It’s Wednesday. Midweek. Lucy and I hit a few bumps along the road today.
This morning, as if she somehow had an inkling of what lay ahead, Lucy was less happy than usual to get out of bed for her early morning breakfast. During our little walk around the block, she was sniffing around a familiar patch of grass, when she stopped, walked very deliberately to the gate leading to a gallery where I had held my first exhibition, and stood at the gate. She resolutely refused to move from that position, even turning away from her favourite lamb puff treat when I tried to persuade her. “It’s locked, honey, we can’t go in from here.” She usually understands this, and will follow me thereafter, but Lucy stood frozen to the spot, as if in a mini, silent meltdown. Her nose began to drip, another sign of distress. I checked her all over to make sure she hadn’t suffered any injury, or stepped on glass shards etc. All ok. Something must have triggered in her mind. A sensory issue? An olfactory memory? She seemed insistent on going inside via that particular gate. Or perhaps she was just reacting to the big change of being back with me after 2 months at ‘holiday camp’ with my lovely friends Jan and Pete, and their five dogs?
After a few minutes of quietly waiting for her to come round, I too became somewhat anxious – not impatient, but just worried about her. I do not like applying force, and didn’t want to drag her out of that space, but we couldn’t stay there like that indefinitely either. So, I put my arms around her and carried her a few feet away from the gate, while gently speaking to her, explaining to her why I was doing this. I didn’t care that she most probably could not understand what I was babbling about, though new studies seem to indicate that dogs actually do comprehend much more language than humans give them credit for. All I wanted to do was comfort her and help her out of that state of dissonance. I put her down just four feet away (she is not a chihuahua and I am not a strong young person), and she trotted along with me as if awakened from a quickly forgotten dream.
Later, at bruncheon with Rick, an event I had been looking forward to since we confirmed the arrangements yesterday afternoon, we hit another bump in the road. All settled into a lovely cosy corner, tucking into our delicious food, chatting merrily away, when the sounds of loud clanging metal bars exploded into our gentle atmosphere. Workmen gathered outside the cafe were hurriedly creating an enclosure, and then the hydraulic digger arrived.
Sensory attack began. Noshment interrupted. Time to scuttle away. Coffee and apple juice to go, we repaired to a quieter spot around the corner to complete our bruncheon catch-up.
Next stop, the vet. Lucy’s nails desperately needed a trim. I booked an Uber car, called the driver to let him know that I have an assistance dog, and heard a friendly voice on the other end saying, “OK, yes, assistance dog ok!” But the driver never appeared. I checked my app and saw that he had cancelled the trip. Sigh. I booked another ride, and once again called the driver to inform him about Lucy. This driver understood very little English.
“Assistance dog? No no no no dog! No animal! No no no!”
“Service dog? No no no no dog! No animal! No no no!”
“Oh, medical dog? OK, medical dog is ok! I come!”
The car drove right up to us, came to a halt, windows wound down, and just as I was about to open the passenger door, “NO CAN DO! NO CAN DO!” I pointed to Lucy’s bright yellow vest, and said, “medical dog!”, but he drove away, still yelling, “NO CAN DO! NO NO NO NO CAN DO!”
Not again. Sigh.
Those long greyhound nails really need to be trimmed. I must not allow myself to have a meltdown. Lucy’s needs are more important at this time. So… stay calm, Bunny, and book another Uber ride!
Thankfully, the on my third try, the driver was fabulously kind. Ah, a fellow dog lover! I was, by then, breaking out in cold clammy anxiety-induced perspiration, and I even entered the destination wrongly. “No worries, all good,” this driver said in a thick Chinese accent. We enjoyed a friendly chat – about dogs, of course – along the way. Phew! Third bump survived quite nicely.
At the vet’s, Lucy (of course) yelled the placed down while having her nails trimmed, and the inevitable happened: one nail, always one nail, began to bleed. Now, if you’ve ever seen Greyhound bleed, it can be a scary thing to the uninitiated. Even though I’m now quite a seasoned witness to the spectacle, it’s still unnerving. Greyhound blood is thinner, and when they bleed, well, they really bleed. Anyway, all wrapped up and very cross with momma and doc, she grudgingly devoured the super yummy peace offerings from us both. Milking it the situation or just being her usual princessy huffy self, we managed to win a ride home in the vet’s van. He was going out to lunch with a friend, and he offered to take us home. Yay! Fourth bump out of the way!
I am exhausted. Lucy too. We had our teatime snacks – a hard boiled egg each, mine with added sardines in tomato sauce and a liberal dash of Japanese mayonnaise.
No more bumps please? We are in bed. I’ve taken a panadol for the headache.
Oh, wait. Donald Trump is the next President of the USA?
Sigh… What is happening to the world today?
Maybe… living in a cave isn’t such a terrible idea after all. My seven-year-old self seemed to have seen all this coming when I announced that I’d like to find a cave far away from humans and live in it all by myself? Except, now I have Lucy, of course.
It has started to rain. There is thunder in the near distance.