Today’s errand/excuse for smoking is to go to the pet food store for Sandy. Who, is Sandy?
Sandy is a 400-year-old dog (in dog years) who is as animated as Rowdy on Scrubs, and considerably more vocal, especially in the middle of the night. He weights about 300 pounds (in dog pounds, heh) and has a bit of arthritis making it hard for him to stand, sit, move, lay, and making it impossible for him to roll over unless you were to roll him into a rug and kick it down the driveway.
Sandy lives with DOB (remember: food is love) and he’s the alpha in the pack. One of DOB's recurrent Tourette-dementia phrases is: Sandy's a good boy. That this creates no cognitive dissonance in DOB's little mind is another indication that there is no cognitive left to dissonate.
Sandy has a skin condition. Probably resulting from his diet of 1 part of dog food to 4 parts of people food, keeping in mind that a balanced people meal back there is a starch, starch and a starch, unless I cook for DOB, which I often do out of pity. Then there’s about .5 parts of dog bones made up of the most hyper-allergenic ingredients known to Big Ag and made in China (150% of your minimum daily requirements of lead). Sandy gets a bone to reward him when he stops barking at dead people – or whatever the hell else it is that he sees that we can’t see – and has thus trained DOB to give him a “cookie” whenever he feels like it. This happens between 12 and 380 times per day.
But the skin condition. Well, for exercise, Sandy eats himself, and, surprise, that is bad for his skin. He licks his front and back legs, butt, flanks and wherever else he can reach, until said spot bleeds. The open sores are somewhat mobile, depending on where and when DOB remembers to apply “medicine.” Medicine can range from actual OTC hotspot remedies, Vaseline, vinegar, generic brand Nyquil (!) and whatever else DOB’s daughter (who, I remind you, knows more than you think you do about any given subject) suggests. We can’t take Sandy to the vet because “he always charges $400 whenever we take him in.” It’s probably just a coincidence that vet bills are high when we persuade DOB to let us take Sandy to the vet because that has happened twice in almost 20 years. Yes, a coincidence. Besides, on any given day, those running sores are "going away" anyway.
Besides, he’s not in pain. What I think is his crying – a sort of squeaky moaning interspersed with violent licking – is merely his way of joining the conversation. Which, has a certain kind of logic given the types of conversations we have with DOB.