LindaLouise turned six months old a week ago. Female dogs are supposed to get spay by 6 months of age lest you want males dogs picking up the pheromone scent of your precious baby from three miles away driving their owners nuts or, heaven forbid, an unplanned pregnancy. Being the responsible dog owner that I am, I had LL’s spay scheduled two days after she turned six months old. Mother nature had another plan (damn her!): LindaLouise went into heat the day before the spay was to happen. Yikes! Little did I know how life would was about to change. Once I realized she was in heat, her mood, beginning the week before her “period” all made sense. My adorable little dog, ALWAYS loving and cuddly, had turned into LindaBlaire from The Exorcist.
She didn’t want to be touched, she snapped if you tried to hold her on her back and rub her tummy (something she had always adored) no matter how many sweet nothing’s you whispered in her ear, and she wouldn’t eat, although she would act crazy if she smelled chocolate.
A “heat” lasts three weeks. Her period will stop after a week, but then she will want males in her life. Mother of God, WHY!!!!
I woke in the middle of the night still fixed on the images in my dream. The five or six-year-old me had raced through the back door of a house clutching a handful of spent dandelions. Out of breath, I hollered, “How many ‘lions make a wish come true?”
Pulling the covers up around my neck to keep out the cold, I didn’t spend time trying to remember what happened before that scene, or whom the flowers were for, or what any of it meant. Instead, my thoughts went to back to those days of believing in the magic of dandelion fluff–when we blew wishes out into the universe in hopes they would come true.
Every walk need not be a “fitness” walk. I now stop to look at bugs, step off the sidewalk and into a field of high grass. I pause now at every children’s playground and basketball court. Linda is showing me there is a lot to see out there in the world. I’m learning to stop and smell the roses.
When did a doggy “accident” in the house not bother me? Linda has very few, and when she does, it’s my fault for not noticing her sitting at the door. Instead of scolding her, I apologize and tell her I’m so sorry for not paying more attention. She gives me puppy kisses and forgives me right away. I’m learning to notsweat the small stuff.
Linda is not shy like me. She won’t have any part of staying indoors and isolating from people. She wants her three walks each day. Instead of walking away from people, she drags me to the center of every hubbub. In the last four months I’ve met more people in my neighborhood than in the ten years I’ve lived here–usually other dog walkers or people with children. I’m learning that interacting with others lifts my spirits, and my fears about what people think about me are diminishing. (I haven’t had anyone look at me like I have two heads even once, ha!)
Yep, leave it to a little bundle of fluff to have all the answers!