Last I checked, we were going to be graced with more 70-degree temperatures for at least a week. Just now I checked again, and the forecast is showing rain Wednesday through Sunday with temps in the 50s and 60s. I guess it doesn't matter, because it isn't looking like I'll be able to ride a horse anytime soon. The dogs have completely monopolized every minute of my day.
Midge took a turn for the worse and has no control over her bowels right now. I don't know if Scrappy has another bladder stone or if he just smells all of Midge's stains on the carpet and decides that it's a free-for-all. Every time I turn around I find another mess to clean up, but before I can clean it up, a dog is pestering me to take it outside. When I come back in, whatever dog I didn't take out has managed to turn the living room into its bathroom.
It's so hard to take all three dogs out simultaneously since Midge and Scrappy are mostly blind and deaf, and Stewie runs circles around my legs. It puts me in danger of being tripped and falling down the stone staircase. I only take out as many dogs as I can manage based on my pain levels. Yesterday I was taking just Scrappy out when I heard a thunk and the leash went tight. I looked back to see that he had run face-first into the leg of the patio chair and was stuck. He didn't know what to do. That's how blind he is. He tries to stick as close to my feet as possible so that he doesn't lose me, but the result is that he keeps tripping me. If I have anything important to do that requires a lot of movement between rooms in the house, I have to lock him up in a kennel to keep him out from under my feet.
This weekend was our wedding anniversary, so we spent Saturday at a marketplace shopping for a new hat and wallet for my husband, and grabbed a quick lunch. We returned to pee puddles all over the house. Then on Sunday we saw the movie "La La Land", had lunch, and visited a bookstore. I resigned myself to the fact that when we got home, I would have a huge mess to clean up, so I just took my time. However, despite being gone for over five hours, there didn't appear to be any accidents. Go figure. I usually can't even go down to the barn for five minutes without some kind of explosion on the carpet.
Just a quick side story about being in the bookstore. My vet's office had a couple of issues of Western Horseman magazine in the waiting area. I was flipping through it seeing all these people I recognized and thinking, "I know him and him and her and him..." I was thinking what a small world it is for horse people. We all know each other. Then I saw an article about a ranch I grew up around, and I wanted to read it, but had to leave the vet's office. I mentioned that I was interested in the article to the receptionist, hoping she'd lend me the magazine, but she didn't, so I had to look for it in the bookstore. It turned out to be December's issue, which is no longer available.
However, I noticed the bookstore had a large collection of quilting magazines. I used to pick up quilting magazines and read them on my lunch break when I was working full-time. There was a grandmotherly-type perusing them. She moved along, and I stepped in to flip through the quilting mags myself. There were a bunch of young, college jocks sitting on a bench against the wall near where I was standing, and they were talking sports. One guy kept shooting me annoyed looks. I thought perhaps he had a big personal bubble, so I moved further away while looking through the magazines. Then I heard him say, "What's up with all these old ladies? Why are they even here?"
I glanced over and he was looking directly at me. I'm 52 years old. I didn't know that qualified me to be labeled as an "old lady". That's the first time anyone has ever called me that. It seems just a few years ago some high school boy was trying to pick up on me. How time flies! I actually still occasionally have middle aged men try to pick up on me in the market if my husband isn't around. I guess when you live in a college town, everyone over the age of 25 seems old. Anyway, I had so many comebacks for that comment, but I bit my tongue. Part of me wanted to hold up the quilting magazine and say, "Could it be because you are sitting in the quilting section? If you want to pick up on young girls, I suggest that you go sit on a bench in the middle of the mall instead of hiding in a corner against a wall."
Actually, just one aisle down were the dirty magazines, and I suspect they were waiting for me to leave so that they could peek at them.
