Salman is sick with some kind of bad flu or cold.
Yesterday "A" took him to the doctor for me. He came home with about 7 different kinds of medicine, and we had to make a chart to keep track of when he should take what, because it was too confusing to just remember. It turns out, after charting it all out, that the poor kid will be taking some medicine or another every two hours, which means of course I will be sleep deprived - luckily the antibiotic needs to be taken at times when I should be awake, and that is the most important of his medicines so if I accidentally snooze through some doses of calpol and nasal spray it might be OK.
Now, I think I am getting the flu/cold/whatever too. Lucky me, since I don't feel like I have the option to call in sick. I mean, when I am sick and I want to leave work at 4 PM - which is supposed to be closing time and when everybody else goes home - I feel guilty for leaving and find myself standing in front of my boss' desk red faced rambling on nervously about how ill I feel, and feeling like I am lying even though I am not.
Because Salman was sick, I had to take Max out for a walk all by myself yesterday evening. He was all eager and waiting when I got home from work and yelped in disappointment when I entered the gate and closed it behind me instead of taking him out. He probably had to relieve himself. I noticed he gets extra wild when he has to do those things and he does a weird little dance - the dog version I guess of the pee dance that little kids - and I - sometimes do when they have to go really badly and are kept waiting. Billy never did that, but that's because she had no qualms about pooping / peeing right in the front court yard if we did not manage to anticipate the exact moment in which she had to do her business. She was just starting to learn where such things should and should not be done when she had her accident. Poor Billy :(
Max is really smart; when he sees me holding my sneakers, he knows I am about to go for a walk, and he gets really excited. He is a really sweet dog, but he scares me a little when he gets excited. I am not really a dog person so they spook me easily. But he scares me, because after we got him, I was trying to figure out what kind of mutt he is, so I posted his picture on Facebook to see what my friends and family had to say, and most of them said he looks part Chow... So then I went and read about Chows, and I got freaked out because they are one of those breeds, like Pit Bulls, that are bred for agressiveness and have been known to turn on their masters and try to eat them - nice! I can't really imagine Max doing that, because he seems to make a conscious effort to be a "good boy" most of the time, but when he is hungry or has to "go" he acts a little weird sometimes.
Anyway, yesterday Max and I went for a really long walk - two times around an extremely big block - about an hour. When we first start out on our walks, he is always bursting with energy and has to inspect and then pee on every clump of grass, mound of dirt/sand, bush, tree or garbage heap we pass. That's kind of annoying when I am trying to keep up the pace of the walk so I can tell myself it was a "good enough" work out and not use my machine at home.
I don't know how I got to be so lazy. Just two years ago, I used to spend 2-3 hours at the gym - one hour of that on the stair mill. I used to have an awesome ass, which I didn't realize of course and only realize now after looking at old photos of myself in a bathing suit, which my mother took on the sly because I never was the sort to prance Bay Watch style on the beach in my bikini. Now my lower portions resemble dimpled bread dough, it's really rather frightening and depressing.
I watched Dr. 90210 do a "Brazilian Butt Augmentation" on some woman the other night. They suck fat out of the rest of your body and then pour it into some vat and stir it around - it looks like tomato sauce - and then pass it through a seive and collect the pure fat and inject it back in your butt so you get a popping round behind. I also saw them suck the fat out of some woman's knees and inject it into her hands so they would look younger. It's kind of tempting in concept ... to suck fat out of where you don't want it and inject it where you need it and are losing it... That's really one of the saddest ironies of life - that as you get older you find it easier and easier to store fat in all the wrong places while you keep losing it in all the places you need it - like your checks and lips and boobs. One thing I don't understand is how they can make the injections of liquid fat stay where they want it to... I mean, why doesn't the butt flatten out when you sit on it? I wonder is that a possible complicaton of such a procedure. If it is, I am sure that is what would happen to me... all the fat would be squeezed from behind and migrate to my thighs. God has a way of teaching me a lesson when I make any attempt to be vain at all.
One weird thing about that show, when they are doing a breast augmentation they blur out just the nipple - but since that is where they are working, I don't know why they bother to show the procedure at all. When they do a tummy tuck - by far one of the most disturbing things to watch (the way they cut of the big slab of fat and skin like it is a steak) - the don't blur anything, but when they were doing some nose surgery they blurred that completely - I can't understand why. I mean the nose is by far the least obscene part of the body of all those that they show - boobs, stomach, hips, butts...
That was kind of a tangent.... back to my walk.
Every time we get near a dumpster - which seem to be everywhere here teaming and overflowing with foul smelling garbage - he starts dragging me towards them - that's because they are hangouts for gangs of cats. Sometimes we will be walking peacefully and suddenly my shoulder is almost yanked out of its socket and I find myself hurtling at top speed towards a cat in the middle of a mountain of old decomposing food and soggy paper bits. The cats have quite an attitude and I think they enjoy it. They will stand there just staring at Max as he rockets towards them and then, just before he reaches, they shoot off and disappear into some corner or bush where he can't follow them. Others lay low in patches of weeds like tiny little lions hiding from their prey, watching in amusement as he wimpers and barks because he knows they are somewhere nearby but just can't quite make out where. Sometimes, when he is out on the courtyard, they get up on the wall and calmly parade back and forth in front of him, enjoying his frustration at not being able to reach them.
Max is quite a beautiful dog I guess, because every time we walk several people stop their cars to look at him, and children come out to ask me if they can pet him. Luckily, he is not a racist. My South African former co-worker had a racist dog. She only liked white people. Max doesn't seem to mind any skin color, maybe because my maid is black, my kids are brown and I am white. I've noticed, though, that white people seem to be the least afraid of him. A lot of Indian and African people especially look scared when we walk by and ask me if he is going to bite them. I tell them "no" but I sometimes have the urge to say "yes" just to see what their reaction will be. I guess I find the question kind of dumb, since you can kind of tell the type of dog that doesn't like strangers and will bite anyone it can, because they let you know by growling first, baring their teeth and barking at you. Max pretty much ignores most people and just acknowledges them with an absent minded wag of the tail; when he is out on his walks he is far more concerned with making sure every bush that Nelson (another dog in the neighborhood) has peed on is peed on by him too and chasing cats.
The thing I like about taking walks with Max is that I feel safe. Sometimes I get kind of creeped out if I walk alone. Max is a sweet heart and wouldn't hurt anyone, but he is big enough to look scary - he has fur like a lion's mane - so to strangers he looks quite formidable
I think Max has a cold too because he sneezed several times and his energy was low on our second time around the block. When a cat ran in front of him on our second round, he made a half-hearted lung towards it and then stopped, let out a wimper, and continued walking and towards the end, when a whole gang of the exploded out of a dumpster near us, he didn't even bother to do that. When I reached the front of our gate again, I decided to tease him and pretend I was passing it again for a third round. He stopped dead in his tracks in front of the gate and looked at me. "Come on Max" I said and tugged at the leash. He sat down and wimpered.
Dogs may not be able to "talk" but they can sure get their message across when necessary.
This is Max by the way....