Sage is not a teenage dog, mind you. He is a 35 years old (in human years) dashing gentleman, a convalescing one. He has recently had a surgery on the knee of his right hind leg because he tore it playing amazing soccer (not true, just making it up). But you already knew about that. I already wrote about the surgery, my tears, family’s love, Sage’s bravery and perseverance etc, etc. Now he needs to strengthen his leg muscles by walking on snow, swimming, walking on grass, going up and down the stairs. He needs to do all this but he has to take it slow. ‘Only SHORT leashed walks’ the vet tech warned me. And I am giving him only SHORT leashed walks. And Sage is acting teenagerish – willful, irrational and grumpy.
Every morning as I get ready to take him out, he runs back and forth in excitement, ‘Today is gonna be the day! Today this mean lady, who does not let me have any fun any more will take me for a loooong walk. Today I am going to smell fascinating smells, chase deer, eat or roll in fox poop. Today’s walk is going to be EPIC!’ His eyes say.
I fail him, of course. I walk him for no more than 10 minutes and bring him back. This morning we went in to our back fields but they were full of snow. He started lifting his leg up. So I, assuming his paws were getting cold, brought him out to the streets. He was very happy digging his nose into snow, smelling every mail box and fire hydrant, checking to see if any cats were lurking around or any deer poop that he could gobble up before the mean lady could stop him. But his joy, of course, was short lived. I walked till the end of the street and turned to come home. He looked at me first with disbelief and then stood his ground. The message was clear,
‘YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME, WOMAN!!!!!’
He followed me back but kept turning back, looking wistfully at the path we used to take for our long morning walks before he tore his cranial cruciate ligament. He took extra time sniffing mail boxes that he had already sniffed when we started the walk.
‘Take that! I will take my time and drag my feet and fight you every way without physically resisting you!’
‘Sage, quit it. You are acting like your sister. Very teen agerish! Who asked you to tear your CCL? I don’t want you limping again because of anything foolish like gamboling in the snow or going for long walks right now. Come on now, act your age. We will go up and down the stairs for exercise.’
I had a full blown, loud conversation with my dog as I walked him back. Neighbors, if you were watching, do not be alarmed, I have not lost my marbles yet, I was just having a conversation with Sage.
But if I have to deal with a teenage daughter, a teenagerish grumpy dog, a feather brained tween boy for long, I can not guarantee my sanity.