Shelley Widhalm

Archive for the ‘Dad’s house’ Category

Girl without Dog

In Best Friends, Dad's house, Hard goodbyes, Novel editing on March 13, 2011 at 5:23 am

Yep, I’ve been girl without dog for six days. My dad, who visited me and my brother last weekend, is taking care of her until next Saturday. I “loaned” her out for two weeks for two reasons.

First, my dad had grown attached to her after being her caretaker for a few months while I was living with my mother (see previous blogs). He hinted a few times that he would gladly take her while I was working on my novel, which I finished last month.

Second, I wanted some concentrated time to work on editing my novel. With Zoey, my miniature dachshund, I have to provide her with love and attention, including playtime and walks, every day after work. I knew I couldn’t meet my self-imposed deadline to meet with an agent at a conference this month to present my book. But I decided to postpone the conference scene until my book is tight as a Ziploc bag. I still kept the deadline, but it’s extended to the end of the month.

My dad, who lives in eastern Colorado, took Zoey with him on Monday, and I worked on my novel that afternoon (I have Mondays off in exchange for Saturdays). I thought, “I’m dealing,” until I got home from the coffee shop and faced my empty apartment. I cried and the next night, too, thinking that I should just get on with my work But I hadn’t realized until Zoey was gone how attached I’ve become to my canine best friend.

I guess I’m a sucker for her doggie kisses, her wiggly-butt greetings and her rough-housing play as I try to make my bed in the mornings.

Okay, only six more days …

Zoey’s Allegiances

In Dad's house, Leaving Zoey, My house, Separations, Sleeping companions on October 4, 2010 at 3:45 am

Zoey is no longer a one-person dog. She is Dad’s when she is with him, and mine when she is with me. My mom and brother both said she would be happiest if we, Dad and I, lived at his house, where she has a big backyard and access to both of us.

 But she switches allegiances. She belongs to whoever she is with until the other one of us visits.

Zoey sleeps with me on the futon when I stay with my father, usually over a long weekend. She follows me around, making sure I won’t escape. She wants to play and be petted, mostly with me and second best is with Dad. She is excited until Sunday, when I start packing up hers and my things. Then she puts her head on her paws, warily watching me with her sad, brown eyes. She wants to stay, or she wants to go, depending on her allegiances for the week.

When Dad spends the weekend at my brother’s house, where I’m living until October, Zoey sleeps with Dad. She follows him around. She wants to play with him. She wants him to give her belly rubs.

The first time Zoey decided to sleep with Dad, I took her to bed with me. She went to the edge and sat there, whimpering. I put her on the floor. She went to the door and scratched. “No, Zoey,” I said. But she wouldn’t stop. I took her upstairs to the room where my Dad was staying. “She wants to say goodnight,” I said. He gave her kisses.

I tried two more times to get her to settle down for sleep. She wouldn’t have any of that. She wanted Dad. I guess that’s what happens when you share. You really do have to share. At least I get to have Zoey’s awe when I visit my dad. And he gets it when he comes my way.

Zoey’s Practice Goodbye

In Dad's house, Hard goodbyes, Leaving Zoey, Missing each other, Uncategorized on September 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Zoey enduring one of my hugs.

Zoey stays with me every one of six weeks, because my dad, who is caring for her, has to travel to Nebraska to get treated for macular degeneration. He used to live there and did not want to change eye doctors when he moved to Eastern Colorado in August 2008, coincidentally the same month I moved to Northern Colorado from Alexandria, Virginia.

A week after I took Zoey to my dad’s house, I talked to him on the phone, and he said she was doing just fine and loves his big backyard. She is very social and likes attention wherever it comes from, and it seemed she didn’t miss me.

But I know the truth. I had visited my dad in mid-July. While I was there, he fixed something minor in my car, which I had to move back to the driveway to load it up with Zoey’s and my stuff for our drive back home.

Dad held Zoey on his lap, but she saw me “driving away” and started squirming, yelping and crying as if I was going to leave her. I didn’t, of course, and hugged her after locking up my car. But I got no kisses back. It seemed that Zoey figured she was safe with me back in her lair.