The Hazards of Home

As I mentioned in my last post two weeks ago, I was pretty excited to be home on the 2nd of April. The farm! My happy place. But things have changed, as things are inclined to do. Or maybe it’s that I’ve changed?

The back twenty hasn’t changed much. Yay!

The first and most problematic is the flooring. Sid is 300 square feet and almost all carpeted, all but a small patch of vinyl in the entry/kitchen and part of that is covered with a throw rug. The house is 1100 square feet, plus another 1100 in the basement, and all hardwood, vinyl or painted concrete flooring.

Carpeting is an old dog’s best friend. As we age, the pads on our paws just aren’t as grippy, and so our ability to manage walking on a slick surface is diminished. Add to that a spinal affliction that has impacted the strength and stability of my backend, and you have a dog struggling to maintain an upright position, or get up from a lying down position. It sucks.

Safely navigating Sid’s strip of vinyl floor once again.

The solutions are two-fold. The first is rugs. Lots of rugs. There’s always been a rubber-backed doormat by each door and a Guatemalan throw rug in the living room. But now there is a runner from the bedroom doorway to my bed, three mats in the kitchen, carpeting on the stairs to the porch and on the landing, another Guatemalan rug in T’s office, and a series of small rugs taking me from T’s office, through the living room and dining room to the kitchen. It’s like a gypsy tent in our house these days, but it’s helping me get around.

The second solution is socks with grip. I hate socks, even more than I hate boots. At least boots stay in place. Socks like to slide down or spin, making a bad situation even worse. I’ll admit they do provide grip when they’re where they’re supposed to be, but I still hate them. I’d rather slip and slide, thanks.

Can someone please take these off?

There is a third solution to the slippery-paw problem, and it’s something the peeps have been doing for a long time now, keeping the hair in my paws trimmed short so that I’m walking on pads rather than fur. And T sometimes adds a moisturizer, which also helps a little.

Nollind added extra grip, which works until the sock slides down or turns grippy side up.

The second hazard of home, as much as I hate to admit it, is the wide selection of snacks. So many tasty things can be found around the farm, and I just can’t resist. And now that I’ve been diagnosed with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), anything outside my approved menu has the potential to cause digestive chaos.

For example, there are mushrooms that grow wild on the edges of the crop fields, and they are the tastiest things in the spring when they’re all shriveled up. I also think they have medicinal properties, as many mushrooms do, cancer fighting and the like. But now when I eat them, which I did a few days ago on a walk to the west, I’m back in the land of rumbling insides and loss of appetite. Not my happy place.

On the lookout for mushrooms.

The random-food hazard has a big impact on my day-to-day because it means T doesn’t take me along to the barn for horse chores, since I’ll inevitably eat things I shouldn’t. And I used to love going along as her chore dog. I’d like to say I have self-control and can promise not to eat anything, but that’s just not true, and I don’t want to lie to T.

The third hazard, and this one is temporary, is snow and ice. During a spring snowstorm on Tuesday, I went out on the deck, which is typically nice grippy wood, and skated my way to the snow-covered grass. And the day after the storm, I got stuck in snow banks three times between the house and the barn. It happened to Logan in 2018 when we came home from the desert to a bunch of snow, but I never thought it would happen to me.

I did just fine in the shallow stuff.

The final hazard (of those I’ve discovered so far) is stairs. Sid has two stairs into the bedroom and three stairs at the main door (plus a ramp for me). The farm house has three stairs off the upper deck, two stairs from the kitchen into the porch, and a bunch of stairs into the basement. I’m managing the downs better than the ups and I get carried to and from the basement, but there’s now a baby gate at the top to make sure I don’t go down anything without supervision or accidentally. Sigh.

Seriously? A baby gate?

I have to admit, I’m missing life in Sid, the safety and simplicity of it, and where my people were always close. I could lie in my bed (or at the top of the stairs) and neither of my peeps would be more than ten feet away. Here at home, there are multiple rooms and they are often in different ones, leaving me to move between the two, or choose some midway point. Again…sigh.

Chilling … Sid style.

But, there have been off-leash prairie walks, a couple of turns around the Kinsmen Lake in Strathmore, and today we’re off on a little road trip to explore a provincial park and collect another companion for our barn cat Hank. He’ll probably tell you all about that in the coming weeks. And Storm is champing at the bit to tell you what’s happening in his world so you’ll likely hear from him soon as well.

So, until next time, this is Chico, slip sliding away.

3 thoughts on “The Hazards of Home

  1. Aw Chico..sigh indeed. I’m feeling for you and the extra challenges home brings 😢. It sound like there’s a few bright spots to lighten things up. Hang in there. At least will be better when the snow and ice are gone for good before too long. 🐾🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for feeling my pain. Aging is not the gentle slowing down I imagined when I was a younger dog. And spring has sprung which has made the outdoor walking a whole lot better.
      Chico 🐾

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You mentioned craggy wash being such a mess. We were volunteer hosts there several years ago. We worked very hard to keep it clean. My husband would go out all day to pick up trash. The county kicked us out and never gave a reason for being so mean to us.

    It really broke my that 😞 we worked so hard and didn’t even get a thank you


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