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The Words

3:30 am……..

That  time when night is still in full bloom….

And the moon,

Bouncing between haunted clouds,

Casts shadows with silver light

That sway eerily on the earth….

While the sun waits patiently to

Climb  the sky

And chase away dark shadows…..

And wake the earth-

Or…

At least half…..to

Another glowing day….

But for now……

3:30 is  here….

And I lie

With words bouncing around in my head….

Swirling and shifting…..

Keeping the sleep from my eyes….

While dangling participles dance to and fro

Looking for that one phrase that will complete

The sentence……

Then….

Search for another…..

And another….

Until a paragraph is formed.

Words…..

Climbing in my brain…..

Floating between left and right…

From practical to creativity…..

Left brain….

Right brain……

With medulla oblongata….

They make a worthy trio…..

But now is the time for sleep…..

Do I close my eyes and lose

Myself to the night……..

Or do I let grey matter

Happily

Take it’s course?

With an aching need swelling

In my soul…..

Joyfully…

I rise …..

To dance

With

The

Words……

 

 

 

 

 

THE MIDNIGHT TALK

“I have grown old,” my sweetheart said

As he crawled up into our bed.

And, laying down his sweet, bald, head

He looked at me; his eyes were red.

“My heart, you know, has just worn out.

It really makes me want to shout!

I may die soon; there is no doubt.

Well……you know what it’s all about.”

And then, his voice got really gruff,

“It just might get a little rough,

And you will have to be real tough.”

I said, “Your love sustains, and that’s enough-

“But you’re not going to die today,

Let’s save this talk for another day.”

And so, we loved the night away,

And let night’s shadows fade to grey.

THE GYM…….

I didn’t think it would happen…………..

BUT…

It did….

I had become bored with THE BEAST…….

Don’t get me wrong……I still love it-  I was just not going anywhere with my weight loss.  I was growing stagnant.  It was the same routine day….after day…..

….After day…..

It was getting old.

THEN…

One day a friend of mine told me about a new fitness center right next to my work in Roy, Utah.  She told me I should consider getting a membership…..

“Just come over after work and you can be my guest,” She said….

So…..after work, I changed into my “workout” stuff and headed to THE GYM…..

OH, MY HOLY FUDGE!

This was not a gym……it was a palace……a shrine…….sanctuary from the world outside…..a place to go where there was NO JUDGEMENT…….NO SNICKERING ALLOWED…….NO JOCKS…….A different kind of “Mecca” with a shorter pilgrimage distance than my routine pilgrimage to Gossner’s Cheese Factory in Logan…..

I opened the front door and it was as if a celestial light ascended and the angels sang and the Heavens wept…..

I was in awe….

Rows of stationary bikes…….treadmills……BEASTS……..A place to stretch….a 30 minute circuit  center…..a 12 minute “AB” center…….weight machines……free weights….mirrors……clean….bright….cool…….TV’s……..People in black T-shirts with the gym logo on them welcoming anyone who walked through the door……

They didn’t have to say anything……

I was hooked……

I sat with a gym representative and with the flourish of a pen and the swipe of a checkbook, I had a membership…..

But not just any membership…..

It was the “Black Card” membership……I got to use all the machines…….I could meet with a personal trainer……..I could bring a friend……..I could get all my “ROCKSTARS” half price…….(That was the clincher, right there).  But the most important thing I could do was enter the “FOR BLACK CARD MEMBERS ONLY” area….

That was a  privileged haven for those of us who chose to dig a little deeper into our pockets every month instead of the routine ten-dollar-per-month membership.  There was an assorted bunch of luxury activities that reduced me to nothing more than a child in a candy store…..

….I didn’t know where to go first…

On one end of the area was a room that held two “hydra massage” beds.  A person can go lay down, relax, push a button and warm, gentle massaging roller move from the heals of your feet all the way up to the top of your head and back down again……To quote Julia Robets:

“It was so good I almost peed my pants……”

If you weren’t into “hydra massage”, there were a pair of heavy-duty massage chairs…..this is an incredible  way to work out any kinks in your neck, shoulders upper or lower back……well….let me just say this…….

