Wednesday 28 March 2012: and yet another mess
Apart from my trips to the dentist I hadn't been out for 11 days, & I was going stir crazy; so this morning we popped into town. It was another glorious day, which made the town look even nicer; we've lived here for nearly 8 months now, but I still find myself grinning manically with delight at our good fortune at living in such a beautiful place; there's also still an element of 'novelty' in having everything so convenient. For 23 years we lived in the stix, which was fine when we first moved there & I was healthy & able to drive & everything, but gradually it became more & more difficult: I find travel exhausting, & with our nearest town 20 miles away I was usually either too tired to go in the first place, or if I did go, I was so worn out that I could only manage a handful of shops before we'd have to go home again - where I would spend the rest of the day in bed. But now, 'town' is literally a 2-minute car drive away (or 10 minutes on my scooter); so I'm still fresh when we hit the shops, which means that I can hit more of them! Not that it's a particularly large town, but it still has everything I/we need, yet is small enough that the shopkeepers are friendly - which always makes the experience so much more enjoyable. So there we were, wheeling along the High Street, me grinning like a lunatic (people tend to see the chair & assume I'm ga-ga anyway, so I can get away with behaving as daft as I like & nobody turns a hair); I bought the bits I needed (mostly boring), we had a browse around the market (no sun hats in my size), & went to the pet shop where we bought Jack a new ball, a large chewy thing, & a packet of training treats. Since we still had plenty of time left on our parking ticket, I suggested a coffee; hubby said: "But what about Jack?", to which I pointed out that he'd been fine when we went to the dentist last week, & anyway, he had to get used to being home alone sometimes.
So we went to our favourite cafe & sat on the terrace having coffee & cakes, & did a little daydreaming. The café is special to us, as on our wedding anniversary last April we came here as 'tourists' & had lunch there - little dreaming that just 4 months later we would (or even could) actually be living in this town; and then, on the day our property purchase was due to complete, & knowing that we wouldn't want to wait to wait a minute longer than necessary to pick up the key, we arrived in town early, mooched around the shops, & then went & sat on that same terrace waiting for 'the' phone call; I remember checking my mobile every few minutes (just in case it wasn't working!), & when finally the solicitor phoned to say that everything had gone through, I let out a loud 'whoop' - which embarrassed hubby, & startled all the other customers! We had had our own house in the past, but, due to my illness & hubby having to give up work to care for me, we had lost our home & spent 15 years living in a rented place. So, apart from our wedding day & the births of my children, the day we again had a roof we could call our own was the most magical of my life. And the café has come to mean a lot to us. And as we sat on that terrace this morning, soaking up the sunshine & admiring the scenery, I had a little weep to myself - tears of disbelief at how our lives have been transformed, & tears of thankfulness to my late father for making this possible for us.
Meanwhile, back at home, Jack was waiting to bring us back down to earth with a bump. Unlike last week when he seemed to cope with our absence, today he was hysterical. And he'd crapped on the floor. And trodden it everywhere. Luckily there are several doors leading to our back garden, so I put on my oldest clothes & snuck out of one door, then hubby put Jack's extending lead on & handed him to me through the door of the (crap-strewn) breakfast room - which fortunately has a tiled floor. And whilst hubby cleaned up the mess, Jack & I sat in the garden. He was very, very anxious, & for ages was panting so much that his mouth barely closed (just like he was at the rescue centre). Even though I was wearing my old clothes I still didn't particularly want dog crap on them, so I wouldn't let Jack on my lap until I was sure his paws had been cleaned on the damp grass. I just talked to him reassuringly, patted his head, and he did eventually calm down without all the frantic licking & nuzzling that we had in his first few days; so perhaps the hysteria was as much due to the 'accident' he'd had as to our 'abandoning him'? In fairness, hubby did say that he hadn't done his business on his early morning outing as he'd got distracted by the squirrels; & then when he went out again just before we did, he was so busy looking for the squirrels that nothing happened then either.
Anyway, once he was back to his normal self, I sat on the lawn & we had a good old cuddle; & when hubby had finished sluicing out the breakfast room he brought Jack's presents out for him; he's obviously had these chewy things (are they called 'rawhide'?) before, & he knew exactly what to do with it; and, just to make sure that we didn't try to make him practice Rule 27c with it, he wriggled under the chair where he thought we couldn't see him.
Things we've learned about Jack:
He isn't yet feeling as secure as we thought he was - we need to make our absences more frequent (& perhaps slightly less long to begin with)
If he hasn't 'been' before we go out, an enema (or a bung!) might be in order
He loves rawhide chews
He loves us