I’ve been rather busy this week. Not in the regular sense of busy, mind you. Not like a normal-person busy. I used to be a normal person, so I know what I’m talking about.
I was busy, though, on a different level . . . I was busy for someone on disability, who needs about twelve hours of sleep a day, and who can’t do more than about five minutes of manual labor at a time without sweating like a horse and needing a break so he doesn’t tip over from dizziness or hurl his last meal.
Yeah, that kind of busy.
(Yes, I’m afraid it’s another shameless and sympathy-seeking plug for my health conditions. Sorry, can’t help it.)
When you have celiac disease and hemochromatosis and/or other health problems that have been eating away at your body for uncounted years prior to proper diagnosis and leaving inexplicable tendrils of dysfunction in their wake, getting in a couple of collective hours of fruitful labor in a day feels pretty good.
My dog, Sheena, over time, has killed off a small area of my sister’s back yard, so I’ve been working on turning the area into a nice mulch bed, which should be nicer than the dust-bowl/mud-pit it has been.
Sheena has a great love of toys that are long, flexible, and weighted at the ends. These are the kinds of toys that, when taken into the mouth and shaken violently, feel most like a prey animal whose spine is being disarticulated in several places and whose very life is being rapidly and traumatically vanquished. One must learn to step back out of range when she decides to partake of such play, or run the risk of painful leg bruising, or worse, suffer the fate of my sister’s grass. You see, such play is a form of psychological therapy for Sheena — as the rabbits, cats, and squirrels of the neighborhood have learned the invisible boundaries of Sheena’s circular range, and take a delectable kind of enjoyment in taunting her from just beyond the reach of her chain. One can almost see the smug expression, the mocking laughter in their eyes as they sit quietly, watching Sheena lunge, yowl, and run back and forth at the end of her tether ten feet away.
I have to give these neighborhood animals credit for their intelligence and sense of humor. And I also have to wonder at the often unknown or unnoticed dramas, comedies, and morality plays that must happen all the time in nature, so far outside our own human realm of comprehension, but still as close as our own back yards.
And if Sheena were not such a talented and persistent escape artist and skillful wanderer, I have to admit I’d like to see the expression on those animals’ faces if I one time happened to “forget” to hook the chain to her collar when I let her outside.