It really hurts SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD!

That contraption is really “wrath of God” kind of massage……we’re talking real Swiss-like massage….like “Let me throw you around and grind my elbow into your shoulder blades” kind of massage……I mean, sit in the chair….drop in the token …..close your eyes and picture a six foot 195 pound-all muscle buxom blonde named ILSA working you over and saying things like,

“Ya……Yu Vill  relax….Yu are tense, Ya?  Ve must Vork out those knots……”

It was amazing!

There are tanning beds where you lay down in your cocoon…….tanning booths where you can stand up instead……

…..I only did it once…..

…..For about 3 or 4 minutes…..

Burned my butt…..Not my thing…

Anyway, that’s not the best of it….on the other side of the room from the massage chairs, is the “cash cow” of the entire place…..the creme’ de la creme’ of THE GYM…..

THE TOTAL BODY ENHANCEMENT VIBRA-SHAPE EXPERIENCE………

This machine was the grande finale………..

In this small room was a cocoon that looked like the sex capsule in the Woody Allen movie, “Sleeper”……But this contraption…..this little miracle could do EVERYTHING…..

It shakes…..It shapes…….It exfoliates……It invigorates…….It aerates………It irrigates……It slices……..It dices……….It folds your laundry…….Cuts your meat…….AND takes you dancing on a Saturday night….

I just stood there gawking at this contraption…..mouth open…….eyes wide…..

I had to do this…..

…There was a waiting list…..

……30 minute wait….

….I can wait….

…And so, I did…….

Wait…..

And wait…..(“Jeopardy” Theme playing in my head…..)

And wait…(Now singing “Little Bunny Foo-Foo to myself…)

FINALLY……

It was my turn…

I was told by THE GYM attendant that I could stand sock-footed in my work out close if I wanted to BUT….If I wanted to get the TOTAL BODY EXPERIENCE, I would need to either change into a swim suit, undress to my skivvies……or go nude……

Oh, HELL no!

But, I didn’t have my swim suit and I really wanted the “full experience”…..I had to do this….I waited a long time to do this….I WAS going to do this…..

….I hope….

I enter the small dimly lit room……There was soft music playing…..I was starting to loosen up….

As instructed,  I locked the door and stripped down to my skivvies and stepped into the cocoon and closed the door…..

On the floor was a triangle….This is where you put your feet.  There were also two straps located above me in case I lost my footing or needed help balancing.    I positioned myself as  the diagram instructed and pushed the button:

WHAM!!!!

The lights came on….Not just any lights…..But the most illuminating lights next to the brilliance of the sun….

I couldn’t open my eyes for a second…..I kinda felt like an ant under a kids magnifying glass on a summer’s day…..

I was Gizmo in the movie “Gremlins”……….

“BRIGHT LIGHT!  BRIGHT LIGHT!”

Then, this Heavenly female voice spoke…

“WELCOME TO THE TOTAL BODY ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM…..YOUR VIBRA-SHAPE SESSION WILL BEGIN IN A FEW SECONDS……”

Man, this gal sounded like she was on some really good Marijuana or she just had herself some absolutely mind shattering sex…….

Finally, my eyes adjusted and I pushed the button again……

A gentle breeze permeated the pod…..and I sighed…..The air felt cool on my skin…..It was just the thing I needed after a good workout….I closed my eyes and sighed again….Nothing like some relaxation before going home…..

I pushed the button again……..

Was that the setting dial?  I wasn’t sure……so….

I decided that I had better hit the button again for good measure…

I pushed the button….

And again…..

….Time to shake….

Pretty soon “Weed-Woman” was back….

“PLACE YOUR FEET ON THE TRIANGLE AND DON’T LOCK YOUR KNEES…..”

….The soft, gentle music continued…

…I waited….