Anyway, back to more disgusting topics... I decided to steam vac the carpet to try to get most of the stench out of it, and see if that would get the dogs to stop using it as a toilet. However, first I had to vacuum up all the dog hair, otherwise it would get wet and clog the steam vac. I pulled out my Dyson vacuum cleaner and all it was doing was spitting dirt, rocks and hair back out onto the carpet. It obviously needed a thorough cleaning and to have all of its filters cleaned or replaced. I didn't have time for that, so I pulled out my mother's old Hoover upright, and found that it had lost all of its suction. There were no filters to replace and the bag was empty, so it required being taken to a vacuum repair shop. I didn't have time for that either. I've got to get this floor clean by Christmas. The longer it takes, the more puddles and piles I'm going to be cleaning up.
So, I raced to Walmart and bought a Shark vacuum cleaner. Despite just vacuuming the carpet with both a Dyson and a Hoover, the Shark managed to suck up so much dog hair that the extra large canister got stuffed to the gills. Shark vacuums have very small canisters to keep them light, so I bought a heavier model with an extra large canister, knowing that I could fill it with dog hair after vacuuming just a 10x10 section of carpet.
But I didn't have time to steam vac or clean the bare floors before it was time to do barn chores. The next morning I woke up to find diarrhea all over the carpet and recliner. So, I was steam vaccing the carpet at 5:00 in the morning. Now I have blisters on the palm of my hand. The dogs were continuing the mess up the carpet while I was steam vaccing. I ended up washing Midge's butt, and will have to shave it again. I shaved it a couple of weeks ago when her first diarrhea started, but her winter coat comes in so fast. The vet doesn't seem concerned about the diarrhea. She only wanted to treat the vomiting. I just find it so ironic that Midge wasn't even sick in this way until I took her to the vet for something else. I'll bet she picked up something in the office.
I still haven't put up Christmas decorations or wrapped gifts. I'm thinking about putting a rush order on doggy diapers for both Midge and Scrappy. I just need a few minutes of no messes to get something done, and every time that I start looking around for a measuring tape so that I can order the right size for each dog, someone has another incident. In Midge's case, they are accidents, but in Scrappy's case, I'm not so sure. Right now the dogs are sleeping and I don't want to move, because that will wake them and the chaos will start up again.
The simple solution would be to just stop feeding them so they have nothing to digest and take their water away for a few hours, but you can't do that with a diabetic dog. Her diet and insulin have to stay steady. She improved when I was feeding her chicken and rice, but we are all out and I would have to make a trip to the market, which means returning home to more major messes. If I stay home, I can at least take the dogs outside every few minutes.
Every little move I make gets the dogs excited, which in turn upsets their bladders and bowels. I've actually skipped showering to avoid waking the dogs. If I simply get up to go use the bathroom myself, they suddenly have to go outside, and I have to either skip my bathroom breaks or cut them short, or I'll have a mess to clean up. I've had some pumpkin bread mix sitting on the counter all week waiting for me to bake it, but I don't think it's going to happen because baking requires me to move and make noise and create food smells, which is really bad. If I make any kind of food that smells, the house turns into a chocolate factory.
I've had to turn my phone off, because whenever it rings, it wakes the dogs and they start running around barking, pooping and peeing. I just need things to be quiet and mellow for a while. Yesterday I was out shoveling manure when I heard the dogs barking. I shook my head, knowing what was going on in the house. Then the horses alerted on the driveway and I looked up to see a man in a hoodie slinking between my garage and my neighbor's house. He disappeared around the corner of my neighbor's house. I figured it was just my neighbor, and I didn't think much beyond that.
Then a short time later, I took the dogs outside and Stewie growled and barked toward the street. I looked over to see my neighbor coming back from a hike wearing a flannel shirt. No hoodie. He's a fitness fanatic, so when he goes hiking, he's gone for hours. That means the man I saw in the hoodie was not him. I started wondering if someone tried to steal something out of my garage or tried to let himself into my house while I was out shoveling manure, and the dogs stopped him. He was moving pretty fast with his shoulders up to his ears acting suspicious. I guess I'll have to lock up the house and keep a key in my pocket even when I go into the backyard for now on. If there are burglars on the street, I'm sure that the fact that I keep coming outside with my dogs every few minutes has been deterring them. There's a reason for everything. Maybe my dogs had to get sick so that I could prevent some burglaries? Who knows?
Oh well, this too shall pass.