My daughter and I took our very large dog for a bath yesterday. We’ve made a lot of bath progress (from the first bath that we stupidly did in our own tub as my daughter hid in the shower videoing the entire trainwreck). Now we go to a store with tubs behind giant glass walls where strangers can stand and watch. So it’s like our freak show of a home movie moved to the stage production.
Yesterday’s bath went great…best one yet. The only hiccup occurred on the way to the store. The dog attempted to migrate from the back of my small SUV to the back seat. But she’s too tall to make the full transition. Her enormous front legs are in the back seat and her very long back half is still pressed against the back glass. We looked like magicians who shoved her in a box preparing to saw her in half.
During this portion of the experience, as she is trying to extricate herself without the benefit of a developed prefrontal cortex, dog hair gets everywhere. I mean everywhere. We decided to complete the bath, deposit the dog at home, and later find the carwash with the free car vacuums. Only I get distracted and part three never happened.
So fast forward to this morning when it’s time for school. I am ready to drive my two teens and my daughter’s friend to school when I remember the dog hair-laced crime scene that is now my backseat. I tell the girls to grab a blanket and cover the headrests and seats. Simple enough. But now they can’t buckle their seatbelts. I “helpfully” advise both on how to work around the blanket without any part of their persons making contact with dog hair. Now, they are basically sitting in the backseat wearing part toga, part blanket diaper…as we pull into their high school.
Needless to say, they get out of the car quite quickly and I enter into traffic gridlock on the way to a meeting. I’m not the best driver. Combine the poor reflexes that come from a lifetime of neuropathy with the attention span of a Jack Russell terrier and a driving pro I am not. As a result, I get quite a lot of attention from other drivers. I don’t even pretend to be apologetic anymore. I reject the angry and sometimes startled stares with a general look of indifference.
However, I’m getting more double takes and stares than normal. I go through the cursory list of potential car issues I have often ignored to my own peril. The gas tank lid is closed as are all doors. I’m not dragging anything or anyone behind me. A segment on the radio is now talking about a tongue-shaped brush for cat owners where they “lick” their cats free of tangles, so the inventory of potential automobile hazards gets understandably truncated.
I arrive at my destination and disembark. As I get a sideye view of my backseat, I flip out. The space where two teen girls had been sitting on contorted blankets now startling looks like propped up covered bodies…the way dead bodies are usually covered in shows. I’m driving through heavy suburban traffic looking like a scene from Breaking Bad…or Weekend at Bernie’s. This explains a lot about my morning drive, except the cat brush because that is still a mystery.
If you have read my previous entries, you know this is the place I mention what lesson I took away from the experience. People, I’ve got nothing for you today. Drive safe.
Reflections on lessons learned from being a therapist and adoptive dad.