Day 29-30: the hated chores

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! 

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