Sometimes all it takes is a little dirt to throw a relationship into a tailspin. Or in this case, a lot of dirt, a handful of fleas, peeing on my freshly cleaned carpets, and a stink to high heaven.
When we moved into our house nearly six years ago, I was keen on getting a dog. A little dog. A hypo-allergenic dog. A low maintenance dog. Jason was not quite so keen, but lost the battle when my mom got us a puppy that I had hinted about wanting. Our little bundle arrived at our house in March 2001, a fuzzy brown and white shi-tzu, who was the absolute cutest puppy I had ever seen. She was beautiful and strong willed, so we named her Daisy Pearl (after The Great Gatsby and The Scarlet Letter--I was in the throes of teaching American lit that year). I adored her.
These days, not so much. It was inevitable, I suppose, that a meltdown would occur. Of course, these days I'm just a washcloth leaving a piece of fuzz on my face away from a meltdown (the fuzz incident happening on Sunday), but this particular one has been building for several months.
Timing and circumstances beyond Daisy's control have put her into the proverbial dog house. Conflict started brewing last spring when we decided not to chemically clean off our deck because we planned on totally redoing it during the summer. Daisy somehow picked up the dirt smell off the deck, which annoyed the heck out of us. I have a very keen sense of smell normally and so the problem was magnified to epic proportions after I became pregnant. Then we tore up our backyard--also with the intent on fixing it this summer--leaving lots of dirt and flea nests and weeds and burrs and more dirt exposed. Daisy rambled through it all, picking up the fleas and assorted horticultural wonders. We spent many monies on special flea medication, and since Daisy also has allergies to grasses, another small sum on allergy medication. It was all a short term problem, we assured each other. But in the meantime, I got rid of all our upholstered furniture (seriously, I'm that crazy), I got a lavender scented pet spray to disinfect Daisy should she get within five feet of me, and Daisy became an outside dog. Oh, and eventually the backyard would be finished and then we wouldn't have to worry about it.
Ah, the backyard. Indeed.
It's not finished. It isn't, as it turns out, even started to be finished. We had the landscape architects come out. We looked at books. I have a scale map drawn out of how the backyard will look when it's finished. But on the priority list of things for the summer it was third. Wood floors, leather couch, backyard.
Wood floors? Check.
Leather couch? *fingers crossed* End of the month. (Or remain sitting on the floor in our couchless livingroom.)
Backyard? There are no words funny or serious enough to convey what I presently feel towards our backyard. We are out of money, and won't get more until next summer. It's a problem only Oprah could fix, and evidently she won't. (Really. I asked.)
All this leaves Daisy and me at a crossroads. For people who haven't ever had a dog, then getting rid of her would seem like no problem. For me...I'd rather give up blueberry bagels then give up Daisy. She is near and dear to some place in my heart. Some place that is back with pre-pregnancy jeans and caffeinated beverages. Plus, Sydney adores Daisy and takes so much pleasure in alternately bossing her around and hugging her.
In the grand scheme of things, it is so such a small problem. As I was writing about all this (which took me a couple days because I'm seriously the crazy pregnant wife who can't stop crying about anything) I watched the news cycle spin around me. There are parents who lost their daughters to a deranged gunman; there are parents who lost their kids to a war in Iraq (just yesterday a local man was killed); there are families who still don't have a place to live after Katrina. And here I am sobbing on and on about how I can't put up with my dog one more day. "My poor hormonal wife," Jason remarked on Sunday when through a flood of tears I confessed that I didn't think I could make it through church because I was such a nervous wreck. And don't take his remark in the wrong way. It made me feel better that at least he knows that I have a legitimate reason for my behavior.
At this point, we aren't giving Daisy away. We'll get through it. Somehow. And then eventually the baby will be born, and I will *hopefully* regain some measure of sanity regarding the whole problem. Until then, let's hope I don't give away any more furniture or throw out any more washcloths.
I hate being crazy.