We’ve been busy. First there was the pawdographing of Lina Unleashed at Sunshine Booksellers in February. Apparently, our humiliating peddling of signs from building to building in the fashion of a door-to-door salesman, and other strong-leg tactics, paid off. A bunch of people came and we sold twenty-seven books at the store, and a few later to others who even I (a natural herder) couldn’t corral for the event.
The day of the signing, we arrived early to set up my sign and put out the Unleashed Wine and dog bone cookies.
As people dutifully drifted in, Momma was front and center reviewing her notes and props. Kind of last minute, she remembered that I was the author of the book and asked Jane to keep me up front so she could introduce me. (I think she also wanted her trained support animal by her side.)
By now, Momma had gotten quite nervous about her remarks. She had Googled “how to do a book presentation,” and had been advised not to read them. She had therefore memorized (ignoring the advice to also not do that) her “off-the-cuff” talk so she could appear relaxed and witty like Lorna Landvik, a Minnesota writer who is great with one-liners at signings. The only problem was that Momma occasionally forgot where she was in her spontaneous speech, repeating some things and omitting others. She nevertheless didn’t want to leave out some of her favorite anecdotes, so she sprinkled them into her narrative, whether they fit in or not. (Meanwhile, I deftly worked the crowd, diverting attention from her lapses with face licks.)
Sensing restlessness, Momma looked around and noticed some shifting in chairs and sideways glances. Sweating by now, she hurried through the rest of her remarks and practically speed-read a passage from my book. (I think a simple “woof” would have done, but whatever.) When she mercifully brought her presentation to a close, everyone applauded pawlightly – and reached for more wine. Am I twenty-one in dog years yet?
After the pawdographing (“That went pretty well, didn’t it, Lina?”), things went back to normal. Which in our world means more of our never-ending vet visits.
Just when I thought maybe we could make it through the winter without me being poked and prodded, Momma decided that I needed to go in. I had experienced a couple of tiny pee accidents. Now, I don’t want to point any paws – but I do need to go out on a regular basis to do my business, if you know what I mean. (Momma: “Typical Democrat, Lina – always the victim.”)
Anyway, a couple of people had told Momma (based on her set of alternative facts), that I may have a UTI, so off to the vet we went. It was a ruff morning since I had to “hold it” until 8:30 when the clinic opened. Then they made Momma lead me around the clinic yard with the technician following behind and sliding a little pan under me every time it looked like I might squat. You woof about your humiliation . . .
And, of course, it was all for nothing. (Well, not exactly for nothing — it cost Momma $101.50 as she is fond of reminding me.) I had no UTI, but they did find some fragmented crystals which they theorized could account for the problem. Momma (once again consulting her vast store of medical knowledge) was not convinced and refused to buy the special dog food they recommended. (“We have it in Minnesota, Lina, and we’re going home soon.”) This morning, I had another little accident. Just a thought, but maybe I should be on the special food?
The next night I had a new problem — I desperately had to poop in the middle of the night and let Momma know with my characteristic grunts. Sensing urgency, she whisked me outside — twice. It may have been because we were both terrified of stumbling onto that Burmese Python-eating alligator that had been spotted at Momma’s golf course, but I just couldn’t go. Until we were safely inside, that is. And not only did I make a mess during the night — I made another one the next morning — right after Momma had taken me out.
At that point, Momma put me on hamburger and rice. It seemed to do the “trick” and I had no more diarrhea. I also had no bowel movements for the next two days. By the third, Momma was frantic and dragged me into the vet again. I wonder if the same thing happened to her, would she bring herself in? Just woofin’.
The exam? Mortifying. The diagnosis? Nothing was wrong with me. The bill? $176.44. The upshot? I went home and took a perfectly good poop. I wonder if I’ll ever get Momma trained.
Ready To Fly The “Friendly” Skies
Speaking of going home, we’ll be on our way to Minnesota again soon. The only problem is the air travel hell we have to go through to get there. I just hope that:
a) Momma doesn’t get dragged off the plane for some infraction;
b) I don’t have to sit next to a support peacock; and
c) I don’t end up in an overhead bin — or Japan.
Other than that, I’m looking forward to the trip.
Lina, Trying to Stay Regular and On Course!
WOOFDA! Happy Spring!