Today's thoughts

Category: Fosse

The newest member of the family

Retirement is not without Hassles: Carriage Chauffeur #2458

I had cataract surgery on my left and final eye – glad there only two. It’s an inconvenient drive up to the Sarasota medical center, so we were reluctantly up at 5:30, before Tally and Fosse began to even stir. It was so early, my brain failed to solve the daily Wordle puzzle that hadn’t probably happened in well over a year of routine solutions. The site used to tally my lengthy streaks, but that eventually required a subscription, so I’ve opted to just keep track of the rare failures rather than the usual failures. I had the AUNT but my three first-letter guesses of V, T, and D were incorrect.

We all slept well last night after an evening walk together, an activity that I haven’t been able to do of late with the cramping in my legs. We tried a different approach last night, resurrecting the dog carriage that used to haul an aging Tinker. I remember our day strolling through Butchart Gardens in Vancouver, Canada on the fourth of July a few years ago. Tinker was the “doggy darling” in her carriage and Tally looked longingly at jumping in with her. Later in the day, as all of us grew tired, they were both being pushed by me back to our hotel. Tally hasn’t ridden in there since, stored in our garage after Tinker passed.

Fosse and my wife have been walking every night, while Tinker and I typically stay home. Last eve was the exception after deciding to join in the parade, putting the old lady in the stroller, while pushing helped provide some support for my sore back. I can’t yet comfortably walk on my own unless I can hold on to the side rails of the treadmill or lean on shopping cart and in this case the buggy. It’s just enough to ease the pressure on my sciatica nerve. I suppose I could bring out Sky Walker for an encore, but from my perspective that would be a big step backwards in my recovery. The buggy is a good disguise, protecting my old age pride. 

Yesterday, I also looked into a work-from-home opportunity with the Resy restaurant reservation system. I was approached by a reputable recruiter from a respected Marketing agency, but there are a lot of elements that scream of a scan. For example, they only pay in cryptocurrency, that requires setting up a digital wallet.  I would have to deposit a small amount of money into the account to set it up, allowing them to deposit my earnings. It would be easy, convenient work but seems too good to be true. It was better than supplying my social security number directly to Resy. I may take the gamble, though leery, especially after falling near-victim to the recent Marriott Vacation Club rent impersonator. 

I hope to bring out the princess carriage for our next evening walk. Tally seemed to enjoy the attention, instead of waiting impatiently by the front door for Tally to return with my wife or not getting up at all. The distance is a bit far for her to negotiate on 14-year-old legs. I do let her out a few times along the way to do her business and wrestle with her sister, who could go on forever like the Energizer Bunny. I also like the fact that I can hold on and steady myself along the way, while treating her to the evening breezes as her Carriage Chauffeur. 

Creature Features: Frisky #2454

I have a new definition of the word “frisky” – our 6-month-old puppy, Fosse. She’s a bundle of energy that adores my wife and occasionally me. I have the two toughest dog duties – first and last outings of the day, and too often dinnertime. On most days, it’s very routine – up at 7a, leashes on, pee, poop, pee, and treat before my wife gives them “ham time” and breakfast. Tally, her 14-year-old schnauzer sister moves slowly through the process while Fosse ravishes her puzzle bowl of kibbles. The sounds of her scooting the bowl around and devouring the contents echo loudly through the house – like a madman on the loose. 

Yesterday was rainy in the afternoon, while the dog park was being fertilized and off limits in the morning. They did not get to burn off much energy, so Fosse in particular was restless. She’d follow us everywhere we went, hoping that my wife would fire up the golf cart and take her to the park for some interaction with her play buddies. She watched as I performed another of my duties – cleaning the diarrhea-stained dining room rug, thanks to Tally. In old age, she doesn’t have the iron stomach that she grew up with, so there are accidents. Fosse has a few as well, so the Spot Shot gets a regular work out. For especially bad areas, out comes the carpet cleaner. A rainy day was a good time for such throw rug maintenance. They naturally never go on the tile surfaces, that comprise most of our flooring, where clean-up would be simple. 

Fosse has been pretty good about not running off when I briefly take her off the leash to go back inside. Tally has to get a drink at the water fountain by the front door, while Fosse goes the opposite direction inside looking for her treat. I’m usually stretched to the max between the two of them. This morning, I unhooked Fosse and she took off like a shot down the street, teased a huge, fluffy, neighbor dog that she like to bark at, and would not respond to my pleas. She bolted the opposite direction, crossed our unbusy street, chased a rabbit, and became a speck in the distance. My leg was cramping and painful, so I couldn’t keep up, while Tally was still on the leash and reluctant to move. I had no choice but to let her off and limp after Fosse. Now, I had two dogs without restraints. Finally, out of breath, I gave up the chase and went home to retrieve the golf cart.