I didn’t have to wait long…

The WARM-UP PHASE….

The floor began to move….

A gentle vibration started in the bottoms of my feet…….it continued up my calves and to my knees….

…..Then it reached my thighs…

….THEN….

…IT REACHED MY BUTT..

“HOLY CRAP!”

Everything was moving…….EVERYTHING!……I never thought I had fat on my ankles……

But evidently I do…..

I wasn’t sure about this…..

Don’t get me wrong…..I wasn’t afraid of it…..

On the contrary….

I looked down at one point….

And then….

I started laughing……

Not just a funny HA-HA kind of laugh…..

But the big, rolling belly laugh that hits me from time to time…..

For those of you who have not heard this…..It’s loud….it’s shrill….and I can’t stop….

All I could think about was “WATCH IT WIGGLE……..SEE IT JIGGLE…….COOL AND FRUITY…..JELL-O….BRAND GELATIN…….”

I was hysterical……

I heard a knock on the door….

“Ma’am, are you alright?   Are you crying????”

I heaved a big sigh and said in a “sob/laugh” kind of way,

“Oh, no…..I’m fine…..”

I sobered up pretty quick when “Lady  Hash Pipe” said,

“THE WARM UP PHASE IS COMPLETE….”

I waited….

For a milli-second…..

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 paled in comparison.

I grabbed on to the straps above me….

My life flashed before my eyes….I held the straps so tight my knuckles were turning white…

But that wasn’t the worst of it…

Flesh was flying everywhere….

Arms flapping……stomach wafting in the breeze…….butt dropping…….and Boobs……

Well…..

Let’s not talk about the Boobs…….

The whiplash which resulted was painful enough…..

I was thrown around that pod for about 7 minutes….

….It was the longest 7 minutes of my life.

Pretty soon, “Refer chick” said,”

“THE COOL-DOWN PHASE WILL BEGIN IN  A FEW SECONDS….”

“HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL, I DON’T THINK I CAN LAST ANOTHER SECOND…….”

The floor vibration decreased slowly……I was back to JELL-O again….

My breathing slowed….

My heart was still pounding…..

And then…..

It stopped….

Then,  “Ol’ Bong Babe” said,

“THIS CONCLUDES YOUR VIBRA-SHAPE SESSION……BE SURE TO MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN….AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER…….”

Well……didn’t need to worry about moisturizing my skin……

Damn thing took care of that because it shook the ever-loving “stuffin’s” outta me….

As for drinking water…..

I thought about picking up a fifth of “Jack” before I went home instead….

Okay…..so….I don’t drink…..

But if I’m gonna move like I was drunk……

I might as well start.

I staggered out of the pod…..shakily got dressed and limped out of the room…..

“Well, how did you like it?”

The young lady with the sweet smile didn’t mean any harm….

And I know that….

But…..

Well….

Okay…..so I wasn’t very nice…..

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME????”

I was afraid I was going to rise up in the air and levitate as I let her know exactly how I “liked it”….

“I FEEL LIKE I WAS THROWN IN A DAMN GUNNY SACK AND THROWN IN THE TRUNK OF A ’68 V.W. BUG AND DRIVEN OVER THE ROUGHEST PATCH OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF UTAH……”

She looked at me as if I lost my mind……She didn’t say anything at first……then, she spoke calmly…

“What setting did you have it on?”

She was really concerned, so I touched back down to the floor because  I think another minute of my  ranting like a mad woman would have either produce a policeman or an exorcist.

“I don’t know….. I pushed the button about 4 times….”

“Oh, ma’am….that’s the highest setting….you should have only pushed it once because you are a beginner…..”

Deer in the headlights……..crickets chirping…….

Finally, I said,

“Oh.”

Well….okay…..so I learned an important safety tip….

I straightened my shoulders…..and with as much dignity as I could muster, I headed for the locker room…..

Vowing NEVER to return….

Well…..

NEVER is really kinda harsh….

