Luci is sprawled out at my feet, reminiscent of big dog Cappy, who is sitting outside somewhere fuming about the pint- sized competition. Big dog Fly is sprawled out on the foyer’s stone, on the OTHER side of the baby gate.
A truce, of sorts, forty-eight hours into my latest insane attempt to cope with Empty Nest Syndrome. The thinking goes something like this: If I add another piece of fur to my life, then I will have to nurture THAT life and butt out of my children’s budding adulthoods. It sounds so sane, so rational.
Since when is self-induced sleep deprivation a healthy alternative to anything?
To remind myself of why I am willingly engaging in torture I have developed my What a Great Idea List:
The fifteen pounds of caramel-colored fluff already wiggles in glee every time she catches sight of me.
Scoop The Puppy Before The Pee is a great game and definitely gets the mom juices flowing, and I don’t have time to notice young adult surliness.
Dogs are generally much more obedient than kids.
Agility games are more fun to play than cheerleading from the rail of a horse show or from the sidelines of a youth sport.
The six o’clock alarm of puppy yips started the morning off. Kettle on, puppy out, all dogs to the outdoor john, walk the meadow. Make the coffee, fix the dog breakfast, all dogs- big and little- wait for the word “Food!” On to the post-prandial meadow cruise for puppy snifs and toilette. The second cup of coffee was in one hand, the door held open with the other and the big dogs rushed out pushing little Luci off the porch step.
One step. Maybe seven inches from wooden porch floor to garden slate pathstone. Luci must have been prepared to take one of her rocket leaps and was caught off balance by the big dog’s haste. I couldn’t put my mug down quickly enough. My little honey-colored honey lay still, lifted her head and went limp. I put her in my lap and with shaking hands palpated first her left shoulder moving smoothly down to her little puppy nails. I cooed ” Knocked the breath out of you, didn’t they, little one?” Luci looked at me, never yelping or flinching in pain. I checked her belly and her back, and then set her gently down to check her capacity to bear weight. With her sable speckled paw held high it was obvious that she had landed funny on her right side. One lap check later, I still could find no obvious points of pain or break in the right leg. My brain stopped dialing the Pet ER.
I have watched my daughter get bashed up in field hockey, my son get launched bum over head off his horse, listened to tales of bike crashes in downtown Amsterdam(daughter) or rural Maryland (son). I have imagined a certain wisdom curve being climbed in this parenting gig, a summit scaled where life’s oopsies get calmly processed. And here I am, mentally talking myself down from the “MUST TAKE ACTION” peak over an 8 week old puppy’s boo boo!
Luci has chewed herself to sleep, resting her nose in the kitchen doorway, back up against my desk drawer, blue pup bone by her right cheek. As I wrote this post she contentedly played, got up for water with just a bit of a limp, and put herself down for a nap.
My Luci is a bold girl, and her puppy years will probably empty my wisdom bank. But at least my kids won’t bear the burden of the well-intentioned mom rescue. I will be too busy climbing my next parenting mountain.
A collection of stories about my life AC/DC: After Children leave and Dogs Control instead.