The Life and Times of Poopwa Foley

Archive for the ‘black lab’ Category

It has to be a cosmic payback for publishing the post on the spider in the ear.  Right? 

Last week after sniggering over all the comments on Facebook about people being afraid to sleep at night because a spider might have climbed in their ear as they slept, I realized I myself had an itchy ear.

As stated on Facebook, I really did rinse my ears out with peroxide, effectively killing anything that might have been in there (hopefully) and succeeded in making myself so dizzy I almost fell over in the bathroom.

I missed work last week on Tuesday because I felt so crappy; dizzy, flushed, really headachy…you get the picture.  Since then the pressure in my ears has increased, making it sound like I constantly have a crackling faulty speaker in my head.  And it HURTS.  Like someone took a baseball bat and cracked me in the face.  Not here, or here so much…but right here.



not here, or here so much…but right here.

 Last night, went home and was in bed by 5:30 for a 1.5 hour nap…then back in bed at 9:30pm, still not feeling well.

I dragged myself into work even though I felt icky, flushed, feverish; thinking I could gut it out.  Around 11am I cried “uncle” and made an appointment with the doctor for 3:30 pm.  Which was more like 3:45 pm.

She peeked in my right ear, very routinely.  However, she took an uncomfortably long time looking in my left ear, the source of most of the crackling.  So long, in fact, that I found myself wondering what in the heck could be that *cough spider cough* interesting in there.  I found myself spiderbabbling.

She stepped back, tiny hand on tiny chin.*

“Do you have a pet?”

It’s a spider it’s a spider it’s a spider it’s a spider it’s a spider

“Yes, why?” (It’s a good thing she took my blood pressure before this line of questioning.)

“Is your pet as black as your shirt?”

OMGOMGOMGOMG it’s a BLACK spider

I try to appear relatively calm as I tell her we have a black lab who as recently as last night (and every night, as a matter of fact) sleeps on the pillows of our bed.

“Puh” and “puhppy”

“You have a black dog hair in your ear.”

“Get it out.” I command.  Just in case it’s a spider imitating a dog hair, or perhaps she can only see one of its legs.

“It will come out by itself.  No Q-tips.  No ear plugs.”  Does she not know Q tips are a necessity of mine?  And that from time to time my husband, maybe, possibly snores (lightly, mind you, sort of a “puh” exhale) and that if I don’t have earplugs in, I will hear every single “PUH“?

In her musical voice, she says, “perhaps the ear plugs may have had a dog hair on them when you placed them in your ear.”  Oh, yuck.  Note to self:  throw away all ear plugs.  Because I don’t place them in my ear, I JAM those suckers in.

Long story short, she checked me out thoroughly, told me I had a fever (I KNEW I WAS SICK) and a sinus infection and put me on antibiotics.  For those of you who don’t know, Schnuk’s pharmacies fill a lot of antibiotics for free, regardless of insurance.  Lovely pharmacy.

They also have Q tips and ear plugs.

*I LOVE my doctor.  She is awesome. 

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Why is it that time seems to go so fast? 

I find there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to get done…done.

Sometimes when I am planning to sit down and write after work or on the weekend, I notice the bathroom needs to be cleaned.  A co-worker mentions a clothing drive at Hilander.  Our black lab is shedding the equivalent of one dog per day; I see black tufts of it floating into the corner.

While I do like to “keep house”, it is not my passion.

Writing is my passion.

Finding quality time to write is hard.  That’s what I say.

I believe everyone would agree with me when I also say that if I were to have an entire Sunday alone to write, I wouldn’t. 

I’m being honest.

I would clean the bathroom.  Sort the clothes.  Vacuum.  Talk on the phone.

When only an hour or two is left until dinner, and my house is satisfactorily clean, I suddenly find the “zone”, where everything I put on paper is golden

Time flies during those moments until I realize I can hear everyone’s stomach growling, including mine, and off I go to the kitchen to make dinner.

I am upset with myself because I had the entire day to write and I only used a portion of it.  No one really cares if the bathroom goes one more day or if they have to reuse their last bath towel.  It’s just my excuse. 

Why is that?  Do other writers do that?  Why am I compelled to, say, clean the microwave when I get a big chunk of time to write?

I tell myself sometimes, I’m brainstorming.  I’m developing my characters.  I’m plotting out the next great American novel.  I’m not, though. 

I am procrastinating.  I’m being lazy. 