I have since put on my big girl panties and went back; and I’ve enjoyed THE GYM……I go as much as I can…..I ride THE BEAST……I lift weights…..and stretch and work my ABS……and, believe it or not…..

I went back to “THE POD” and tried “VIBRA-SHAPING” again……

I’ve even grown to enjoy it and, surprisingly to me, I feel better…..

It’s my “icing on the cake” after my workout…..

It’s beginning to bring me to a healthier place in my life and I have a better day when I leave…..

You really should try going…..

See for yourself….

You’ll be a better “YOU”….

And if you don’t believe me….

Ask “The Pot Lady…..”

THE WALL

Through out history, there have been many conquerors.   Hannibal……Alexander the Great……….Caesar…………..Napoleon…….AND I love hearing about them…….

I, myself, am a conqueror……

No, I did not go over the Alps with an elephant……..

I did not ride into Egypt in a chariot with “pomp and circumstance”……

Thank goodness, I wasn’t assassinated in the Roman senate….

And, no, I did not meet my Waterloo……..

Well, then again……..maybe I did…………

I had already conquered THE BEAST –  We are now best friends.  I visit THE BEAST for about an hour each and every day.  In fact, I’ve ridden THE BEAST so frequently that I found myself  getting rather bored…….

Don’t get me wrong…..

I still love THE BEAST…….I just decided it was time to “up my game”……

I had just lost my 5oth pound and I had vowed to do two things when I had reached this goal……..Buy a designer dress…..AND

…..Climb

“THE WALL”.

The wall of which I speak happens to be in a place here in Ogden called The Salomon Center.   There are a bunch of things you can do at The Salomon Center……

One can fly in the air……or…….surf a crazy wave……..you can bowl or play miniture golf…….But, most important….you can climb

“THE WALL”.

……It’s called “i-Rock”…….

This place has 30 and 55 foot rock walls that go straight up to the ceiling.  You are secure in a safety harness.  It has an automated “belay” system so you don’t need to have someone at the bottom holding the rope for you, probably “mocking” you as you attempt to climb.   It’s one of the most popular places in Ogden to hang out in………

The dress…….well……. not just a “dress”………it’s a Betty Paige designer dress.  Betty Paige, was a burlesque dancer from the late 40’s and 50’s………In fact, I’ll bet her naughty pictures were posted in every auto repair garage in the nation at one time or another……………She was quite the “Pin Up” in her day….Her pictures were the kind that  kids would sneak from their Dad and hide out somewhere  and gawk at her provocative pose in shear black “nighty” or leopard print bra and panties…….It wasn’t really porn…….But she had really pointy boobs………Even though she was a bit “risque”, she still looked sophisticated with her cherry red lips curled in a coquette-ish smile, her eyes giving any man gazing on her image that “come hither” look and her coal-black hair glistening…..She was quite a Doll……. Now, not only is she immortalized by her pinup calendars,  she has designer clothes with that classy, vintage 50’s look…….

…….I had bought the dress……….

It didn’t make my boobs pointy, but it really is a remarkable dress…..

Now, I wanted to take on

“THE WALL.”

It was a Saturday afternoon.  Jerry was into his sport channel on TV and I, feeling kinda restless, decided that was the day to tackle “THE WALL”.

Donning some black workout pants and my “LIVE UNITED” T-shirt (my “plug” for The United Way….) I headed downtown.  The young kids running “i-Rock”  center thought it was pretty “cool” that some old lady was going to try to do some climbing.  As I was signing my waiver, I asked if there was anyone that would tell me what to do…….

“Sure is,” the attendant stated as he handed me my special climbing shoes, “Just go on in and he’ll get ya started.”

I grabbed my shoes; my special, magical climbing shoes and, with my my heart pounding wildly………my wrist band secure…..I entered “i-rock”…….

THE WALL looked like it reached all the way to the moon!  I stared straight up……..and……gulped…..

“HOLY FUDGE!” I whispered under my breath.

