Care and Protection

I knew my husband’s mother and grandmother would be inundated this weekend for mothers’ day so took the opportunity to give them each a gift certificate to a stellar tree nursery nearby. Nanny has already taken a day trip to purchase some hedges for her garden, and M will stop by soon for more trees for the new house.

While I went through five days of interrogation (less than an hour before my f-i-l asked when and that it’s OK with him) with his mother and grandmother many years ago, I left as family and have felt so ever since.

Sometimes when a person treats my husband badly, I’ve things to say. Of course we discuss the issue and he deals with it. Likewise, he protects me, not always giving me advance warning. He seems to think his protection of me is more important than my protection and care of him. I let him think that while incorporating less meat and butter and more veggies in his diet.

I do protect our 35 lb old hip-less wonder dog Zoe, though. This winter she was about to go down hard on the ice as I watched all four legs go out from under her at the same time. I pulled up on the leash and she was OK but I went down like a ton of bricks. A former gymnast and ballet dancer I always knew how to correct and if not, how to fall. No time here. I’ve still vestiges of a huge bruise on my hip.

Zoe is family and maternal instincts kick in. Two years ago a woman asked if her dogs could say hell0. I’d just moved here and said OK. One went on the attack and had Zoe’s jugular in its teeth and I went against The Dog Whisperer and everyone else and dropped Zoe’s leash and grabbed the dog’s collar and lifted him off her. The dog’s owner said something like, oh, well, he’s not good on a leash. No apology, no offer to pay vet fees.

My husband and I went through her fur and couldn’t see blood but I took her to the vet anyway. The woman and her nasty dog moved away because there was more than one complaint of unprovoked attacks.

Years ago someone let their dog run amok with no collar or tags in our park and my dog was sitting, on leash, at my side. The dog came around quietly and attacked her from behind. I dropped my old dog’s leash and grabbed the pit bull by the back of the neck (no collar). He let her go. I was instructed never to do that again by dog experts. As you can see from above, I did it again. What did the owner say? “Oh, we’re dropping him off in Mexico later today so wanted him to go for a run. He won’t be back.” No sorry, no vet bill. And I’ve no animosity towards Bull Terriers unless they are bred and trained to fight. They can make really sweet pets.

And please, if you’re a responsible dog owner, find a legal space in town to supervise your dog off the leash. Check it out online or try to form your own with city or county assistance. No, they won’t assist you. You have to go to your elected officials and meet with staff and then after 18 meetings you may have the go-ahead to make parks staff work with you. Take advantage of the leash-free parks that exist now and know that these folks have run the gauntlet so make sure you’ve a collar, leash, current tags and vaccinations, a permit, poop bags, “petiquette” and a thank-you for all who’ve done this work on your and your dog’s behalf.

I spent six years volunteering to gain legal leash-free areas in California and we made a few baby steps but my dog died. She never got her park but all our neighbors and friends donated a tree to our park in her memory. I don’t have kids so have had two dogs and two cats and they’ve kept me company. No, they never got me a mothers’ day card or a can of Fancy Feast. I can’t have cats anymore because my husband is allergic to them, but we’ve a herding dog for the past ten years who is at my feet now and keeps me in her sight day and night. That’s enough of a gift for me.

In a nutshell, I protect my husband without his knowledge, he protects me more with some knowledge, and no dog will challenge Zoe with my husband around but I will protect her, whatever she needs, as I take her out the most. Take care and protect your loved ones, even husbands who don’t want it! Dee


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