This was when my wife came out of the house, clearly unhappy that I had lost control of her babies. She was half dressed and ungroomed. I yelled out, “get the golf cart,” knowing that Fosse would think that she was missing out on the dog park. Sure enough, after dodging me for what seemed like an eternity, she went straight to my wife. I got a lecture about letting her off the leash and countered that it hadn’t happened before. It was a typical dog argument that I would never win. She’s constantly worried about cars and alligators – I should be more cautious. While she finally got properly dressed to take them to the dog park, I once again had them fully harnessed, even the escape artist that was bucking like a bronco trying to once again get away. Whew – what a frisky start to the morning!

Creature Features: Bad Dog #2542

Most dogs hate the rain, and our new puppy, Fosse, is no exception. The drama queen comes out in her, as she squeals, bucks, and twists with resistance. One of our neighbors across the street heard her high-pitched screams the other morning and thought there might be some abuse going on. Tally, her older sister, just quickly gets it over with anymore, anxious for a toweling afterwards. 

Fosse had already left her bed early, checked out the weather, and promptly pooped in the dining room. Bad Dog! We’ve had to reinvest in Spot Shot, after years of having such a good dog, Tally. At least, Fosse waited to pee in the front yard, after Tally led the way and then quickly ran for cover. I spent the morning sanitizing the rug.

They won’t get to go to the flooded dog park this morning to burn off the excess energy, although Tally typically just sits there in the shade. She’s a fourteen-year-old lady that now has to tolerate a perky puppy. Fosse just lost her first tooth yesterday and goes non-stop except when she’s cuddling on my wife’s lap.

Both dogs are just back from a night at Schnauzerville, a private home where they exclusively breed, groom, and board schnauzers. Despite the training they get there, it takes only one day away from home to get out of their routine. Fosse was born at Schnauzerville and her mom and dad live there, along with some of her siblings, so she naturally gets overexcited to reunite with them, but can’t control her bladder. Bad Dog! Tally has been going there since we moved to Florida and enjoys the run of the house. Good Dog! They don’t know it yet, but they’ll be back at Schnauzerville this weekend for the 10-days that we’ll be traveling. 

Good Dog! Bad Dog! is now the norm in our life, as we’ve doubled up on dogs. Extra food, extra treats, extra walks, extra boarding costs, and extra Spot Shot! I’m just simply trying to tolerate the extra disruptions to our retirement life. Too many times a day now, you’ll hear my frustration as I exclaim to Fosse, “Bad Dog!” She might even think it’s her name!

Retirement is not without Hassles: Another Week of Retirement #2523

My wife has been under the weather and slept through most of yesterday. What a sad way to spend a Mother’s Day! She made a batch of vegetable soup a few days ago, so I won’t starve, nor will some of our neighbors. A lot of sharing goes on – tools, food, advice, and rumors. The dogs did not get to go to the park yesterday or this morning, so they wonder what’s going on. “Why won’t Mom get up and play with us?” I’m planning on a typical Monday afternoon with a trip to the chiropractor, a call to my sister, the gym, pick up my grandson, and exercise in the pool. She’s still in bed. 

We originally had Mother’s Day plans to go to Cracker Barrel, but that didn’t happen. We did, however, enjoy the band, Dukes of Brinkley, with friends on Saturday night at the ballpark. Unfortunately, we southerners were left out of all the Northern Lights hoopla. Like everyone else, we’ve been chasing them for years but have not been in the right place at the right time, even on our cruise to Alaska. I would guess that it’s not as big of a deal to see them from your backyard as opposed to spending thousands to go to Iceland. 

The Pacers trounced the Knicks yesterday to even the playoff series. I watched the end of the game from the pool, between dog outings. The little one, Fosse, needs to go out every two hours, so this often means disruption from other activities – like running home and back in the middle of the band set the other night. With regard to small humans, we’re expecting a call from Indy mid-week announcing the birth of our newest relative – making me a GUM (Great Uncle Mike) once again. 

My wife teaches school tomorrow, if she’s feeling better. There is also Book Club, and it’s my youngest granddaughter’s 6th birthday with a party on Saturday. We helped fund the bounce house. Twice this week I’ll have cardio rehab, in addition to the gym and pool workouts. There’s a Garden Party on Wednesday eve near our tiny plot in the neighborhood “farm.” Little Fosse goes to the vet for the first time on Thursday, accompanied by her big sister Tally, while I pay a visit to the optometrist. We might then go to the Dueling Pianos performance at nearby Wellen Park. Friday Night will be “Date Night,” last week we went to La Rocca for Italian. So ends another week of retirement without me being rich or famous. 