Undaunted, I was going to go through with this……..I was going to climb….

“THE WALL”.

The kid waited patiently as I prattled along nervously as I put my special, magical climbing shoes on…

“I made this goal that when I lost 50 pounds I was going to climb this wall……..it sure is high………are you going to tell me what to do?…………can I climb as many times as I want?……..Do you climb up there when you’re not working?……it sure is high……….Did I mention that this looks really high?………I can’t believe I’m doing this at 52 years old….No one’s gonna laugh, are they…….I can’t believe I’m doing this…….it really is high, isn’t it……..”

The kid just stood there – looking at me like I had turnips growing out of my ears, but waiting patiently for me to get the special, magical climbing shoes on so he can tell me what to do and get this over with……..

The “briefing” consisted of about three things……..

Number one……..Use the “rocks” protruding from THE WALL to put my feet on and grab with my hands as I climb.

Number two……..Let my legs to do most of the work – NOT my arms.

Number three……..If I get tired or scared, just let go and the auto belay would being me down safely.

I took it all in……..Not sure if I believed him, but determined to make it to the top.  I took a deep breath and headed for THE WALL……..

I began to climb…..

The right foot first……I grabbed for a rock above me and pulled myself up…….My left foot followed and found another rock…….

“Okay, not so bad…” I thought to myself.  I found another rock with my right foot and, reaching with my right hand, attempted to find a rock……..

…..Not as easy.  I tried again with my left hand.  I found a rock and, using my knees and legs, I pushed upward…….

Oh, shit……”

I could feel my knees start to quivver………..my butt began to burn………but it was my hands…….my poor, white knuckled…….burning……aching hands that really attacked me………I was climbing upward, I could hear something in my brain screaming,

“YOU CRAZY, STUPID OLD BROAD……WHAT IN HELL HAVE YOU DONE TO US NOW??????”

Yep……

My hands, wrists and forearms were really pissed.

But I was determined to reach one more time……….

I placed my foot on a rock…..I grabbed a rock above me……I noticed that the damn rocks were getting smaller as I ascended………What I grabbed  was a flippin’ pebble…….

“CRAP!”

I was stuck.

My knees were burning……….My back was aching……..my fingers were literally on fire……..And I knew that I could go no further……….

…..But I couldn’t let go…..

All of the “briefing” left my head……I wasn’t sure what to do….

“Are ya done climbing?”

“Is this kid a commedian?”  Of COURSE I was done……….I squeaked out a pathetic “yes”……..

“Okay……..let go……”

“WHAT?????”

“Let go……”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????”

I did remember that he told me I could just let go………but crouched up there on that piece of rock, I had the impression that he was just “testing” me………to see if I was stupid enough to let go……

“DID YOU SAY LET GO????”

“Yeah…..”

“I’LL FALL……”

“Ma’am, you won’t fall…….”

“HOW DO YOU KNOW?????”

“I just know, Ma’am……Let go…..”

“BUT ARE YOU SURE I WON’T FALL?????”

“Ma’am, it’s an auto belay……..it won’t let you fall……”

“HOW DO I KNOW THAT THE DAMN THING ISN’T GOING TO BREAK DOWN THE MINUTE I LET GO????”

I wasn’t convinced……..I was just certain that this little brat was lying to me…….waiting for me to let go, fall and laugh his skinny, young ass off as this fat, old red head fell on her’s……

I heard a heavy sigh,

“Ma’am…….Just…….Let………GO!”

I couldn’t argue any longer…….I was sweating profusely……..every limb was shaking wildly……my heart was pounding so hard I thought it would explode and my hands………my poor hands were screaming……

“OW, OW, OW……LET GO, YOU IDIOT…..LET GO……LET GO……LET GOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

I closed my eyes…….held my breath and let go of the rock…….

My body swung gracefully down to the ground no worse for wear……..

All I could say to the kid was a very quiet,

“okay.”

