Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Lucy chronicles

I'd intended to blog yesterday, some deep-ish thoughts on how indecision is related to procrastination and, therefore, why it took me four days to figure out what to serve some friends for dinner last night -- and why, after poring through cookbooks and pondering various fabulous combinations, we ended up with an old standby, portobello mushroom and rosemary risotto with garlicky chicken breasts and a green salad.

Instead, I spent the day cleaning, shopping and taking care of Lucy, my sister's enormous dog. My sis and her boyfriend are in New York for the weekend, so we're responsible for Lucy until tomorrow evening. The dog is loveable and goofy, but she is wearing me out. As I think I've mentioned before, she's an Airedale/standard poodle mix, so she needs her exercise. We took her on a loooong walk yesterday morning -- complete with ball-throwing and swimming -- and she was still a terror for much of the afternoon. We've found that we need to follow her if she leaves the room we're in -- so far, we've discovered her: in the kitchen trash (which is in a cabinet under the sink); tearing the stuffing out of a couch pillow; standing with her front paws on the kitchen counter; sitting very proudly on the pillows on our bed, tail thumping against the window; pawing at the door of the pantry where the dog food is stored. And this is with a plethora of chewy toys, bones, squeaky toys, etc. available to her at a moment's notice.

So before J. and P. - who told us last night they are expecting a baby in March! - arrived, I took Lucy for another long walk/run/swim, in the hopes of wearing her out for the evening. Luckily, we met a very fast whippet/pit bull mix who ran her in circles for 15 minutes or so. But still Lucy tried to get into the chicken broth on the stove - even with new, lovely bones presented to her upon J. and P.'s arrival.

To make matters worse: My sister and her boyfriend are both teachers in a school district about 50 minutes away. This means that Lucy is used to getting walked at 5:30 in the morning. And despite being put out at MIDNIGHT last night, this morning at 5:30 she was up and about, jingling her collar tags and then (even more endearingly) puking in the hall outside our room. I cleaned it up, then went back to bed. And was awakened 45 minutes later by Lucy licking my hand.

I love this dog, but she is driving me insane.

One of the many wonderful things about weekends, I think, is the fact that you can sleep until whenever you want. I'm long past my sleeping-till-noon days; most weekends, I'm up about 8. So it's not liked I'm planning to loll in bed all day. But I have to say that getting up with Lucy is really getting on my nerves. This morning, at 6:30, I put her in the back yard for 10 minutes or so. She didn't go to the bathroom - just poked around for a while, then came and sat next to me on the back steps. We came inside; I closed all the doors between rooms - providing as little opportunity for destruction as possible - and took her into the living room with me, in the hopes that Darren might get some more sleep upstairs. She quieted down, and I eventually fell asleep on the couch for a few hours, but I've been groggy and dazed since we got up around 9.

And, yes, it has occurred to me that, if we have a baby, this interrupted sleep in response to inexplicable behavior will become a daily activity. That thought is a bit terrifying -- I've never done well without enough sleep. The only saving grace, I think, is that presumably I will love the baby a lot more than I love this dog.