Summer is hard on my dogs since they do not get their weekly dose of daycare. Sometimes I think the aggravation they put me through during the summer is a deliberate choice to make me do penance…

With the advent of summer, I have to take up walking the dogs more than usual to provide them their necessary allotment of exercise. Walking, though, is really just a euphemism for flinging body products all over the city. I get that dogs mark things, but my black dog takes this to another level. He’s an 8-lb toy poodle with a raging Napoleon complex, so he feels that every inch of real estate we trod has to bear a remembrance of him. Three steps, stop for him to do his thing. Three more steps, stop… wash, rinse, repeat. Now, most dogs are relatively content to do the majority of their marking via Number 1. Not my little emperor. He has a great fondness for Number 2 marking, even when he nearly has a stroke pushing out said material. It is not unusual for me to have to use 3-4 poop bags on a walk with him, each laden with about 0.005 oz of material. And, I will not describe what his heiney looks like after he’s spent the walk trying to conquer Waterloo.

The white dog is less lacking in self-esteem and easier to walk because of that, but he is a fiercely social dog and any other canine within eyesight prompts a round of happy barking and a dragging of me towards his new friend. Now, as he drags me, he is choking himself and making noises like an agitated goose. This, of course, scares his puppy-pal and its owner and makes me look, somehow, like a terrible owner. He is also a roller and a muncher. He loves to roll in grass (and anything else that happens to be in the grass) and views lawns as salad bars. Therefore, he tends to be stinky and always looking for a new delicacy to munch, which traipses him through mud, sand and another other material in the world that will stick to his chassis.

Yesterday, he was rummaging through my excuse for flower beds, looking for an afternoon snack, when he suddenly bolted out and began whirling around like a top. He was nipping, rolling, wriggling… abandoning my iPad and tasty beverage, I went over to see what was wrong. And the verdict was – who knows? No blood, no oozing or swelling, no tenderness… He was favoring one paw and was trembling in pain or anxiety, so I called an end to the day. My best guess is that he was bitten/stung by an insect, but couldn’t find any evidence of that on his paw. I do know that dogs can have Benedryl, and have some on hand, but couldn’t remember the dosage. He got some Rimadyl (doggie aspirin) wrapped by a Snausage and an evening of cuddling on the couch. Today – right as rain. No evidence anything had ever been wrong.

I have no idea what today will bring besides the four poop bags I have already consigned to the designated barrel from our first morning walk. The condo has a showing this afternoon and the headache-making humidity ensures that all my activities will be indoors. Hmmm… I did want to play videogames yesterday, but wound up being a dog nurse instead. Might should take up where I left off…

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