I’m afraid.
I’m futzing away my time, only to get aggravated later when I have to rejoin the real world and put the computer away.  I think, bitterly, I never get time to write.
The honest truth is, I have plenty of time to write.  Yes, I work full time.  Yes, I have a family, a house to clean, laundry to do, a husband whose hand I love to hold.
I also have best sellers floating around in my brain.  Great characters that are just clamoring for attention; funny characters jockeying for the same thing.  Plot lines that would delight, amaze, and thrill you.  Amazing screenplays that would have theater lines out the door, should they ever come to light.

Don’t I owe it to myself to let that creativity come out? 

It doesn’t matter whether or not anyone likes it.  I write for me; I write to please myself.

do have time to write.  I just need to be disciplined enough to take it.

I need to face my fear of failing.  I also need to face my fear of success.

I think I need to quit standing in my own way.

Summer…well, it just isn’t summer until you are able to burn a big, ugly 4’ round patch in your lawn.  Gee, that’s crazy…kiddie pools are 4′ and round too!  What a co-inkey dink!

It’s not enough that we had a little blue washtub filled with water for him to romp around in.  Cooper would go to the tub and put his two front legs in it and just stand there, dejectedly.  Wow, he’d say.  No dog should be allowed to have this much fun.  It just obviously wasn’t enough.



No dog should have this much fun. 



We got tired of watching him making a fool of himself and we decided together, because all of our important decisions are made together*, that we would get him a kiddie pool.
His doggy daddy and I schlepped into Menardsh (cue the tv commercial guy) and found the pool.  I tried to find the inflatable rings I saw on sale, (not for Cooper’s pool, silly, but for a future trip up North) but they were sold out. 
In the future, Menards, maybe order more $2.99 floats.  Maybe order more.
At home, hubby filled up the surprise pool with ice cold water, so that when Cooper finished swimming and came over to shake violently next to us, we could also appreciate the refreshing coldness.

Myself, I didn’t appreciate the coldness.  Mostly because I was too preoccupied that his long leash would wrap around my ankle (again) and he’d run one way and I’d fall the other, swept off my feet and staring at the sky before you could say “Damn Dog.”
We bought him outside and he knew, he just knew, that the pool was just for him.



I have a Pool!  I have a Pool!!!
$6.99 has never been better spent.  Oh, he had fun.  Buckets of fun.  He splashed.  He ran.  He drank.  He splashed some more.



Dad!  Look at my pool!





Water, water everywhere.  And yes, I think I”ll drink.



Currently he’s doing a very good impression of a big black throw rug on the living room floor… 
Now that is one happy dog.
…dreaming of chasing sticks and resting up for another big day playing in his new pool.
*I just say that. 
Get down!  Get down!  Go see Daddy!!”   (actual panicky orders I gave my black lab, trying to get him off the couch before he was spotted up there)
That was me, getting busted last week for letting the dog up on the couch.  My husband, in preparation for a trip to Florida, asked me if I wanted to go run errands with him.  I regretfully declined so that I could tweak the article I was working on.  (and had a deadline for.  I wanted to be “prompt” with my submission.)
I figured I’d have a 45 minute chunk of time to write.  I settled in on the couch, pulled my laptop onto (what else?) my lap, and began to work.
In my writing frenzy, I failed to notice (ha! No, I didn’t.) that my dog climbed up on the couch.  He’s 95 pounds and does nothing subtly.  His fur coat looks exactly like a big black blanket, so while I may have noticed him get up there, I became engrossed in writing and forgot he was there. (Ha! No, I didn’t.)
Forgot, that is, until I heard the sound of the back door opening.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Although I couldn’t see who was opening the door from my spot on the couch, from the horrified gasp I realized it was my husband.  He was back very, very early from his errands and opened the door just in time to see Cooper’s back legs hop off the couch.  Dammit.  Caught.
He looked at me while he directed his comments to the dog. 
“Cooper!  Did your mommy let you up on the couch?”  Of course, like every good wife I immediately denied knowing he was even up on the couch, but we both knew the truth.  Also because my hubby felt around on the couch until he located the very warm spot on the couch where the dog had been sitting.  (To my mind, we keep the couch cushions covered with sheets to keep them from getting dirty.  So where’s the harm?)



“what?  me, on the couch?  There’s a first time for everything…”



Also from time to time, when my husband and I are gone, that same dog is also fully allowed on the couch by one child in particular.  This one child (her name rhymes with Banana) has actually taken pictures of her doggie sitting on said couch, and then flagrantly posted them on Facebook, where her dad could see them.