Now, considering all the sweating and aching I was doing, I imagined that I had climbed really, really high.  In fact, I would have wagered that I was really making my mark…….I was probably reaching “Matterhorn” standards……Hell…….I was tackling “Mt McKinley” heights…..Oh, forget that…….Let’s talk “Everest”…………..I dream big……

“You made 15 feet….”

“HUH?”

“FIFTEEN FEET……”

I think the kid had just about enough of me…….

Dejected on my rather insignificant attempt, I heaved a sigh and staggered over to the bench to remove my not so super, magical climbing shoes……

“Y’know, you can climb all day if you want to……..”

I couldn’t believe I heard him correctly…….Did he have a death wish?????????

I stood up, squared my shoulders……….Looked that little butthead in the eye and said,

“No thanks………You climb it…….”

He shrugged…….I left……….I turned in my shoes……..and drove home……..

Fifteen feet.

That’s it…….Fifteen feet………..AND I made an ass of myself……..

I know…..not that hard to do……

As I drove home, I took inventory………and asked myself some questions…….

Did I conquer anything today……

OR

Did I lose today………

What did I gain………

What did I learn…….

Did I want to quit……

Or…..

Did I want to keep trying…….

So…….

By the time I reached my drive way, I had come to some conclusions……

I DID conquer something that day……

I conquered fear……Fear of the unknown……….Fear of ridicule……..

I went downtown and climbed a wall that many people my age or weight would not even think of trying…..

I lost my self doubt…..I can say that I climbed

“THE WALL”

It may have been only fifteen feet…..

But it was fifteen feet more than I had ever attempted before….

I had gained determination………I had gained resolve……..I would climb “THE WALL” again….

….I may only make it to Sixteen Feet…..but it would be more than Fifteen Feet……

I now plan to make my attempt again……

With the “Rocky” theme blasting in my brain, I am preparing…….

Every hour on THE BEAST……

Every minute doing the Richard Simmons “Sweatin’ to the Oldies…..”

With every weight I lift……every “rep” I complete…….every drop of sweat…..

I am determined to go back to

“THE WALL”

…….This will NOT be my Waterloo……

….This will become my finest hour.

Gastro-Agony

Tonight, I have pain……..

I can’t move because of it……

Physical pain…..

Y’know the type…..

It’s….

The binge….

When you’ve eaten so much crap

You hurt…….

and you can’t breathe….

and you feel worthless……

Like melting Jell-0

Left out in the summer sun…..

And guilty….

Because, let’s face reality…….

You have validated the one truth about yourself…..

That you’re a closet eater…..

Weak….

Pathetic….

Hopeless…..

But, food, is my savior….

It blocks the real pain

….In my heart

…..and in my soul….

that starts down deep

inside……

The frustration……

Of the roller coaster ride

of weight loss……

……and weight gain……

Of self control….

And reckless abandonment…..

Of high expectations……

and sudden failure….

The horror

and anticipation

of….

The need to feed…..

That devastating degree

of self-loathing

Finally peaks…..

With pizza

and bread sticks…..

Oreos…….

and ice cream…….

and candy bars all in a row……..

Tomorrow the sorrow will start…..

A stomach full of regret…..

Will be waiting for me with

the dawn…..

but…..

Until then……

Let the feeding frenzy begin.

CRAVINGS…….

M&M’s and Snickers, Chunky…

Zero, Twizzlers,  and Big Hunk-y…

Caramello and Reeses peanut….

Goo-Goo Clusters, Whoopers,  Zagnut…..

Starbursts, Skittles, Almond Joy,

Mounds and Pay Day, BOY, OH BOY…..

Baby Ruth and Butterfinger…..

Hersheys’, Sweet tarts – What a HUMDINGER!

Tootsie Roll and Bit O’Honey….

Cherry-A-Let……Oh, WHERE’S MY MONEY?

Junior Mints, Twix, Kit-Kat, Milk Duds,

Sugar Babies and  Black Cow “Buds”….

