I’m sure we all agree that being a parent consists of insurmountable amounts of unpleasant tasks. And that’s ok, because there are equally as many, if not more, pleasurable tasks to be had any given day. I think most of us feel that way.
I wish that most of us who own pets, particularly dogs, feel that way too. Dogs are demanding pets that require a lot more time and energy if the job of raising them is to be done properly. I still cannot believe that there are people out there who own dogs, large dogs, who never, ever walk them. Regular exercise is vital to a dog’s health, stamina, disposition, and anyone who tries to convince me otherwise is wasting their time.
Sure there are days when the dog will take the absolute last place on a long list of pressing tasks. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, even husbands, or such unmeasurable concepts like sleep might push the dog’s needs further and further down the line. Some people come to that realization early and find a good home for their dog before he accepts this sedetary, neglected life as the norm. Because really, he shouldn’t have to accept that he is last all the time.
We are not immune to neglecting him occasionally. There have been days, sometimes consecutive days, when Rusty just did not get his walk. For a variety of reasons, some of which had to do with his own health (he has an occasional limp that requires rest, rather than exercise). But I can honestly say that 95% of the time, someone in this house will take him for a daily spin. He needs to walk, he needs to sniff, he needs to get out of these four walls as much as the rest of us do. And frankly, he is a much calmer dog when he’s had his walk. There is little that irritates me more than a dog incessantly pacing directly in front of me, or blocking my path, or giving me pathetic looks on the days when it’s just not feasible to get him out.
Dogs can teach everyone in the family about needs, wants, taking turns, and a million other lessons. They can be, and often are, an absolute pleasure to be around. Even when their little quirks may get you frustrated or impatient, ultimately, you find yourself glad that he’s around. His mere presence is calming in times of stress, or unease, or exhaustion.
But taking care of a dog can include some tasks that are more than just a little unpleasant. More annoying than incessant laundry, or dishes, or cooking, or vacuuming, or cleaning, or changing poopy diapers.
Speaking of poopy diapers, parents learn quickly that poop is a prominent part of their day from the moment babe announces his arrival. Offspring poop quickly becomes less “eeww, icky, I don’t feel like wiping his butt” to “hey, poop on a toddler butt hanging over a potty is a lot easier to clean up than all squished up in a pull-up”.
Which leads me to the point of this post. Today, I was faced with one of the most unpleasant tasks that simply had to be taken care of immediately. Because the window of opportunity has presented itself with finally some warmer weather. If I had not taken the opportunity to deal with this unpleasant task today, then future visits to our backyard will inevitably be delayed.
I am referring to the mountains of dog poop back there. Specifially, the 3, 4, 5 months of accumulated dog poop piles in our backyard. Four grocery bags full of semi-frozen, semi-squishy, smelly, icky, disgusting dog poop.
It had to be done. Just like the diaper changing. Can’t get around it.
Now, all we need is a good, long, soaking rain to wash away the residue and we can finally, FINALLY, enjoy our backyard again!