Lenten Challenge: Day 30— On the Upswing?

There were several wonderful things about Thursday. The first happened at lunch. I went home. The pup has been low-energy and very hard to get to go walking. It’s not hard to get him to go outside, but he takes five steps and lays down. Then he’ll take 10 steps and lay down. It’s kind of cute, because he lays on his back and wants his belly rubbed, but it’s mostly disheartening. Yesterday, we went outside and when he settled in for his belly rubs, I rubbed his belly and then weeded the garden (it’s a little garden— doesn’t take long to weed, especially at this time of year).

He looked at me, incredulous. And decided he was having none of it. He got to his feet, we walked the steep slope behind the house and around the complex. There were rest breaks, but he was a pup on a mission. If I’d let him, he’d have led me onto the golf course and we’d have been out for an old-time ramble. But I was on my lunch hour, so I led him home. It did me so good to see him want anything other than a belly rub. But I’m counting 10 minutes of weeding in my cleaning totals for today.

After work, I grabbed him and took him to therapy— his first full session. He did 10 minutes on the underwater treadmill. It would be an overstatement to say he liked the underwater treadmill— we close him in a glass box, it fills from the bottom with water, and then the floor starts to move. But he rocked it. And I really liked the physical therapist I’ll be working with, over the next few weeks. She’s great with him, and we chatted companionably while she worked on him. She let me know that she thought he was in less pain than I feared based on his reactions to her manipulations. It’s not often that I’ve heard reassurance, in this little journey, and it’s a gift I very much appreciate.

And he’s smart and fun. She led him over to an area to have him stand on — not sure what they’re called. Kind of like a bosu ball, it’s a rubber disc. Before she could, he’d traversed a balance plank and climbed in rock gardens. She was surprised and delighted by how easily he understood and conquered challenges (even ones she didn’t intentionally put him through, like the plank.) At one point, she gushed “you’re just the best dog in the whole world!” at him, and it was nice for someone else to say it. He really is special. And worth all this crazy expensiveness.

I got home at 8, and heated up leftovers for dinner. I started the laundry and swept the floor in the living room and dining room, during “Scandal.” I took out recycling and spot-mopped the living room and kitchen floors while I watched something OnDemand. In all, I spent probably 2 solid hours doing chores. It doesn’t seem like it should have taken two hours to do two loads of laundry, make a trip to the recycling, and sweep and spot-mop two rooms, but I was working on it from 8 (not counting the time I was actually eating) to 10:30, and that’s how long it took. Partly, it’s because I spent more time on the kitchen floor (which desperately needed it) than spot-mopping suggests. I bought these big disinfecting wipes at Costco, and they said they worked on Swiffer Sweepers, so I ran up and got my Swiffer, and tried it. The cloth definitely fits, but the Swiffer I have (probably 10 years old) doesn’t make the kind of full contact with the ground (it mostly contacts the ground around the edges of the sweeper head, not in the center) that it would need to, to be good as a mopper, so I got down on the ground and scrubbed it by hand. It would have been way faster to really mop it, than it was to do it the way that I did, but I’m hard-headed.

I would have vacuumed, but the dog put himself to bed when I got home, and I basically would have had to make him go downstairs while I vacuumed. I can do that at a time when he’s already in his kennel,

The house doesn’t look that much better, but the clean floors, weeded garden, and empty laundry-basket are doing my soul good.


2 thoughts on “Lenten Challenge: Day 30— On the Upswing?

  1. It seems like a horror movie set up, as I watch him process each thing. He goes from hanging out on a futon with me and his physical therapist, to walking up a ramp into the box. You see him start to think “Y’know, I think I’d rather just go back and hang out on the futon…” when the box door is closed. Then, the water starts seeping up through the floor and you can see him think “Oh my gosh— this shouldn’t be happening! And while I’m locked in this box!” Then, the physical therapist gets in with him, wearing hip waders, and just when the water has stopped rising, the floor starts moving! If I didn’t have context for it, I’d be screaming and crying, by that point, but he takes it rather better than I would.

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