Monday, January 22, 2007

Cooking for my Dog

Daisy is a small gray schnauzer, age 13. She's been in our family since she was a puppy, and she's in all the grandchild photos and videos. She's quite a good dog, smart; she worries sometimes.

Lately Daisy's been under the weather, just not eating and moping around. After waiting for her to perk up I finally gave in and took her to the vet. The vet found Daisy constipated, obese, and with a low platelet count. She could be on the verge of a decline into anemia if I don't follow a careful health regime for her.

Daisy now has to be walked twice a day, not just once. She doesn't want to go out twice, and this morning even on her favorite trail I had to cajole her along. "Come on, Daisy, what you don't use you lose, you know you like this trail," and I'd turn around to see her just standing there, far back from me, and waving her head towards the car.

(Denny and I used to joke that some of Daisy's strange behaviors came from spending her formative weeks as a cat. When we first got her we lived in a condo where dogs weren't allowed, so we pretended our little six-pound purebreed was a cat. When it was time to take her out for a walk, we'd put her in a coat pocket.)

But the main new regime for Daisy is her special diet. She has 1/3 cup rice, 1/3 cup pasta, 1/6 tsp. olive oil, 1 soft-boiled egg, and 1/4 of a Tums twice a day. Plus I have to give her a liquid B-vitamin concoction with a syringe, and vaseline on a dog biscuit twice a day. I now spend a lot of time cooking for my dog.

It's considerably more trouble than opening a can; but Dr. K, the vet, says if Daisy follows this regime she'll live forever. So that's a relief.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I love this day
Of putting away... I say
Good-bye, chubby angel wearing frilly ribbon and good-bye
To guest towels with green embroidered wreaths.
So long, Santa doll that rocks and snores
Under Mother's 1950s wall-tree crocheted green and sewn
With red wooden balls.
Yes, good-bye good-bye, all red-and-green:
Quilted stockings with family names,
Placemats, dishes, mugs, and trays. Now
Lights come off the bushes outside and in,
Plants stand plain again.
Blest January's monochrome I embrace.
The house fills up again: with space.
But more: I love this very day
The frigid dog-walk pause to see how shiny tinsel
Flutters on spent supine firs,
Brave shredded flags of lights that say, "We served."
I love last-handling treasured things
To tuck them under eaves where they will snooze
Through blooming bulbs and barbecues,
Through fireworks, spade work, paper-work, schoolwork.
Through hearts shamrocks eggs flags pumpkins and yes, another turkey,
The Babe will sleep/hide/wait in secret here with shepherds and kings.
This day I walk my house in quiet
(no "ho-ho-ho" from motion-activated Santa door-wreath
my sister sent that then plays endless crass and holy tunes,
God crashing in so oddly)
And stack the colored cards that flew here;
They have the heft of prayer: Good news
That you still love us and we you too,
I read them one last time, then
Review receipts of treasure spent.
They say, You did it, you brought the Son to earth
And paid in cash to boot.
One feast remains, of Magi riding hard
Across the wasteland, jingling all the way.
Tardy, perhaps, but not too late, they gain
Wisdom's cradle.
Oh, today the angel visits one last time,
Chubby, in frilly ribbons, comes to warn, to guide:
"Don't go back by the way you came.
Protect the precious, found new Life!"
Once more I bake: a bean-enclosing cake
To celebrate the Light
With crowns, loud voices, laughing friends
Around the table. Then
Christmas ends. The elements rest
In cardboard treasure chests
and this,
This is the peace that was promised.

From "The Santa Book," c 2001 Pat Caplan Andrews