Dog Nanny

140410_1The owner of the house is vegan but he’s kindly making space for me to store and cook meat. I use my own pans and dishes, soap and sponge. He offered me some meat he’d kept in the freezer from his pre-vegan days, but it’s so cold-burned I’ve been giving it as treats to the dogs. I break off a hunk for each to gnaw on while I cook, it helps me deal with their pleading stares. Just seems a little unfair not to.

The life of a dog nanny is new to me. Though I’ve had my own dogs for decades, caring for someone else’s is a learning experience. Their space, their schedule, their personalities. These three Akita are aged in degrees of elderly. All of them are rescues with an unknown past, possessing odd quirks, and expressing opinions as I make my place in the house.

The oddest quirk is, that though I let them out before I go to sleep, I am awoken nightly by the male. He leans over the dog gate in my doorway, mumble-growling in words with soft consonants. The two others stand behind him, craning their heads around to peek through. Sometimes they want out. Sometimes they just want attention, or a snack. No matter of indifference or pleading on my part quiets them. Up until the day before I moved in, the back door had been left open all night for their roaming pleasure. Now, it’s the beginning of mosquito season and that means the door is shut at sundown.

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140410_2The backyard deck and pond provide a great place to meditate and practice t’ai chi. There is a small stand of bamboo, citrus trees, and all sorts of herbs growing about. With the change in wind direction, breezes are warm again. Hopefully we have endured the last lash of this polar vortex.

I have finally pulled out my shorts and sleeveless shirts and I am finding myself wanting to melt under the nourishing sun. Sitting here, with my pen and tablet on my lap, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath all winter.