Anyway, don’t you just love September? After months of silence, like the good Newfie I am, I begin with chatter about the weather—relentless sunshine with cool breezes off the Pacific, perfect temperatures for just about everything. The whole summer has been like this. In fact, I can’t remember a better summer in my life, well, maybe that summer of 1987—denim cutoffs and the legs to pull them off; a frosted spiral perm; tall, lemony double vodka cocktails and dancing ’til dawn at Club Max with the girls.
Now, with my legs fit for medical support hose, and my grey helmet of hair, a double vodka coupled with vigourous dancing would likely lead me to lapse into a coma. What of it. I’m working semi-hard, playing super soft, and I’ve still got it, whatever the hell that means. I mean it’s not like I’ve become a rickety retiree, frantically fretting over my RRSP in between golfing and baking. No, that would be Neil.
As I write this, it is 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning and he’s already on the 3rd hole fantasizing about being handed a tacky green blazer and hoisting a silver cup above his head on ESPN. Good on him I say, he could use a break from domestic bliss, especially now that our life has changed somewhat. He’s been doing double duty on the caring for a female front. There’s a story here and it’s a lulu.
I suppose it’s all connected to my pathological need for change and chaos. We shrinks call this condition calmophobia: the deep, intractable, debilitating fear of peace and quiet. As soon as one becomes settled with all aspects of one’s life neatly in place, one decides to seek out an immediate and often messy complication. In this case, a small, hairy Mexican immigrant.
Yes, against all odds, we’re parents. A miracle some might say given the number of rings around my trunk. May I present Señorita Lulu, adopted from a dog rescue organization called MexPup. She was abandoned in Puerto Vallarta, and through the kindness of dedicated volunteers she wound up in my living room. It was an interesting process—a very detailed application, a home inspection, and several visits with the doggie at her foster home. Apparently, not just anyone gets the stamp of approval to raise a Mexi-mutt. We went to look at her just to take the temperature on our collective commitment phobia. The rest is herstory.
We have no idea what her life was like in Mexico, but there’s some evidence that it was less than loving. We may actually kill her with kindness. The humans in the house haven’t so much as held hands for 14 days, but that dog gets four walks and several hours of cuddles and belly rubs every day. The kitchen looks like a pet food store with fancy duck and liver treats and cans of gourmet dog food that I plan on eating myself whenever Neil is away for more than two days. Designer donut bed. Travel crate with a fluffy mattress. High end shampoo and brushes for her feathery fur. Lavender scented poop bags. You name it, she’s got it. I imagine she wakes up every day, looks at us, and thinks whatever is Spanish for SUCKERS!
For reasons that escape me, she’s indifferent to me yet pathologically attached to Neil. But then again, who isn’t? She’s scruffy, skittish, very picky when it comes to food and drink, and a tad on the scrawny side. She cries whenever Neil leaves, and expects him to cater to her every whine and whim. She’s warm-hearted, values love above all, and is in search of joy in every moment. Sure, she’s a little rough around the edges, but at just over four years old, practically middle aged in dog years, she is fresh out of shits to give about what anyone thinks. I have no idea who she takes after.