July 8, 2005

Turn Turn Turn

She paces. Most of her waking hours. Incessantly. In circles. Usually clockwise. Sometimes wide, hugging the edges of the room and bumping her head a lot. Sometimes tight, as if she's trying to catch up to her own bitty tail. Other times, nice even circles in the open part of the room where she doesn't bump into or trip over anything.

Those last circles are, in my opinion, the best circles and the only ones worth turning, but she seems to prefer variety. Variety is, some say, the spice of life. Her life is evidently still spicy in some regard.

You've heard of seeing eye dogs? She has seeing eye humans. We guide her outside and, with a gentle nudge, send her floating into the yard. She moves like a magnolia leaf in a puddle, circling outside too. We retrieve her from the corner behind the woodpile where she inexplicably gravitates.

She startles wildly if touched unexpectedly so I talk to her as I approach. Not that she hears me. I touch her gently with one hand and allow her to get a scent of me. Then she waggles as I guide her inside. She anticipates the step up into the house by high-stepping all the way through the porch.

We sweeten her kibble. She gets a generous dollop of milk or broth or some leftover tidbits crumbled and mixed in with her meal. Usually something that softens it up a bit. She likes variety here too, not wanting to eat the same thing more than two or so days in a row.

Pills administered via a bit of peanut butter on a small piece of a crispy sesame bagel chip are her pre-breakfast treat. A pre-breakfast treat? Why yes. Why not? It's her "It's morning, I'm alive, and here I am wag-wag-waggling my stubby little tail" treat. Yeah, that one. We celebrate the small things.

She'll stand there wagging madly, facing the corner, staring blankly, attentive, expectant, her back to me. It's that blank rapt look into nowhere, off into the distance where, in her imagination, who knows what she's looking at. That stare freaks me out a bit. The looking without seeing. Yet her tail goes a mile a minute, the expression on her face speaking of the eagerness of her younger years.

Meanwhile her circling.
It's driving us mad.
Utterly, completely, certifiably.


1 comment:

Gina said...

My grandmother's beloved dog Benji had the same thing happen to him.

It is hard, I know. But, thanks to you, she still has quality of life. That wagging little tail is testament to that.