First thing in the morning. Before coffee. WAY before breakfast. Before I feed the chickens, even.
Ghost has never been my favorite dog – mostly because I’ve never been his favorite human. He was smart, quick, a very useful watchdog, we lived together for eight years, but I wasn’t his choice and he rarely let me forget it. Dealing with Ghost was a matter of negotiation, not barking orders.
Now he’s a fat, deaf, increasingly incontinent geriatric mess. But he’s family. So I hop out of bed, put on my leg and my pants, go down the ladder in the near-dark, pull on boots, strap on a gun, take LB out for a pee and then straight to the Jeep, to drive to S&L’s place for our first visit with Ghost…
…clean and filled and ready to go from the night before. I get there as soon as I can without resort to an alarm clock and I even tried that once. But then it finally dawned that it didn’t matter; what he really needed for the mop to be unnecessary was a visit at bedtime, long after dark. The morning puddle is always old. Frankly it’s less trouble to mop it in the morning than to prevent it at nine pee em. He can get outside to do his chores as long as somebody’s there to work the door when he goes to it. If nobody comes, he…goes. That’s just life. But like us all he’s a creature of habit – once he knows when to expect me to arrive, he starts being able to hold it till I get there – except for the one at bedtime, when I never show up.
It’s kind of a pain, all this backing and forthing. This week I’m doing it for two bunches of animals widely separated, so the backing and forthing is pretty much all I’m accomplishing and that actually makes it not so bad. Plus Ghost, for all his foibles, is family and you do for family.
Plus, let’s face it, my end-of-life plan is pretty much reduced to hoping somebody will spare a back bedroom for the crotchety old blind guy whose Depends purchases are a household secret. So I guess I can put up with old Ghost for a while.