Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kennel cough, the "gentle" leader, Led Zeppelin

I've been meaning to write for weeks. So much has happened, I don't know where to begin. I guess I'll just start with today and fill in the gaps as I go along.

So, Tommy Lee Jones's new thing is to stop in the middle of our walk and not budge. Today he rolled onto his back on the grass and I couldn't get him up. It took a lot of coaxing and bribing with treats to get him back on his feet. I'm not sure what's up exactly. Is it that he's tired of the "gentle" leader? I know he hates that thing. Is it that he's sick? He was coughing last night as if he had something stuck in his throat. I read that is one of the symptoms of kennel cough, so tomorrow I'm taking him to the vet.

This evening he was dragging so we took it nice and slow. But he seemed to get a second wind as we journeyed up Sinaloa onto Porter Ave. Instead of going all the way up to Loma Vista or Alta Loma or whatever it's called, the street that begins just after the cool mid-century modern pink house, we took a left to check out a new route. We ended up on a nice street (well, they're all nice around here) with a calm energy. A guy in a doorway yelled to someone in a car in his driveway, "we'll see you Saturday night then." He lingered in the doorway as the car drove off and we walked by across the street. I looked over at him and he seemed to be staring at us. Maybe he was handsome (the light wasn't good enough for me to tell). Maybe he liked pit bulls or women who liked pit bulls. Maybe he liked what he saw. I tried not to stare but kept looking back. The last moment I looked there was a woman in the doorway with him, staring at us. Suddenly what had appeared to be an interested curiosity turned to disdain. Suddenly I felt they hated pit bulls and hated me for walking one on their lovely, calm, bourgeois block.

We kept walking, leaving the weird energy behind us. But Tommy chose this moment to stop. He was alert, listening, focused on something. I tried to nudge him along but he resisted. That damn gentle leader did not seem so gentle as I pulled and he resisted. It stretched out on his snout. He snorted. I was getting pissed and pulled harder. I took out the other leash and attached it to his purple collar. Now I pulled both the regular leash and the gentle leader leash. He wouldn't budge. A man jogged down his driveway and turned up the street coming toward us. He was carrying a small radio listening to a loud Led Zeppelin song. Tommy was fixated as the guy ran by. He was probably in his 50s, wearing a tie-dye purple T-shirt. Now Tommy wanted to run with him. At some point I'd removed the gentle leader so now I was just using the regular leash, and he was dragging me. I pulled up on the collar to slow him down but I couldn't stop his obsessive surge toward the runner dude. Listening to Led Zeppelin from a hand-held radio wearing a tie-dye purple T-shirt.

Last night I saw the Eels and they had belted out a Led Zeppelin song. Wish I could remember which one it was.

I'm so tired. I'm exhausted all the time. Life with Tommy Lee Jones is all-consuming. But I really want to keep up this blog thing to capture the insanity of my life with him and to figure out whether we are meant to be together as human and dog companions, or if there's another soul out there who would be a better fit for Tommy Lee Jones.

We turned off Holliston onto Atchison. Approaching Hill, I heard music coming from a house. At first I thought it was some kids practicing drums in the garage, but then I realized it was Jimi Hendrix.

It's 11:16 p.m. We have to wake up early to take our marathon walk and then go to the vet to get this "kennel cough" checked out. Tommy hasn't coughed all day but still - must go to vet. He's a money pit, I tell you.

That pun was not intended.