Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dog Days

The house was almost perfect for a few hours during the night when we were sleeping, but has deteriorated moment be moment since we awoke. How do people keep their homes pristine for potential buyers while living in them? We had our first viewers today. I have no idea what they thought or if they were renters or buyers. I wonder if our real estate agent will chastise us for our mess.

I have decided that will have to give our dog Elmer away soon. He seems depressed and I wonder if he knows that we are leaving. He stays in his crate all day except when we walk him. He could be with us in the evening but he would rather hide in his den. He has been unhappy since Pippi died and I wonder if he needs some Prozac. Or perhaps he is not getting the attention he needs. We have not loved him the way we loved Pippi; he was never as cute or as well behaved or as warm or as sweet as our former dog. I could not forgive him for chewing my antiques and ruining them. He does not chew anything anymore, so clearly it was only puppihood, but I could not understand that despite having chew toys galore, there was something special about my most valuable pieces of furniture. We crated him for much longer than expected. Pippi was trained in a week and entirely reliable from the first few weeks we had him. I took him to work and kept him under my desk in a crate and took him out hourly. He was my co-therapist, but after a while he became too much of a distraction. I am not sure what he did all day, but when Tara and I came home, we walked him. On weekends he would have long hikes in the hills around our house and he loved to swim in a nearby pond. He was so good and kind and warm and he knew it. Our second dog just could not compete. Elmer cried the first few nights that we had him and was scared to go up or down the stairs. When scared he would wet himself. I thought he may have been abused when younger. We crated him for toilet training and he did not 'get it' very quickly. It was the chewing that upset me. Clothes, toys, furniture, truly anything chewable was fair game. For a long while Pippi wa free to roam the house while Elmer was locked up. He chewed huge holes in the kitchen walls, which ended up being a great excuse to repair and repaint the kitchen, which was a significant improvement. Pippi was the alpha dog and dominated Elmer and it was clear to Elmer that he was second to Pippi in all things. I had to be careful for Maya's sake, because she was hurt if I said anyhting negative about Elmer. The one good thing about Elmer is that he can fetch, whihc Pippi never did. It is fun to throw things at Elmer and have him bring them back. Unfortunately Elmer was hit by a car two Septembers ago and spent the next year limping. He also got very fat and uglier. We have tried to restrict his food intake and he has slimmed down a little and is actually limping less, which looks better. He has a nice disposition and I have been unfair to him. We have friends who have agreed to take him. Maya worries that they will not want to give him back, but I am entirely comfortable with that. I do not love him. I saw the movie 'Marley and Me', which reminded me of Elmer.

Maybe he will be happier in a new home, with more children and more activity. He clearly sees that we are packing. Is he intelligent enough to know that we are moving soon and that he will be left behind? Pippi was always morose when he saw us packing our suitcases to move. He clearly knew what was going on all the time. I wa convinced at times that Pippi understood what we were saying. Pippi occupied a big place in our hearts and in our home and I still look fo rhim up the stairs when I come home. I do miss him still.

Tara came home today and we celebrated the end of the school year at a local restaurant which we once went to quite regularly. I ordered the same salad that I have always ordered and it was less than half the size it had been for years and years. I had not been at the restaurant for over a year; perhaps they are downsizing. My mother used to tell us to leave the table hungry, but I feel entirely deprived and still very hungry and dissatisfied. Tara and Maya were happy to share a huge chocolate mousse cake and ice cream. Tara is here for a day and tomorrow she will travel back to New York to meet Eric and load up the car with her belongings. She will be moving out of her dorm and everything will go into storage for the year that she is away. We will all be living out of suitcases for the next year.

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