Then dog-escape prevention was needed for the fence bottom, from rocks and stakes to 6x6 posts lining the outside, with staples holding the chain link to the wood.

The Boss also built a front yard fence when our old beagle had trouble navigating the steep back steps. He even replaced the two front steps with a ramp for the old gal. And upon my insistence, when the two cats took up residence in the apartment, he added a cat fence to the front so they could go outside safely. When Tarzan climbed a tree and jumped over the fence, The Boss chopped it down.

For me, the projects are cheap and easy, because The Boss does it all himself—carpentry, electrical and plumbing. All I must do is listen to the complaining. I’ve offered to help, as I’m a tomboy who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty. But one thing The Boss isn’t, is a patient teacher. He prefers working alone (no one to point out mistakes or make suggestions), rather than having to tolerate the incompetence or slowness of others. And since I’m the bossy sort, I don’t appreciate being talked to like I’m an imbecile. So I stick to cleaning up the messes and serving as the sounding board for his gripes about how the dogs go in and out constantly, dig holes, wake him up with barks as they greet me when I come home from work and why they trip him up by lying in doorways.

I put up with him, because, in addition to all of the above, he deals with things I can’t, like live rodent removal.

The other night I was playing with the cats in the apartment. Catfish was scratching around the garbage can. I figured a toy was out of reach, so I moved the can, only to see a huge, furry, rodent-like creature. I screamed like a sissy and ran to fetch The Boss.

He doesn’t understand why I can’t take care of such things (just like I don’t understand why he can’t clean a toilet), but he came to the rescue. The invading beast was a mole, probably carried in by one of the cats for playtime. The Boss snatched it up with the litter scoop. I worried (out loud) that it might be injured. “What do you want me to do? Give it CPR?” he said. The mole survived.

I put up with his snarkiness because the only other choice is to take care of such nasty chores myself, and if I wanted to do that, I’d never have gotten married. And then both our lives might be perfect. Perfect, but boring.

posted by Sandy at 7/30/2007 02:44:00 PM


Blogger Skeeter said...

Ah, the joys of house ownership! The Saint and I have renovated this house from darn near top to bottom! But we still have so many ideas of what is next to come! We are lucky that we get along well while working together. I bitch and he moans but we somehow make it work. The Saint has saved us many, and I mean many, dollars over the years with his know-how! I was always a Tom boy so I am not so stupid when it comes to swinging a hammer either! Hey, I sanded, primed, painted and hung all the interior doors to the house with new hardware! Did not know I had it in me until I decided to do it one day! We will probably never have this place exactly how we want it but we must keep it updated as it is our greatest investment of all...

We had to cut down a tree to keep the squirrels from getting on top of the house. This tree was an on going battle as I wanted it to stay and the Saint wanted to cut down the thing from day one of moving in the house. He finally won the battle when I heard, investigated and saw the squirrel up on the roof top!

I have a great Mole story but I will share it another day...

I am happy tonight! Our neighbors took my phone call serious and removed some of the debris they had put into the drainage ditch. Tonight we had a small gulley washing rainfall and the water seems to have flowed natural as can be. So no mess for me to clean up tomorrow! Yay…

Monday, July 30, 2007 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger pearcehart said...

Hey, you got OUR rain! We need it! Send it back!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 2:03:00 AM  
Blogger jdt said...

Sandy your stories about the boss just crack me up! A great way for me to start the morning!

I have a question for all you pet owners? Our little monster Zander has hurt his leg. We have been to the vet a few times and the best we can all tell is he has a deep tissue muscle pull. The vet has him on something for pain, which I am hoping my little guy doesn't become an addict. We are limiting his activity the best we can, but he is just so pitiful walking around not using one of his front legs. The vet says it is just like a human and pulled muscles just take time to heal. I just feel so bad for my little guy. Does anyone have any additional ideas that might help him heal?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:15:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Jennifer, I am sorry to hear that one of your adorable little ones is injured! My Cheetah had a hurt leg a while back. Not sure but I think she and Sheba were rough-housing while playing tag and she pulled a muscle while falling from the Monkey tree! I remembered hearing a bit of a thump when she jumped or fell and then Cheetah was limping. She would not walk much for a few days then all of a sudden, she was back to normal. What I found interesting was that Sheba did not bother her for those few days. It was as if she knew that Cheetah was not feeling well and to leave her alone. I just let nature take its course (because she did not seem to be in any pain) and in no time the leg heal as do our human strained and pulled muscles....

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Peanut once starting liming, not using his right front leg. I was at work and guess what? The Boss actually took him to the vet! He must have worried what I'd say if I came home and saw that and he did nothing. The vet couldn't find anything wrong, just like with Zander, and said the same thing. He was on pain meds for a bit, eventually started using the leg and then was fine. Yes, they do pull muscles and hurt themselves just like humans. The way they all run down the deck steps and leap into the yard--I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.

One time years ago Tramp was limping, but before taking her to the vet I checked between the pads of her paws. She had one of those burrs stuck up in there, and she had long hair so it was all wrapped around the hair. Always best to check that first!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Hey, a friend of mine is a massage therapist that I go to regularly. She's also certified in pet massage. You can make an appointment with her, and during the visit she'll show you how you can do massage on your pet. She has worked on injured horses and dogs and all kinds of animals. She's great! Email me if you want her number.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm stuck with the visual of the Boss giving that friggin mole CPR!!!!! I can't get it out of my head.


Tuesday, July 31, 2007 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Pet massage works! We do it on Stella since she has bad hips. We also will apply heat, but not for too long. She loves it and always feels better!

I'm the same way about small furry animals. Mice are the worst! I remember opening the lid to our dog food container and having a mouse jump straight up at me trying to get out. I screamed like the girl I am and went running. The Foreman laughed at me and tried to get me to deal with it. NOT HAPPENING! He eventually did it, but gave me a hard time about it. I also found a mouse swimming in the duck pool when I had ducks. He was so tired because he couldn't get out and was swimming around and around. That time I dealt with it and just dumped the pool over. I always seem to be the one to find the mouse. What's up with that?

Yeah Stacey, the visual of giving a mole CPR is pretty funny! But think about this...what happens went the mole comes too. I picture it hanging from his lip! HA HA

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:37:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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