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By Katie Bourg
Senior Daze 

Pets provide companionship mixed with irritation


Been a little gloomy around here this week. Well, not exactly gloomy. More apprehensive. Funny how little it takes to let your mood swing.

Owen the dog has a problem, and I find myself more affected by it than I would have expected. Owen is not my dog, a fact he has made clear from the beginning of our fourteen-year association. I’m simply the housekeeper. The giver of treats and frequently the disciplinarian. Not that he ever paid much attention to my threats and pleads. It was made clear from the beginning that he only tolerated me until son Tom came home.

He earned a messy reputation in the beginning, and I was admittedly not too fond of him. About four years ago we moved into a house with a yard, and things got a little better. He went to work with Tom most days, which helped. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, if not more patient. I still thought of him as a nuisance I could do without.

But feelings improved on both sides when he started staying home more. It seemed no one had ever really trained the little guy. Once I had him alone, things got better. I’ve really become quite fond of Owen. Even Charlie the Cat learned to tolerate him. Well, some of the time.

Several weeks ago he started complaining with unexpected yelps. It was a new and annoying habit that led to lack of sleep at night and irritation all day long. Still he seemed lively enough. Especially when Tom came home at night. And it was an off-and-on problem. This past week things got a bit worse, and we made a trip to see Ron, our favorite vet. We thought Owen might have an infection because of a recent hair cut. We were wrong.

Owen has a very large tumor in his most private and vulnerable area. He’s had good reason to complain. At present we think/hope it is benign. He will have surgery on Tuesday, and I’m feeling guilty that we didn’t notice it sooner. In the meantime I am soothing my guilty conscience by offering extra treats. Charlie is disgusted with both of us. Owen isn’t paying attention. He’s just hurting.

I’ve always thought I could live without Owen. Right now I’m thinking it would be pretty lonely. He’s good company, even if it did take me fourteen years to realize it.

I have been missing my Sunday brunch bunch for awhile. This week I got back to it. Don’t know why I’ve been so lazy.

My interest in an additional forty winks brings out the claws in Charley the cat. I have battle wounds to prove it. My gentle lovable kitty becomes an angry tiger when the sun comes up, but the door doesn’t open. Sleeping in is not his idea of fun.

I’d say my life is going to the dogs. But it also going to the Cat. Between them, they rule the residence. I’m just the servant. Must quit for now, and go fill Charlie’s dish. He just scored my hip to remind me.

What do people do who don’t have pets to keep them busy?


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