Friday, April 9, 2010
I work 4 days per week. And on the 4 days that I work, I get Veronica up as I am leaving, I march her outside to potty and I walk her across the hall and deposit her at Grammy Daycare.
I never anticipated that this would be our arrangement. My mother is not what one would call a "dog person" by any stretch of the imagination.
Point of fact, when my dear Basset Hound Frances Abigail got on in years...she got a little stinky from her oily coat, skin allergies and drool...and my mother promptly developed an "allergy" that prevented her from being in Frannie's presence. "Cough, wheeze, cough...oh my throat is closing..." I'm not saying it was definitely a psychosomatic reaction...but when one considers that my mother is an obsessive-compulsive clean freak...it was looking a little suspicious.
So never in my wildest dreams when we decided to get another dog after Fran passed; did I imagine my mother developing an intense bond with the new addition.
In retrospect, the timing was right. We had lost my Dad 2 years prior; and my mom was one of those old-fashioned ladies who's lives had revolved around their husband...so his passing left her without any sort of focus in her life. She actually encouraged me to get another dog because after losing my Dad, then losing Frannie 13 months later - I was turning into a pretty angry, miserable bitch. Since the husband and I both work, Mom volunteered to help with the puppy...which I assumed meant checking on her several times a day, taking her to potty and spending some time with her. Seeing as my mother lives with us in an in-law apartment and is slightly agoraphobic...it seemed a reasonable arrangement. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine my mother inviting Veronica into her apartment - that was always a "no dog zone".
It started almost immediately. I think the second day we had V. she was invited over to Grammy's apartment "so she could get used to the whole house"???? I was very confused. Then somewhere in that first week that I had taken off work to get the new puppy adjusted, Grammy decided I needed to go out and buy a second crate for her apartment (Grammy loves spending my money)...just in case V. ever needed to "be there for any length of time". Then when it came time for me to go back to work...Grammy couldn't bare the thought of little puppy V. all alone, so I was instructed to take her to Grammy's and deposit her in her crate (which is next to Grammy's bed) so they can both get a few more "Z's" until Grammy is ready to get up and start her day. And that was how Grammy DayCare came into existence.
Fast forward almost 4 years...V. spends 4 days a week in Grammy DayCare. It is an excellent service and I receive periodic updates on my email at work as to how their day is going.
Generally the email will consist of Grammy singing V.'s praises. "Oh she is an Angel! An absolute Angel!! She waited in her crate for me to make the coffee (we don't close the crate door anymore) then came out to get her morning peanut butter cracker. She sat on the deck and watched the squirrels in the yard and barked "Hello" to the neighbors". Then she'll usually tell me that she took her out a time or 2 and threw the ball, and V. was such a good girl and came right in when Grammy called her. Then they went in and V. "let Grammy know" she wanted to get on the couch and waited for Grammy to get the blanket and make her spot ready (yep, V. has conquered the couch in a "no dog zone" and some suspect that the bed isn't far behind). Then there is more snacking throughout the day, and naps...and generally they are quite harmonious, with V. being Grammy's little side-kick.
But...every so often...the report is not so favorable. Every so often I open my email at work and see something like this, "You're dog is being a brat. She is a BRAT. A BRATTY BRAT. I have had it with her!! She is a very fresh girl"!!!!!! (Another sure sign of V.'s behavior is the reception that my husband gets when he arrives home -several hours before me. If he is invited in and is offered a cup of coffee, V. has been good. If Grammy opens the door and screeches, "COME GET YOUR DOG AND GO HOME"!...V. has been a brat.)
So yesterday, she was by all reports a very large brat. The day started out well according to Grammy; but then V. got bored and obnoxious. She wanted to go out in the yard and wanted to be on her schedule not Grammy's. So she kept poking her with her nose and barking to go out; which could easily be handled by ignoring her...but Grammy is a sucker for "that little face"...so basically she spoils V. filthy rotten.
Out they go in the yard, but V. was in "bad dog" mode. She immediately went "off like a bullet" zipping around the yard, stopping to dig in "all the places she knows she shouldn't" and zipping away before Grammy could catch her. She horrified Grammy by trying to get under the shed, huffing and puffing like she was one inch away from putting the bite on "the great under the shed beast". Grammy's head was reeling with images of 12 foot snakes slithering out and eating Veronica whole, like an extra-large overly plump mouse - then setting it's sights on Grammy.
If that weren't bad enough, when Grammy chased her away from the shed, she ran over to dig in the garden and almost got her head caught under the decorative metal border. Then she took off willy nilly running around and digging everywhere and EATING DIRT!!!! Ms. Veronica-Lynn is a genteel young pit bull and she does not eat dirt! Have you any idea what is in dirt? BUGS, BUGS are in dirt!! And Ms. Veronica-Lynn does not eat bugs!! Aside from "eeewww gross": Grammy had visions of V. eating a bug that would sting her insides out and cause an allergic reaction...and V. would turn into an oompa loompa and explode right before Grammy's eyes. Compounding all of this was the fact that V. was not coming when Grammy was calling. Grammy saw red.
Eventually Grammy turned to bribery and lured V. in with a delicious slice of American cheese...but once she was in...Grammy told her in no uncertain terms what a Bad, BRATTY, FRESH girl she was!
Grammy was quite satisfied that V. knew she was wrong and was properly chastised because she took herself off to her crate, and lied down, and put her blanket over her head...and she stayed there for a good, long time and let Grammy do her work.