Posted by: livesimply2livewell | July 27, 2009

Dog-sitting. Because it’s what neighbors do.

I’ve just returned from looking in on the neighbors’ dog while they’re away at the beach for a week.  The dog is old and frail, and probably failing.  Rimadyl soothes his arthritic joints, and he doesn’t hear, see, or smell very well any more.

The dog, which has a wiry terrier-airedale-something coat and slightly apprehensive eyes, has two names.  Fafa and Boyo.  I do not remember why.  Fafa is older than the children who live in the home.  He’s outlived several of my dogs and a few of my cats.  Ya gotta give him credit for tenacity.

I struggle to define simplicity in life.   But I recognize an absence of simplicity when I see it. 

When it takes more than a paragraph to leave instructions for pet care, there is probably not as much simplicity going on as we might hope.  

The last time I left my two dogs and four cats in someone else’s care, I said as she drove me to a trip rendezvous point, “Food’s in the kitchen.  Let them out in the morning.  Bring them in at night.  Call my cell if you have any questions.”   The week passed without incident.  Simple.

Fafa’s care covers (in small font, with marginal notations) two sides of an 8.5 x 11 inche piece of paper.  In fairness, he is on medication, he is elderly with ingrained habits, and his owners really do care about him. 

Keeping an elderly, ailing pet in the home is by definition something that will make life not so simple.   I know.  It’s not been a year since I said goodbye to my chow-lab Annie, and less time since I sent my beautiful white cat Bubba to his final rest.  More on them another time.

I am not sure that Fafa recognized me when I went in.  Generally he sees me as the enemy rather than his caretaker.  From time to time in past caregiving weeks we have had words about his need to go outdoors instead of lurking, snarling, in a narrow hallway.  But this morning (and last night too) he was docile enough. 

Maybe he has decided that this is to be his version of living simply.  Don’t cause trouble, eat when they give you food, drink when you’re thirsty, take your medicine, pee where you’re supposed to.  And the rest of the time you get to lie on a nice, soft bed in a cool, quiet home where nobody bothers you for hours at a stretch.

Hm.

Doesn’t sound half-bad.

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