Friday, August 07, 2009

Our Pets, Ourselves

Today, I took Cassie up to the dog park where the owners relax on benches watching our pets run and play.

"I see Lila coming up the hill," said a white-haired woman who lives at the Conifers (retirement community).

"I thought she was taking India to Waggin' Wheels today!" stated the old man with glasses, who had just shared he had a colonoscopy yesterday.

"You know the dogs' schedules?" I asked.

An old man sprawled on the bench opposite drawled, "This is a TIGHT group!" Yep, he sprawled and drawled.

"India IS at Waggin' Wheels," Lila explained as she sat down w/ her coffee "but Mickey's going to my mom's." Mickey, her giant poodle, was seeking scratches from his owner before joining group dog play. He had a large patch on his side, obviously a growing-back after major surgery. Lila said she was sad because her cat had an ultrasound and has Feline Immune Disorder.

She also explained that Mickey and India were both welcome to stay at the mom's while Lila and husband went away. But India just loves Waggin' Wheels so much because they have a bone-shaped swimming pool! Lila had on a very short skirt and tight top and was young; but enthusiastically joined the colonoscopy talk--about pills, juice, and a ginger-ale flavored drink she hadn't liked.

After remarking she hadn't had a mammogram in five years, the white-haired woman told me about Tinker Bell, her mixed breed chihahua's, weight problem. The maid at the Conifers brings dog treats and Tink already had 3 treats today! Also the white-haired woman's husband keeps giving TB leftover ice cream. What was my secret for keeping Cassie so trim?

Uh well, she's only two, I said, and she gets dry Iam's and very limited treats. (And of course I don't have a maid or a husband.) I told her my last mammogram was 2 years ago but didn't share my colonoscopy history.

Several big dogs arrived then at once, and the play group became a thundering herd.

"Well, we're going now," I said, calling Cassie.

"Cassie can take care of herself!" the drawling man said.

"Yeah I know, but it isn't so much fun any more." I waved friendly good-bye to my fellow dogparents who all give our pets choice of our bed or theirs, delightful resort vacations, health and dental comparable to our own.

As Cassie and I trotted down the hill to the car, I thought of my young years on the farm with steers, pigs, chickens, dogs, and cats. I remembered the grownups at a barbecue tossing chicken bones to our black Great Dane Cindy, who happily crunched them up. The large pack of hunting dogs lived in a pen in the pasture, and the cats stayed in the barn subsisting on mice. Cats and dogs were animals back then.


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