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On patriotism and poop

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post #5
bio: j. wray

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This weekend I celebrated the independence of the good ol' U.S. of A and my 17-year-old dog's birthday by drinking, watching a bad Reese Witherspoon movie and picking up dog crap.

First, the dog crap.
Whiskers (named by 8-year old me due in equal parts to my surprise concerning her long whiskers and my desire for a cat) celebrated Independence Day and her birthday early on in the day by peeing and pooping on the area rug in our living room. This "celebration" has actually been going on for a few weeks now, and is on the verge of making my mother and me batty. It's not so much the poop that's a problem -- it mirrors the consistency of her dry dog food -- as the pee, which has brought my mom to crawling on the rug on her hands and knees, sniffing for lingering odors. Dr. Bronner's Sal's Suds has done a pretty good job of removing any unwanted stains, but the daily rug cleaning is starting to wear.
And yet, I can't get upset by Whiskers' actions, even though she often pees inside when the outside is only a few short steps away. Converting her age to dog years makes her a centenarian, and I can't look into her cataract-clouded eyes and stay annoyed for long. She's a tough old broad, intimidating my bigger (and younger, at age four) dog Sollie with ease, even as she staggers on arthritis-stiffened legs. She decides when he eats, when he gets petted and even takes control on walks. I've been trying to get used to the idea that she probably won't last the year, but it's been a hard sell. I s'pose it's partially because she was my first pet. Apart from Goldilocks The Goldfish, the only animal to die in our household was Wilbur The Guinea Pig, a class pet brought home by my mom, who was a teacher at the time. Wilbur only lasted a week though -- he was felled by a heart attack after Whiskers found his cage and briefly held him in her mouth. That was a bad day.
So, anyway, I guess as much as I hate the now-daily task of picking up Whiskers' droppings, it would be worse if I didn't have to do it. I love that old bitch.

Post-poop patrol, I headed to a Fourth of July party with my friend, Mollie. It was a lil' stressful -- I only knew a handful of the people there -- and I was filled with seventh-grader-like self-conscious anxiety. I felt Awkward, and sipped on a drink of raspberry-infused vodka and coke in an attempt to feel Social.
The Fourth of July party is an annual event for Mollie and a group of childhood friends. They gather each year at a home near where the neighborhood fireworks display is to be set off. When they were little, they would camp out at the park all day to get a prime viewing spot. For most of them, the Fourth of July is a favorite holiday, not for jingoistic patriotic malarkey but because of their memories of childhood awe for the annual display.
So, when the fireworks went off an hour early because of an impending storm and everyone at the party (as well as the hundreds of families still trucking their way to the park) missed it, people got upset. Very upset. It was an ugly scene, with many of the festive (and slightly tipsy) partygoers welling up with tears.
Mollie and I decided to jet, since, in her words "Fourth of July may as well not have happened." In light of the depressing turn of events we decided to see a bit of summer fluff, and after some deliberating, chose Legally Blonde 2. Mollie, being a blonde herself, had a natural affinity for the movie, and, well, I like pink and I've liked Reese Witherspoon ever since the incomparable Freeway.
Legally Blonde 2 is no Freeway.
Even so, I would say I enjoyed it up 'till the last ten minutes or so. Although the ending was lame, in my book, there's little better than a gay dog subplot. Yeah.
Okay, time for beddy-by. Tomorrow's Deadline Day at work and I need my strength.
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