Creature Features: Schnauzerville #2517

Fosse is starting to socialize with other dogs at our neighborhood park. She is a born and bred schnauzer who has not been around other breeds. Some may teasingly call her a “racist,” as she reacts very violently to non-schnauzers and dogs of a different color, with barking and even a high-pitched scream like she’s being attacked. She has yet to be spayed or had rabies shots, so we’re a little premature in taking her to the dog park. However, we know most of the other people that go there, and my wife watches her like a hawk. 

Little Fosse was exhausted after her visit yesterday and slept a little later this morning. Too often, she gets overly excited when we rescue her from the cage and can’t make it outside. Carrying her seems to be the solution, but Tally, her fourteen-year-old sister, also needs to go first thing in the morning. It can be quite a challenge getting the two of them on the same page. Fosse also is aggressive with her food and attacks the bowl, sending kibbles flying in every direction. We now delay her breakfast until after she goes to the dog park and begins to settle down. We also separate them when it’s time to eat. 

We just borrowed a portable, soft, cage that will be less confining than the metal one she’s been stuck in all night. The top zips open to make it more like a playpen. Slowly but surely, we’ll get Fosse accustomed to sleeping in it and comfortably confined with her toys while we’re gone for a few hours. She’s teething and this can prove to be destructive, having already chewed on the woodwork. 

Fosse likes to join me poolside and enjoys laying in the sun. Unlike Tally who spends a few minutes out in the lanai before retreating to my chair in the air conditioning, she’s content to lay on the warm pavers, occasionally moving to the shaded throw rugs. She’ll stay outside for hours if we let her, and sometimes one or the other gets trapped outdoors when we close the sliders. 

My wife is more patient with the pair than I am. She takes each to the dog park separately, while I’m home at the desk. Fosse is also getting to ride on the golf cart with her special harness. Tally has been doing this for over a year, but they’ve yet to share the front seat. Once Fosse has been to the vet, we’ll try them at the same time. Fosse’s cousin Sophie is also often at the park, both came from litters sired by the same father at what we fondly call, “Schnauzerville.” We have taken Tally there for years to be groomed and boarded. This is where my wife first met Fosse, just after birth. She has a tiny patch of white on her all-black body. Tally has always loved puppies, so hopefully they will continue to get along in the same household, and Fosse will provide the much-needed spark of life in her older daily companion. 

Creature Features : Fosse #2514

It’s been 7 years and 7 months since I started writing this blog, over 2765 days. I’ve fallen well behind my original pledge of a story a day, but I only have so many tales to tell. Plus, I haven’t contributed to this Creature Features category in well over a year. At this point, a couple of postings a week seems to be a reasonable goal. We have a new puppy to write about, Fosse. She is sitting in a dangerous spot right now, Tally’s chair – once mine. When possessive Tally comes back from the dog park, Fosse better retreat quickly or risk another mean growl and nip to the butt. It’s the same rude treatment that I get when I sit in my own chair. 

Fosse is named after choreographer, Bob Fosse, of Broadway hits like Chicago, Cabaret, and All That Jazz, some of my wife’s favorites. One of his trademark moves is “Jazz Hands,” that my granddaughter recently demonstrated during a performance of “Bye, bye, Blackbird,” at the high school Spring dance recital. All the performers were dressed in black with white gloves, to emphasize the hands. My granddaughter somehow forgot to put hers on in the rush to get on stage – at least I could tell who she was under the top hats they were all wearing! Fosse himself apparently didn’t like his hands, so he always covered them, but ironically the white gloves made them stand out in signature fashion. Fosse the dog’s tiny ears, like all schnauzers, tend to flop like Bob’s distinct jazz hands – hence the puppy’s name. 

Her unique name is often a conversation starter with passer byes in our neighborhood. Fosse has only been around schnauzers, so from her perspective other dogs naturally deserve to be barked at if they intrude. This bark often sounds like a high-pitched scream or squeal if she feels threatened, which is too often the case with bigger dogs. It’s an annoying habit that needs to be controlled, otherwise she’s remarkedly well behaved and even potty-trained. However, like most puppies, she needs to go out frequently. My wife and I now stagger our social schedules to accommodate for this. Last night, I went out for happy hour and came home early, while she went to an outdoor concert a few hours later. It gave me a chance to watch the end of the thrilling Pacers overtime victory over the favored Bucks. 

Fosse does sleep through the night in her cage, but can stir a bit early, if she hears my wife get up. Fortunately, she does not respond to my all too frequent trips to the john. I, of course, was not in favor of two dogs, but it will be good for Tally, who is much more active now protecting her property, stealing food, and feeling jealous from time to time. Fosse has already earned her spot as a welcome member of my family and the newest subject of this blog. 

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