Bobo’s Life Lessons


Bobo is getting old.  He is big for a pug, double the size he was “supposed” to be, and twice as tall.  Being abnormally large must be harder on his systems, because even though he is relatively young for a pug (11), he is slowing down significantly.

He has never been a smart dog, but his level of cluelessness has reached an all time high.  I don’t think he sees well, he only hears what he wants, and he is more impatient than ever.  He has trouble walking sometimes, and our wood stairs now confound him.  He has been such a good dog, and as part of our family, we will take care of him until he leaves our world.

I tell you all of this because I feel a little guilty about my reaction to Bobo’s increasing neediness.  Other people out there seem to be so understanding when their pets need extra attention.  They give their diabetic cat shots twice a day, carry their arthritic Golden Retrievers in and out of the house, make special organic, gluten free foods for their dog’s testy stomachs.  Whatever it is, they seem to do it without the commentary that I sometimes hear coming from the voice inside my head. Sometimes I say it out loud too.  “Seriously, Bobo?” I say to my hard-of-hearing pug as I trudge down to get him, “You’ve gotten stuck in the laundry room five times in the last hour.”

The truth is, I have an inner expectation that he will get better.  That his legs will remember how to move, that he will stop getting lost in the house and that he will stop being kind of, well, gross. Intellectually, I know this won’t happen.  I know, if anything, he is going to continue to decline.  I will probably have to carry him up and down the stairs someday soon, go and get him instead of calling for him to come, keep him on a leash so that he doesn’t get lost twenty feet away from me on a walk.

I’m not used to this mindset.  I’ve been raising a kid for 17 years.  The kid learns, grows and develops.  I know that he will get “better” at whatever it is he is doing.  Stairs only befuddled him for about an hour when he was six months old, and then my problem was how to keep him from going up and down the stairs when I wasn’t looking.  What I’ve learned from parenting a child is that I need to let him do it without helping more than I should.  Knowing that his goals are his to achieve or miss.  There is so much that I would love to do for him if I could, but he has to go his own way.

And so, when Bobo needs help going up the stairs, my mom-ness cheers him on, “You can do it!”  I want him to figure it out, like a child, and I get frustrated when he doesn’t.  But he won’t figure it out.  He needs something different from me.  He needs me to take care of his aging body, because we all will be old someday, if we’re fortunate.  Bobo is teaching me that we and the aging folks around us all need a little more patience and understanding.  Someone to say, “It’s ok.  Take your time,” in a kind, if sorta loud, voice.


Party Day, Get Out the Vacuum

Big Christmas/Holiday/It’s Been Snowing Party tonight.  Woo Hoo!  Rob’s making tenderloin, crab cakes and a tres leches cake and I’m cleaning the couch … .

That’s been our understanding for the length of our marriage.  When we give a party, Rob does most of the cooking and I get everything else ready. I do assemble some food things, like the egg nog and the bean dip, but nothing heavy duty. Rob loves to cook and he’s really good at it.  I’m too busy hoovering. **I’m not British, but how often does one get to use such a great term in Colorado life?  Indulge me.**  I don’t love cleaning, but I can’t help myself.

Why clean the house before a party?  Because we have a pug and a cat who shed A LOT and I have this idea that I can make a dent in the amount of fur and dander that resides with us.  I know they say it takes 6 months to make a home fur-less after a pet leaves a home, but I try to do it in 6 hours. I also stock up on Benedryl for allergic guests.

Apologies in advance, people.  I’m trying my best here.  You may be sneezing and have to use a lint brush on your coat, but the food will be amazing.

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My Dog Is A Mini-Me

After living together for going on 6 years, I’ve had a revelation:  my dog is me. Those of you who know my family may think I’m referring to Bobo, our pug.  He is lazy, fat and generally clueless (wait a minute . . . maybe Bobo is me, too . . .).  But it’s Wilson, the little white fluffy dog, in whom I have seen myself.

Wilson’s characteristics:

  1. Looks cute (well, we each have our moments), acts grumpy
  2. Likes the thought of meeting new people, but on his own terms
  3. Loves snacks
  4. Engages in destructive behavior when bored
  5. Has bad hair days with regularity
  6. Hates crowds of people (unless there are snacks)
  7. Loves going on hikes
  8. Enjoys a good spa day (until it’s time to do his hair)
  9. Teases his housemates (until the cat comes back at him, then he retreats)
  10. Every so often, with a devilish look in his eye, ignores all the rules

I don’t know what this says about him or me, but it sure explains a lot about the little human-like monster we’ve been living with.

I’ve seen the enemy, and he is me.