Airheads, Dots, Three Musketeers…..

(I haven’t thought of those in years…..)

Goobers……Neccos……Swedish Fish……

Crunch and Crackel…..SO DE-LISH….

$100,000.000 Grand….

Now, that’s some candy I can stand….

Mars bar, York mints, Laffy Taffy….

This whole craving’s  made me wacky…..

Wachamacallit, Tootsie Pop….

Now, I think I’m gonna stop…..

……I’ll have two of each…

GETTING TO THE “BOTTOM” OF CHARLIE…….

To say that Jerry and I are dog lovers is an understatement…….

We actually do NOT own a  dog…..

Jerry and I have a “BABY”……..

Charlie, as I tell people, is a little white and brown King Charles Cavalier Spaniel………

……BUT

Daddy was a “roving” Pekingese….

Oh, he is so homely, he’s cute!

Brown and white body……

Black, brown and white face with little brown freckles across his smushed nose…..

Short flippy ears and a bushy tail that flips up over his back……

We rescued Charlie from the local pound when he was three months old…..

Nearly 6 years later, he’s become our “BABY”…..

……And Jerry and I are completely RIDICULOUS….

When Jerry tells Charlie to go to me, he says,

“GO FIND MAMA……”

When I tell Charlie to go to Jerry, I say,

“WHERE’S YOUR DADDY???”

When I get Charlie a doggie biscuit, I call it a COOKIE……

…….Well, actually, I call it a “TWOOKIE”…….

And….

I also call him my LITTLE MAN……

Well……

I actually call him my “WIDDLE MAN”……..

We both can act really, really silly when it comes to our “BABY”…..

And we both go absolutely crazy with worry when he’s sick……

….Like now….

A week ago, Charlie started to cry…….he started to sit completely still….

….and when he did move…..

It was stiff…..quick…..writhing…….

….And then, he would crouch and pant….

Jerry and I knew that something was seriously wrong…..

We were afraid he had cancer in his back leg…

When we tried to look at his foot, he would fight so fiercely that Jerry would lose his grip and Charlie would scratch him.  It was impossible to hold on to him….

We tried to help him……we’d give him a quarter of an aspirin…..we’d speak lovingly to him……

….Then

We’d worry…….

All this started at the beginning of the weekend…..Our “vet” was not available….

…..Charlie crouched and panted…..and cried…..

….I  prayed..

Monday finally came…

I went to work…

Jerry wrestled Charlie to the truck and headed toward the “vet’s”…….

…..I watched the clock….

Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more…..

I called Jerry….

“Well, I don’t know anything……..he’s back with the vet…..”

Jerry hung up with the promise that he would call when everything was done…..

It felt like an eternity….

Who would have thought that a little brown and white dog would be able to get two seasoned adults wrapped around his tiny paw….

…But he did.

It was an agonizingly long and drawn out hour and a half……

…..But Jerry called back….

“He’s gonna be fine…….It’s not cancer……but he’s pretty sick…..”

To make a long story short, Charlie had a serious skin infection……

….But not on his leg….

..On his butt.

The vet shaved his bum and gave him a shot….

The vet gave Jerry anti-biotic capsuls….and pills to ease the pain…..

….The vet gave Jerry a tube of ointment….

I was relieved to know our “BABY” was not seriously ill and I made it through the day with no further worries…..

And then, I went home…

Charlie looked like someone surgically removed his little bum and replaced it with a baboon’s butt…..

….It was all red and swollen….

And shaved…

….and right out where everyone could see it…

…But with that red rump came quite an attitude change….

Charlie was ticked off….

He was put through something so traumatic…

…No respectable canine should have to go through…..

He was taken to the “Vet”….

He was examined….

He was given a shot….

They shaved his butt….

The proverbial straw broke the camel’s back…..

And he was mad at Mama and Daddy….

Jerry announced that it was time to give Charlie his “meds….”

