First of all, I must apologize for combining days for my blog entries. The original intent was to write every day, and while I wish the days would blur together sometimes, they do not. My entries should not either. I have no good excuse -but I do have a lot of reasonable excuses, which I will not bore you with. Nevertheless, I have to be more vigilant. Second of all, I am feeling better today. Yesterday, I had a blinding headache until about 5 pm, then it resumed right in time for bedtime. Thank goodness for Tylenol PM. I took it easy all weekend, coughing it up, drinking plenty of fluids, and attempting sleep. My throat still hurts, but I was among the living once again today.
My return to health came just in time, since the cleanliness and order of the house had taken a backseat over the weekend. We resumed normal schedules – school for Anya, ballet for Lorelei, terrorizing for Addie, and chores for me. We went to the gym, and I attempted to go to the Italian post office at 2 pm to pay some crazy cell phone bill (of course, the post office had closed at 1:30 pm – welcome to business in Italy, there are some crazy hours). We took our garbages, recycled, picked up and started some laundry. Then finally, I headed out to do the hated chores.
Let me explain: four and a half years ago, I finally caved and let Andy get a dog. I thought it would be okay, since I love dogs and had them growing up. Anya and Andy were so excited. We did the research on the breed we wanted, labrador retriever, found a breeder, and picked her out. I knew that having an animal was going to be even more work, since having a pet is like having another person in your home. You have to feed them, bathe them, care of them, play with them, take them to the doctor, etc. I felt we were ready. Here is Emma as a puppy:Adorable, right? Here’s the thing – she’s a big dog. She was big even as a puppy (just look at her!). I did not mind the idea of a big dog. I knew that I would have help.
Maybe it’s the whole bliss of a puppy or what not, but I forgot a few things. I forgot that Andy, as great as he is with Emma, is gone a lot. So there went my helper. I also forgot that all dogs need to be played with, and a lab needs to be entertained a lot. Without entertainment or exercise, they will find their own ways, usually resulting in chewed objects or free lawn landscaping in all the wrong places. In our short time together, I have lost two phone chargers, two shoes, a straightening iron, a flat yard, and the ability to leave the garbage unattended for more than an hour. Finally, I knew that dogs needed food – but big dogs eat more food. And more food=more poop. Thus, the most hated chore I have to do is to pick up dog poop.
This chore ranks above all other hated tasks, including getting crayon marks off the walls and cleaning vomit out of a car. Everything about it makes me want to gag. When my family had dogs growing up, I would do anything to get out of that chore, including trading for more chores or just taking a punishment instead of doing it. As the adult here, I do not have someone else to barter with. Unfortunately, Emma has not stopped eating or learned to use a toilet, so the poop must be picked up. Andy puts this off as long as possible, as do I. He had neglected it for quite some time before he left, so I am now trying to catch up while still getting the newest additions to our yard. When I lived with my mother-in-law last year, she had a service that picked it up for you once a week for a small monthly fee. It was a glorious year. But my most hated chore had to be done today – it was nice out, the girls were napping, and I had no other excuse.
Don’t get me wrong – I love Emma, even when she drives me crazy (which is constantly). She is the best dog with our kids and is loyal. She makes me feel a tiny bit safer when Andy is gone, and she is beautiful. Andy loves her to death, so much so that I fear for the day that she does pass away. I do not mind caring for her, and I love taking her for walks, especially here in Italy where they love dogs. However, I cannot stand her poop. If she could do it just a little less (maybe not even at all! 🙂 ), that would be great. The most hated chore was the only dark spot in a good Monday – here’s to hoping it’s good for you too!