Big White Dog Lightens Mood

Woke to NPR telling us to be sure we know where people are, said if leaving home to have them tell us when plan to be back. Most likely due to NYC elderly dying at home alone?

Sobering to think of, but I text my younger brother and ask him to secure plots at a rural cemetery where oak trees overhang the historical small town’s headstones. Much more pleasant to visit parents there than place they have planned. Shall we tell them or just do it?

Was his idea originally, so tell him a very good idea and we’ll figure out how to sell the plot they have purchased for themselves at a once-rural, but now huge cemetery surrounded by businesses and traffic. Told him I wouldn’t relish the idea of visiting them that busy spot, so nicer if we start a family area at the far out rural town where our dad’s brother, a favorite uncle, is buried. Might be another 50 years before the city encroaches on that wide open farming area.

Then walk up hill with husband, who I’m pleased to find going more often for exercise now that “sheltering in place.” He’s at high risk if infected by flu viruses, as had pneumonia twice (once from Hong Kong flu in 1968, then again from normal cold ten years later) and punctured a lung in serious car accident in 1989, so is trying to stay away from farm workers and handle work management on phone, since tells me he sees younger kids often piling into cars with older brothers and heading out towards more public areas.

Not sure the kids understand to wash hands thoroughly when return or wear something over faces when in public or if being around older people. I talked on phone to my mother yesterday and it’s clear to me that she doesn’t take seriously enough the hand washing and covering face advice needed; one reason I’m thinking about funeral and memorial service arrangements and wondering how I’ll get there if needed.

NPR was interviewing a funeral home director who made it clear that bodies do not have to be cremated, even if dying from Covid-19.

Anyway, as started back downhill and half mile from home, I realize the big white dog is not with us. Whistle and her big white body is easy to see then on hillside coming out of bushes. Am relieved to know she’s coming, as I’ve had to leave before or go try find her when she decides her “work” of chasing coyotes or digging after groundhogs is more important than my call.

I usually wait now and leash her for last quarter mile as found she heads automatically towards farm worker housing to chase chickens or towards neighboring farms where she thinks their goats should be brought back to “her” farm. I know she’d love a real job at our farm, but am not willing to take on responsibility of goats, as we’ve “been there, done that.” Never again.

Gross! So Gross!!! “Look at her,” we exclaim when see white fur covered with black and brown on back and one side. Smell something awful. Clearly she’s found something dead and maggot-y to roll in. “Get away from me,” I shriek as she heads my way, but realize I need to leash her, so hold my breath and grab collar on the clearer side.

I’ve trained her to walk close to me so I can put my hand on her back when at steep areas heading downhill where tripping is likely, so it confuses her when I now say “Out,” to move her away from me a few feet. I start jogging down hill and tell husband will get the trip over with more quickly. Ask him to please hook up the outside faucet where we have warmer water, as was turned off for winter, so I can bathe her when home.

Just another aspect of life with animals. I put her in pen with food and then head in to mix up our LIFESPAN potions and eat breakfast before tackling that nasty chore. Certainly a good task to take my mind off of possibly burying parents before expected.

Will write note to parents with safer hygiene practices in big letters and mail later; perhaps mother will keep on counter where can see and remind both when coming into house. Until next time, hoping all friends and family are washing hands and staying well!

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