Thursday, November 14, 2013

from the Old Lady Katy files

Our normal morning routine goes something like this:

Sam gets up and heads for the shower. I stand at the top of the basement stairs where Katy is whining and I start cheering her up the stairs to go outside. 

"Cmon Kate! You can do it! One step at a time!"

She'll put one foot on the bottom stair and look up, and bring it back down to the floor, and put it on again, wanting to get started, but her darn arthritis has her stiff and hurting from being asleep all night. 

"C'mon Katy! Just start, first step, c'mon!" 

And she'll sit there looking up me, tail wagging, and finally get going, one slow step at a time, all the way to the top, over to the door to go outside.

After Sam is off to school, Evan and Katy and I go out on the back porch and I throw the ball three times, off to the left (Evan's corner), then to the right (Katy's turn), then back to the left for one more Evan run. 

Some days, Katy doesn't take her turn. Evan will sit and wait until he realizes she doesn't want it, and then go after the right side ball.

But most days, she takes her turn. Then we go back inside, get our fish oil pill first, which Evan scarfs down and Katy just holds in her mouth and looks up at me with her cloudy brown eyes. 

"Eat your fishy-pill, Kate. You can't have a cookie until you eat it."

Stare, drool, no chewing.

I go over to the puppy cookie spot and pull two out. Evan gets his quickly. Katy requires the daily morning coaxing.

"Katy, eat your pill. You can't have your cookie until you finish your pill."

Stare, drool.

Sometimes she'll try to be tricky. Usually she can't open her mouth to take the cookie until she's downed the pill, but a couple of times she's managed to cheek the pill and open her mouth for the cookie. So I have to follow her to her plop-down-cookie-chewing spot and make sure no fish pill shows up on the floor. Crafty old lady.

When I do my coffee refills throughout the morning, we must repeat the three-throw drill outside and come in for another treat. Can you see why I get the tiniest milkbones they make?

And, most days, on the second or third round, Katy takes her turn and after fetching the ball, stops to relieve herself. 

Evan is usually quite patient, laying down, waiting on her to finish and return with the ball in her mouth. But she often drops the ball midway through her bathroom break and forgets what she was doing. She'll wander back to us waiting on the deck without the ball, looking a little confused. 

I'll ask Evan to go find the ball where she absent-mindedly left it and he'll happily comply so he can have his last turn. 

This morning, though, after the fetch, stop, squat, Katy decided she had a little more business to attend to, dropped the ball midway through and kept on doing her doggy business, which involves little shuffle steps while hunched. Since she dropped the ball at her first hunch and then kept wiggling, well . . . the ball got . . .  involved.

She didn't seem to have completely forgotten about the ball, because she turned around and looked at it, but then decided to wander back to us without it. 

Evan, laying near my feet, hopped up when I said, "Ev, go find the ball!"

He ran straight to it, went to pick it up, and must've hopped back a foot with a snort, looked at me for a split second, and then ran straight back, leaving the poopy ball to fend for itself. Fetch wasn't worth it. That Old Lady Katy poop is powerful stuff!


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