Hello India! Welcome.

I took the dog out this morning. It was raining and so windy that I thought we were going to go over a split rail fence and down a large hill. With arthritis, a bad ankle and wrist I was unable to open the doggie bag to pick up after, ten feet from our front door.

We were both soaking wet and I asked the person on duty to keep old Zoe for sixty seconds. She opened the bag and said she didn’t feel comfortable taking care of our dog for sixty seconds so I took her out again with me, into what seemed like hurricane-force winds. No-one here would have gone in to have a bag opened and gone out again with a 30# dog to be swept into a crevasse, just to pick up her poop. As it was, half of it was swept down the crevasse.

I feel bad for asking for permission, not forgiveness. I could have shut her in the downstairs bathroom for one minute while I picked up and no-one else here would bother to pick up or would have known that she was there.

A few years ago I had her out and it was windy. There was a gust and I immediately wrapped her leash around my hand three times and placed both arms over a concrete bridge rail, head down. I think today was just a gut feeling. If the wind had taken her under the split rail fence down the hill or across the street into traffic, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself.

There’s something to be said for Martingale collars. She has three. She’s an Australian Shepherd mix, quite small, and has had her hips removed as a pup due to severe hip dysplasia. She’s also over 14 years old, 100 in “people years.” She can get out of any collar but this, because it is two loops, one around the neck and one for control. No snap closure. Combined with a 6′ leather braided leash (no stitching) I can keep her safe even in heavy winds. Martingales are made for dogs with small necks and pointy noses, and Zoe looks like a fox, color and all.

During Cat 5 Hurricane Ike all the dogs went swimming in the Bayou except Zoe, because my husband insisted on giving her a bath, before we lost water for a week. Then she joined them in the pool. My husband and Zoe slept through the entire hurricane, where every loft in the building was damaged but ours. Once I stopped being afraid, for no good reason because all the downtown windows were blown out, that I did not know, I got out of bed and blogged Ike until the power went down. It took some folks weeks for power, us only a few hours as we were on the mayor’s grid.

Next morning four of us took the task upon us as there was no help for days. Our husbands got standing water out of the garage and cleaned storm drains of leaves. We wives went door-to-door on the flooded first floor making sure all residents were OK.

The sun is coming out, here and now. I still can’t tell the wind because the trees are bare and they take down the flag for six months every year. Still tiny whitecaps on the lake. I was just so afraid that with her age, loss of eyesight and hearing, that she’d be swept away. That is a mother’s duty.

Staff would not help me this morning. It might have been inappropriate to ask for one minute of assistance but we’re old and I went out to clean up after my dog in horrific weather. From now on, it’s forgiveness, not permission. I’ve been through storms of storms and we are old and infirm. We’ll do what is needed to be safe. Dee


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