Today I like: Lululemon
Not so much: Leftover Halloween candy. Ugh.
We have a dog. Rosie. She’s a Rhodesian Ridgeback. If you’re not familiar with Ridgebacks, let me describe the breed: Large. Brown. Floppy ears. Stripe of hair that grows backwards along the spine. Bred to hunt lions and protect homesteads in southern Africa. Loyal and protective. Lovely animals.
That being said, Rosie is driving me mad. She paces the house all day long on a scavenging mission. She knows how to open the drawer wherein hides the ever tempting trashcan. She’s approximately six feet tall when she stands on her hind legs, so she can reach any food item on the counter, from toast crumbs to birthday cakes. She stalks the kids and takes whatever they happen to have in their hands. She goes outside and swipes McDonald’s bags from the poor construction workers building the house next door.
And then, after gorging herself on anything she can find, she stands at the pantry door and whines for food.
“For the love of God,” I say. “You’re not hungry. You just ate an entire rotisserie chicken. Bones and all.”
Me: “No! What about the bag of Hershey kisses? All that tin foil must have been filling.”
She does not hear me. Nor does her stomach, which I assume is lined with South African conflict diamonds or something, since nothing she swallows seems to have one iota of negative effect. (I used to panic when she ate something suspect. Several pricy, pointless trips to the vet later, I just shrug.) I can never send a picture of her to the breeder, who once sent me an email with the tagline: “Is your Ridgeback fit or fat?”
If she got one look at Rosie’s spare tire she’d demand we return her. I guess I could send a head shot, but her cheeks are a bit round, too.
The thing is, I sort of understand why Rosie has OCD. She’s bored. This is my fault. Between three kids, a house, and writing, I don’t take the time to play ball with her or walk her every day or even pet her half the time. She’s looking for something to do. Food is her obsession.
I used to be a dog person. I swear. I had a dachshund named Schnapps, and I had a total blind spot for that little guy. My college roommates hated him, and with good reason, since he barked non-stop and would bite your fingers off if you tried to drag him out from under the bed. (“That dog is the devil.” –Lindsey, circa 1997). I wouldn’t hear a word against him and took him everywhere with me.
At this point, however, poor Rosie is pretty low on the totem pole. At the same time, I understand her malaise. In the year or two before I started writing seriously, I became a bit obsessed with working out. Overdid it on several occasions, once leading to a stress fracture in my tibia that took six months to heal. I agonized over my inability to get out, get on it, get moving. I finally realized I was looking for something to occupy my mind, not necessarily my body. I loved being home with my kids, but as I emerged from six years of baby haze I knew I needed something else. I couldn’t cook and clean and cart kids, not without some additional mental stimulation. I was literally running myself into the ground in my search for some additional, personal purpose.
Once I began writing in earnest, The Cracked Slipper took shape quickly, and suddenly working out became enjoyable again. No more injuries. I’m still extremely active, but it’s a healthy habit.
So, I know Rosie needs mental stimulation, too. Something to take her mind off the trashcan and whatever tidbits might be lurking in it. My dog is struggling with a canine version of The Feminine Mystique. It’s guess it’s up to me to turn her into an enlightened, fulfilled doggy woman of the 21st century. She needs a career, or a hobby, or something. Any ideas?