I did house sitting for four weeks which ended Sunday, August 21. I cared for a sixteen- year-old Border Collie named Meggie. I wrote the following about Meggie for my writing group on Friday.
Doef, doef, doef, swoosh
Doef, doef, doef, swoosh
Doef, doef, doef swoosh
From kitchen to the bedroom.
Bump, bump, around.
Doef, doef, doef, swoosh; doef, doef, swoosh
Back to the kitchen!
Scratch, click, click nails on the linoleum floor.
Up and down, up and down through the passage from the kitchen to the bedroom and back again. For at least half an hour.
The poor Meggie can’t get herself to lie down.
“Just take it easy Meggie! Slow down now!” It doesn’t help to talk to her because she is deaf. If I want her to react, I attract her attention by standing in front of her so that she can see me.
It is tough for her to let her back and bottom fall to the floor. There is something wrong with her nerves, and she has arthritis. Poor dog.
She has got dementia too because she would take a walk and then just stop, and stare in front of her. I usually kept an eye on her and would attract her attention and show her to move on. She could stand just where she was for long times.
The first two evenings Meggie was crying before she let herself fall to the floor. I gave her lots of time during the four weeks of my stay, to lie down and rest. It helped because if she had been moving or walking up and down too much, I think her legs and body aches too much.
The following is how twenty-four hours of my days/nights happened.
“ Look out Ineke, don’t step on Meggie.”
She usually sleeps in the kitchen doorway.
“Come on old girl. Get up! Let’s go outside.”
She’ll go outside and would stay out till I tell her to come back inside.
It does not matter if it rains. She gets wet and never came inside without me showing her to enter!
“Meggie, come on, come inside. You are soaking wet.” I rubbed her dry.
I had to lock her up in her kennel for the time I had to work. If I did not lock her up, she’d just stand outside in the rain.
Coming home in the afternoons, I first had to open the gate, drive the car inside, close the gate again. Then let Meggie out of the kennel. There were only three dry days that I could let her be outside her kennel during the afternoon.
Dinner time. After dinner, Meggie got a treat. A small cone with some ice-cream. I also enjoyed an ice-cream after dinner.
Then it was time to calm down and have a nap before turning in.
“Meggie, stop moving up and down. You’re making me nervous with your turning around and around. Just settle down now!” As soon as I sat down, she’ll also lie down.
Then just before bedtime:
‘Meggie, wake up! Let’s go for a wee!” She’ll wake up as soon as she smells me passing her. She’ll get up and out of the door. Then it’s time again to keep an eye out for her to come back inside.
“Where could she be? Oh, there you are.” I clap my hands, and she’ll come inside. Usually, I had to dry her with a towel. Then we are off to bed. Again an up and down session and boom, off to relax now.
Every early morning Meggie would get up.
“Oops, I did not hear you getting up Meggie! Just look what you have done! Now I have to clean up behind you! Sigh!” Lucky for me that I first put the light on before going down the passage to the kitchen.
Then back to bed for another two hours and time to start a new day.
This was only twenty-four hours I had for four weeks!