All That Really Matters, a Crack in the Armor, and Leash Training

Sheena is a beautiful dog, but she is as stubborn and willful as she is beautiful.  We decided (or should I say Jerry decided, because I am not at all hyper like he is in the evenings) to take the dogs out on leashes, which we haven’t done for some time.  Clara and Lilo were not too bad, although Clara always does better on a leash with her harness.  I should have taken the extra minute or two to put Clara in her harness.  I refuse to use choke chains or pinch collars on my dogs, although I’ve seen a lot of people who handle Malinois use choke chains or pinch collars to keep the dogs under better control.   Clara simply wants to run.  The aim is to get her to stay back and walk politely which she does when she knows she has the harness on and I can pull her back if I need to.  Lilo was her usual self, laid back and trotting along with her peculiar little bow-legged, sideways gait.  I wonder sometimes if she tracks sideways because she’s cross-eyed or because she’s bow-legged, or maybe a combination of both.

The few times I’ve had Sheena on her leash she has been relatively obedient for me.  She does surprisingly well in spite of her lack of socialization and formal training.  Then again, Sheena is a bit of a cling-on with me anyway, so that makes leash training, even with a conventional collar, a breeze.  Until Jerry takes her leash.

Sheena did not want to be on the leash with Jerry.  I can’t blame her.  I don’t like it either, and he only has me leashed in a figurative way.  I had Clara, and without her harness she was enough of a handful.  So Sheena decided that if she had to be with Jerry, she was simply going to sit and dig her big, splayed feet into the ground.  I never knew this about Huskies until we got Sheena.  They have huge, insulated, clompy paws that are reminiscent of polar bears’.  Sheena is a huge klutz on dry land, but surprisingly graceful on snow and ice.  Sheena, however, does not do anything Sheena does not want to do. It’s funny.  She’s just as stubborn as Jerry is.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  Steve-o got rid of that monstrosity of a hoopty Mitsubishi that I had been hoping he would do ever since he ended up with that piece of mess.  Somebody was even dumb enough to give him money for that POS, which I welcome, but fail to understand.   Now all I need to hear from him is that he’s spending his weeks keeping up his GPA, and his weekends cooking up that taco meat and shoveling it into those tacos and burritos.  I don’t want him to work at Taco Bell forever, but a few hours or so on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays- until  he finishes school- is not too much to ask.   If he could do 20 or 30 hours a week at $9 an hour, that would certainly help, and they don’t even have to train him because he’s worked there before.  Then he can worry about buying his own food and gasoline and cigarettes for a change.

Adding to yesterday’s pleasantness, I had an unexpected, but welcome, conversation with an old friend.  I still have a heart in there somewhere after all.  I know, I know, how things could have, should have been. Wish in one hand and crap in the other, which one fills up first- but it’s nice to know that old connection is still there, and that I do have at least one friend that is thicker than water.   Since my true friends are few and far between and delightfully rare, as I have said before, I should take care not to neglect them.

Memory and imagination both serve me well- probably too much so- but hearing a voice from the past and even engaging in surface-level pleasantries was a rare delight.  There are a lot of people I have to talk to and with out of necessity, but very few I enjoy talking with.  I hope sometime in the near future that we can talk in private over dinner and a drink rather than a little too publicly over the phone, but that might be a bit hard for me to take.  I would be the one in need of the leash instead of the dogs, and that’s not a place where I need to go.

Balance is the key word.  Usually I am quite the example of reserve and restraint, but it’s been a long time since- well, a lot of things- but I miss intelligent conversation the most.  I also miss being treated like a lady and not just someone’s housekeeper/babysitter/gofer/indentured servant.   There is something to be said for spending an evening in civilized conversation with a friend versus spending an evening effectively alone cranking up the MP3 player with the noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the lovely infernal racket of Drunk and Stupid meets Boxcar Willie. 

I have to be careful how far I let my mind wander, and I need to set some boundaries on just how much lingering in the garden of memory I’m allowed.  Still, there’s nothing like a bit of an oasis in a very hot, vast desert.

I have to find a balance between maintaining those relationships that challenge me and energize me (very few and far between) and tossing the albatrosses around my neck overboard.  I tend to forget when to toss the albatross.

I’m too old to start over even if I could, and whatever fiery passions of youth I once had are pretty well extinguished.  As the old joke says, “In my youth I wanted a nice BMW.” -” Today I’ll settle for it without the W. ” 

Besides, anyone interested in dinner and conversation with a crusty old cougar like me has likely long-since been relegated to the “coyote-style” crowd, so crossing the line in a carnal fashion is highly unlikely to occur.  It’s not as if I am still some horny teenager or twenty-something, and all of my friends are significantly older than me.   Hopefully the POMC is enjoying “Willie on Demand” while he can (even though in conscience I can’t approve of him fornicating) because there will come a day when Johnson won’t stand at attention any more. 

Unless of course, by the time Steve-o gets old, Medicare is still paying for geezers’ pecker pumps.  That would be his luck.

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