A word of warning, Texans: the heat index in Dallas is 115 today.
ONE HUNDRED. FIFTEEN. DEGREES.
Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but I strongly suspect the gates of Hell might be slightly more temperate than it is in my backyard right now.
Oy vey. It's toasty.
Our poor dogs have been out there digging holes, making shady beds in the cool dirt and, I presume, trying to find their way back to their motherland of Labrador, where right now it is probably not possible to cook meat on the hood of one's car parked in the shade. In years past, I never would have evicted my dogs to poach in the backyard during the feverish heat of one of Dallas' only two seasons, but in the past, I also didn't have the chaos of Two darling kids underfoot, one of whom is teaching herself to walk and subsequently mops the floors with her knees and hands and sometimes face, and the other of which is so accident-prone, she has been known to fall down while standing completely still.
So, yes, there it is. My beloved, formerly-inside-dogs are outside dogs now. It's not so bad, really. Very lagoon-like, if you will. There's even a pool for their swimming pleasure. Yeah, yeah, that's the guilt talking, I know. Go ahead and judge, but walk a mile in my flip-flops first.
115 degrees, though. My dogs really shouldn't be blamed for digging themselves to Labrador, should they?
In fact, Lexi owes me big-time. She needs to give me a lot of doggie love and loyalty and protection for the rest of her lifetime to make up for this past week. $617 worth of love to be exact. That's how much she cost me on Thursday when she had to have this dumb surgery on her stupid paw. $617. For those of you who don't excel in math, that's twice the cost of the boots I want but will never buy now. It's five times as hot as it is outside. And about 617 times what Chris was willing to spend on the dumb surgery on her stupid paw.
And now, to make matters 617 times worse, she is supposed to wear an Elizabethan Collar for the next ten days. That's what the vet calls it. Really? I'm not an idiot. An Elizabethan collar would be all regal and what-not, with red velvet and pearls and gold stitching. With a matching crown. Now we're talking. But this thing? No matter what fancy name you give it, this is just an ugly, big, white, stiff plastic lamp shade.
You know where I'm going with this, don't you?.....
Let's just call a shade a shade.
Ha ha ha! Couldn't resist!
It's fun to find humor among the shambles of my bitterness.
When Lexi has to wear this shade, she goes into Doggie Distress mode, which, lemme tell you, ain't pretty. She starts by slinging her head about, trying to throw the collar off. When that doesn't work, she begins writhing around on the floor, somersaulting end-over-end trying to pull it off. When even that doesn't work, she locates me somewhere in the house in a full-on panic, throwing herself at my feet in agony, whining at me to take it off. In weak moments, I remove it, but I always have to put it back on when she begins worrying the wound on her dumb paw. And I haven't even mentioned the eyes. Oh, the sad eyes she has when she wears the daggum lamp shade. There just are no words.
Remember, I have Two young children about, who could be and frequently are, bowled over by the formidable exuberance of the terrified dog in the really cumbersome stiff plastic lamp shade.
Case in point. The other day, we were trying to get out of the house to go see the Wiggles.
No, that's not a euphemism.
The Wiggles are a singing quartet out of Australia who perform children's songs in a little preschool band. They perform a live show with a circus theme, and have several sidekicks, including a dinosaur, an octopus, a dog, and so on. I can see how it might be perceived that one or more members of the Wiggles may lead alternative lifestyles, as evidenced by the multiple costume changes into the strange and oddly captivating sequined uniforms a la 1980s-era Elton John, or their trusty sidekick Captain Feathersword, the name they say they chose because they wanted something "non-violent". Okay, Wiggles. Whatever. As long as you keep making my babies laugh, wiggle on, friends.
Aria is a big fan, and this being her first concert and all, going to the Wiggles was a big deal. So between the four of us, we got bathed, fed, diapered, and dressed up in party dresses for our date with the Wiggles. Surprisingly, it even appeared as if we were going to be on time (happy cheer!). I open the back door, herding our group out to the car, when suddenly...
To all dogs, a word of advice: when you are wearing a size Extra Large lamp shade around your Extra Large head, it is unlikely that you will be able to slink past anyone or anything without causing substantial damage to whatever has the misfortune to be in your path.
And that is exactly what happened in our garage.
Lexi, so alarmed that we appeared to be leaving her trapped in her truncated, cone-shaped prison, plowed through the family, trying to either: A) Escape; or B) Attend the Wiggles too. Neither of which are acceptable choices for a dog wearing a lamp shade.
When I say "plowed through", I'm not kidding either. Of the four of us, she knocked three of us over. Me, Aria, and Caroline - splat - onto the garage floor. And of those three, two began to cry.
I won't tell you which two.
Suffice it to say, Lexi has a lot of kissing up to do to make up for bowling us over on Wiggles Day.
It does, however, alleviate just a smidge of my guilt for making them stay outside.