Fast forward one week.   Cooper had a very sore paw for whatever reason.  (Probably because he jumped off the couch.)  He limped around feebly and made us feel very sorry for him.  My hubby couldn’t bear to see Cooper in any pain and petted him anxiously over and over.  I left Coop in my husband’s able care while I went downstairs to fold clothes. 
And came back up to find Cooper happily curled up on the couch next to my husband, who just smiled at me.
I smiled back, in complete understanding. 



(author’s note:  Cooper has made a complete recovery.  And as I write this is sitting next to me on the couch.  But don’t tell my husband.)

Our dog was invited to his first party this summer.  My daughter was going to a cookout at a friends’ house, and this friend has a big fenced in yard.  If that wasn’t exciting enough, they also have two dogs.  OMG.  Cooper was definitely in for a treat…if we let him go.
See, we were a little reserved about letting him out of our sight, mostly because our 1 ½ year old black lab has a well documented history of taking off on us to do a little adventurous sight seeing of his own.  Example:  If you accidentally open the door a sliver too wide, if you (ahem) trip over something and drop the leash writhing in pain on the lawn for all to see, if he pulls just a little too hard just a little too often on his stake and pulls it out of the ground, he’ll run like Forest Gump, looking neither right nor left. 
When he gets going, he somewhat resembles the liquid metal cop from Terminator who chases after Sarah Connor.  You can see that this could be a problem if you factor in traffic…because he’s definitely not looking both ways before crossing the street.  He’s a man on a mission.
Everyone in our family has had to run after him.  He got away from me one night.  I ran after him shrieking, cheese in one hand and baloney in another.  We finally cornered him about five blocks away.  I say we but it was actually my much faster son.  I learned two lessons that night.  The first is that I really needed to concentrate on more cardio at the gym and the second is that I could run after him with a porterhouse steak for bait and he wouldn’t stop.
My daughter let him out one night for an evening potty and he slipped out of the leash.  I should mention that she was completely ready for bed after taking a hot bath; meaning, the over the shoulder boulder holder was off for the night, the flimsy sleep shorts, t shirt, and gigantic hedgehog slippers were on.   Because she wasn’t going anywhere and no one would see her.
Or so she thought.  Cooper does not like to waste any opportunities, so he took off down the street like he was shot from a cannon.  Thinking quickly, my daughter saw no option other than to give chase…and she was furious.  You do not want to tangle with her when she’s mad.  I’ve seen kinder trapped raccoons.  So in 20 degree weather, she was forced to run after him, in her jammies, but with a grim look of determination in her eyes.  (hearing the story later, I almost felt sorry for Cooper.)  At some point, to enable better traction, she stopped and kicked off the large hedgehogs and ran in bare feet.
A marvelous tackle was made on the 40 yard line, which is about 4 blocks from our house.
I was blissfully unaware that anything had occurred until she marched him back into the house.  He didn’t seem worse for the wear but she was livid because a) her feet were freezing and b) because she was forced to run down the street in front of the neighbors without a bra to get that stupid dog.  Cooper wisely hid in our bedroom for a while before finally coming out to apologize.  (Author’s note…he didn’t sound all that sincere.)
But back to the cookout.  Suffice to say that we were reticent about letting him go anywhere in the car with anyone at that point, given his bolting history.  Daughter was insistent that she be able to take him with her to interact with other dogs.  We finally agreed.
The doggie interaction was a big success.  Many behinds were sniffed, gleeful chasing was done, and pecking orders were established.  Cooper, as the new guy, was on the bottom of that pyramid, of course.
Before they left that day to go to the cookout, I lectured Cooper to be a good boy, share the toys, and not run off, please, no running off.  He seemed to understand.
A few minutes later I hear some soft murmuring.  Following the sound down the hall, I hear my husband also lecturing Cooper.  I gently push the bedroom door open only to hear him telling Cooper, “and you better be a good boy.  And play nice.  And don’t run away.  And for goodness’ sake, if you want them to like you, don’t open your mouth too much because your bottom teeth are all crooked, and they’ll make fun of you if they see it.  I’m just saying.  I’m trying to save you from some heartache.”
Cooper was invited back to play a couple of times over the summer so he must have made a pretty good impression. 
Either that or he didn’t open his mouth much.

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  • Mary Fran Says: Thank you for contributing to Sweeps Week! We make a great team. Maybe we'll collaborate in our next lives? SISTERS! lol :)
  • Mary Fran Says: What's better than a Baby Shower aka Early Baby Birthday Party? Baby's FIRST Birthday Party! (Although it's hard to call them "baby" by one! They grow
  • Ann Jones: I'll have to check it out, thanks for the heads up!

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