Saturday, June 4, 2022

Adventures in old age

 After events early this morning, I imagined an ethereal voice asking, “Well, it was your wish to live well into old age; how do you like it now?”

Waking, feeling okay but not quite enough okay to go on a hike, I decided to take the dogs with me to Stater Bros.  Its not much of an outing for them, but they both treat it as one.  It was just a minute or two after 06:00 when Stater Bros opened.  I got one of the crippled slots as close as you could get, grabbed my walking stick which was on the other side of Duffy in the front seat, opened my door and started to get out, but realized I had not hung the crippled parking sticker (I don’t recall its formal name) on my mirror.  So I leaned over in front of Duffy, opened the glove box and attempted to slide the parking sticker out.  It slipped down into the glove box; so I scrambled around in order to get it.

And then Jessica saw her chance.  She squeezed through an opening next to the drivers-side front seat and the side of the Jeep and made it out into the parking lot.  I called her back to no avail.  There seemed to be an enticing smell in the nearby bushes that had her full attention.

I got out and looked about.  There was almost no traffic in the parking lot.  I called Jessica to me but she found something else to sniff.  My handicap (ah that is probably the name on the sticker) annoyed me.  This was the first time I’d dealt with a dog reluctant to get into the Jeep since I’d  earned whatever it said on that sticker.  

I opened the back rear door, rummage around in my hiking backpack, found Jessica’s leash, held it out to her enticingly, and she ran to me and allowed me to put it on her.  I then tried to pull her toward the back seat.  She resisted because we were on the right side of the Jeep and she always gets in on the left side.  And in the process she slipped out of her collar.  Jessica had been groomed the day prior and I hadn’t adjusted her collar accordingly.  When I put it on her back at the house I realized she could slip out of it, but decided I would fix it later.  After all, we were only going to the store.

In order to get her over to the left side of the Jeep I would have to coax her with the leash which was connected to the collar she could slip out of.  So I decided to lift her into the back seat.  Jessica then went into her sack of potatoes mode.  She slipped out of my grasped several times.  I didn’t think I could get her into the back seat without hurting her,, but failure wasn’t an option.  I had hold or her left front leg with my left hand and right rear leg with my right.  I increased my effort, fearing I might hurt her, but she didn’t complain and eventually she was ensconced in her usual position in the back seat.  I tried to remove her leash but she’d had enough of me for the time being; so left it on her.

While wrestling Jessica into the back seat, I knocked my hiking stick under the Jeep.  I squatted down, fished it out, and then stood up, puffing all the while.  I looked about to see if any of this had been witnessed by any of my fellow Stater Bros patrons, but the few nearby gave the appearance of not having seen a thing.  

After a few extra puffs, I believed I had enough energy left to make it, and so used the crosswalk that led to Stater Bros front door.  Some times cars drive fast past the front of the store, but I didn’t feel I could watch out for them.  My attention was completely devoted to the ground in front of me. I decided I’d rather be struck by a vehicle than be guilty of any more ludicrous activity I could be blamed for.  I did my shopping, made it back to the Jeep without further trouble, opened the back, glared at Jessica now resting innocently in the back seat, and noticed I had gotten the lettuce for bacon and tomatoes sandwiches but had forgotten the tomatoes.  I had also intended to get a roll of summer sausage but had forgotten that as well.  

Driving home I discovered I wasn’t comfortably in my own lane; so had to concentrate in order to stay there.  For this I justifiably blamed my blood pressure medication amlodipine which has the annoying side-effect, dizziness.  When I am out in the morning engaged in routine activities, I am not dizzy, but apparently Jessica and our morning adventures changed that.  

Looking around, I see that both Jessica and Duffy are still napping.  It is reassuring to see that one can be fatigued for reasons other than old age.


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