Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gizmo's new "to do" list: 4 am -- time to bark

  Last night Gizmo barked loudly at 4 am.  I got up because I thought perhaps he was warning us about an impending earthquake.  He was not.
(Neither were the goldfish, which Grace placed in her kitchen over a decade ago after she learned that they would leap out of their bowl if an earthquake were about to happen.  Unfortunately, she put the bowl on top of the refrigerator, which regularly shaked when it was adjusting the coldness.  The goldfish had several nervous breakdowns after we found them flopping atop the refrigerator many mornings.  They did not see a therapist even though we were living at the time in Mill Valley, the national capital of therapists.
Figuring he was desperate to go to the bathroom and feeling sorry for him because that could have been me, I let him out the back door.  He ran over the bridge, dashed on to the path, zipped all the way through it and returned to the back door, happy, tail wagging, joyous.  4 am is NOT a time to be joyous.
I put him back in the cage and he slept through what was left of the night.
The next night, beginning again at 4 am, he barked.  This time I got up, walked to his cage, said “NO” and “BAD DOG” in no uncertain terms.  Reaction: not even a little chagrinned.
So I got up, opened the computer and worked on the blog.  I was fully awake, possibly because of the infusions to combat the Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) that is currently in a lock box and being successfully battled to a happy draw.  Thank you, Dr. James Berenson of Los Angeles.
One side effect of the steroids I take is that I am wide awake at odd times, which does lead to sending some strange answers in my email.
Every 15 minutes, sometimes less, Gizmo would awaken, bark, yip or whine.  I would stop what I was doing, go to him, say “No” and “Bad Dog” and pound on his cage in the hopes of associating Gizmo’s noises with bad sounds, results, etc.   This wrestling match continued until 6:45, meaning I went to him at least ten times.
4 pm, NOT 4 am
It is now 6:50 am, I am still writing, but Gizmo is quiet, perhaps asleep.  Sunrise is just beginning.  Maybe I have taught him something.  Maybe I have “won.”  But it doesn’t feel like victory.  It feels like a long slog.  Perhaps it was a draw because I feel like going to sleep.

If you don't want your dog to have bad breath, do what I do: Pour a little Lavoris in the toilet.”     Jay Leno

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