Heeding my horoscope

There’s nothing like the smell of dog poop in spring.
Even with your eyes closed, the bouquet of water-sodden pyramids of pooh is as unmistakable as the sound of the universal Internet handshake.
So when I stood looking out my back door on the weekend at the prospect of tackling the yard with a rake, I also realized it was a good job I’d loved the dickens out of the dog named “Griffon.”
A rake just wasn’t going to cut it because he’d left behind a legacy of momentos—clearly bigger than those of his doggy counterpart, “Dot”—for me to clean up.
My horoscope on Friday had advised I stay close to home this week because at every turn I was bound to be met with opposition. So instead of getting frustrated, I was supposed to use the opportunity for some alone time.
Come on now—alone time is my sidekick three weeks out of four these days, with Pete off in the far north sampling baked salmon and coconut cheesecake.
But I took the suggestion to heart anyway. My view had been in the doldrums of late, with a dog and a grandmother leaving this world before the rest of us were ready to let them go.
Call it what you will. I figured a little more solitary confinement with a shovel and some dog poop just might help put away some of my head laundry.
It’s also a good job I have a very high visual and olfactory tolerance for the unpleasant.
As it turned out, there was enough yard work for two loners—and more than just cleaning up the remains of a winter’s worth of digested dog food.
In the throes of my despair over Griffon’s death, I know I wrote there would be no more jokes about the unsung chewer of ice cube trays and couches. I take that part back.
“Mr. What-a-Mess” had been a busy boy on the days I wasn’t looking and from what I could see strewn out over three acres of snow-melted yard, I should have marketed him to the local OSB mill as a wood shredder.
The recycle people would have paid good bucks for him, too. I’ll bet their machines couldn’t chew up plastic as small as the mangled blue ice cube tray bits I picked out of the soggy grass.
And Lord have mercy on the poor teddy bear named “Cuppy” who’d had his stuffing vacuumed out by a dog.
As well, Lord have mercy on me for my thoughts when I picked up the leg of another small stuffed animal (that I now think used to be “Tippy the Cow”) and thought it to be the real limb of a dead rabbit.
My verbal outburst isn’t exactly repeatable.
Last fall, when Pete was squaring out the base for the almighty shed, true to his nature he’d left a large ball of string lying around. We never did find it before it snowed.
That was until Saturday, when I spent half-an-hour untangling small evergreens and cedar trees from a long line of dog play.
I never knew $5 could go that far.
But when it was all said and done, my yard was immaculate, most of my head laundry was folded, and I’d had a few laughs and grumbles courtesy of my unsung pooch.
And over the course of the day, I watched the next developing saga in doggyville as Dot sniffed out a mouse in the flower bed and discovered it was a delightful place to dig.
I sat back in my lawn chair with a two beer and closed my eyes as I anticipated the “wow” factor of what a breeze life will be like around here when summer hits and I’m in charge.
A chauffeur, a maid, a handsome gardener. . . .
Ya, I know. If life were like that, I wouldn’t need chocolate.

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