That seemed harmless enough…

I grabbed a hot dog out of the fridge, like I always  do when I try to give Charlie medicine…..

…One small problem….

Charlie wasn’t having it….

Charlie was going to make us suffer for the horrible “ordeal” we put him through….

..Charlie refused to take the hot dog….

I had to literally pry his mouth open….I pushed to pill down his throat…

….Charlie spit it out….

I pushed it again….

Charlie spit it out again…..

Well, third time’s a charm….

I shoved the pill, then clamped his mouth shut….

Charlie whined….

He swallowed…

The pill was gone.

I was quite satisfied with myself once the second pill was taken care of…..

….BUT

Jerry had other plans….

“You gotta rub the ointment on his butt….”

…..Deer in the head lights….

“I gotta WHAT????”

“You gotta rub that stuff on Charlie’s butt while I hold him…..”

That’s what I thought he said…

“Well….”

“Why do I have to rub the stuff on Charlie’s butt……Why can’t YOU do it????”

Jerry looked at me; disgusted….

“Can you hold Charlie down????”

Well, he got me there….Charlie was a master of escape…

AND he fought like he was fighting the devil himself….

I looked at Charlie’s backside…..

It was swollen……and still looking like a baboon’s butt…..

“Oh, you gotta be KIDDING!!!!”

“Kelly, you’ve got to do it…..”

I held the tube in my hand…..

….I looked at Charlie’s red, swollen, bum…..

“Aw, HELL, are you SURE I gotta do this???”

“Oh Kelly, for God’s sake, will you PUT THE DAMN STUFF ON HIS ASS?????”

I looked down….

Charlie had wiggled his hind paw free and had scratched Jerry’s hand…..

I sighed into submission as I watched the blood dripped down Jerry’s fingers.

He wiped his hand and took a better hold….

I took a deep breath, applied ointment to my fingers….

…and started to rub Charlie’s butt…

Charlie began to writhe in pain…

….I tried to hurry as fast as I can….I was covering all the sores….

….And then, there was only one place left to treat….

….Charlie’s bum hole…”

Oh, how I didn’t want to…

I applied the ointment and started to cover the “effective area”…..

I was beginning to think this wasn’t too bad and I was almost finished….

And then….

The inevitable happened….

Charlie

“fluffed”….

….On

my

finger….

And while he cried in pain….

I howled; completely and totally all grossed out….

I hurried and literally scoured my hands….and applied sanitizer…….

….And bolted out the door and headed for the store..

I couldn’t believe what had happened…

In my life as a mother, I’ve been puked on……peed on……and even pooped on by my children….

BUT

I have NEVER in my life……had to experience doggy “flatulence” on a finger….

As I wandered the asiles at Wal-Mart I wondered if this was going to be worth it…..

I mean….

After all…..there was only so much a person could take….

I pushed the cart and thought about this little brown and white dog…..

Charlie was our BABY…..but he was much more than that….

Charlie took care of Jerry….

While I worked all day,

Charlie and Jerry stayed home….doing yard work…..washing dishes……watching “The Price Is Right”…..

While Jerry napped on the couch, Charlie napped as well, all curled up behind Jerry’s bent knees…

If Jerry or I had been sick…..Charlie laid beside us; keeping watch while we slept….

……Reality set in….

We needed Charlie much more than he needed us….

And so…..

With that in mind…..

The week went on…..

Charlie is now wearing “The Cone of Shame” to prevent him from licking his butt……..

I bought a pill shooter to make giving pills easier…..

Charlie is now eating again….

……I invested in a box of Latex gloves..

So, in the final analysis, It all comes down to this….

1.  Vet exam, shots, meds, shaving Charlie’s butt…………………………… $149.98

2.  One “Cone of Shame, one pill shooter, latex gloves, one doggie brownie to soften the blow of a shaved butt…………$38.94

3.  Unconditional love, but most importantly, the  experience of rubbing ointment on a dog’s butt and getting farted on……………..PRICELESS

…..I can die a happy woman.