And it’s not even noon

By Mir
September 7, 2011

I had high hopes for today being a super-productive day, on account of I scheduled a grooming appointment for Licorice this morning, which meant I had to be up and showered and dressed much earlier than usual.

I know the joke about freelancers working from home in their pajamas is tired and overdone, but if I don’t have somewhere to be, chances are excellent that I won’t shower until lunchtime. And even then, I’m likely to lose an hour or more to “I should totally go shower. But I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll just fix myself a salad and catch up on email while I eat. Okay, I’m done eating, but oh my gosh, I spent a lot longer on that than I should’ve. I should get some more work done before I shower.”

And this is how any day where I shower before lunch feels like a productive one.

So today, when I’m made breakfasts, packed lunches, showered, dressed, and had my coffee all by 7:30, I was feeling pretty snazzy. Which is never a good sign.

First, Monkey’s ride was late. Not terribly late, mind you, but when you live in a world where precision matters and anxiety abounds, late is never good. “Maybe Mario’s mom forgot to come get me,” he said, dancing around my office, peering out the door into the driveway. “Are you sure YOU weren’t supposed to drive today? What if you were? Have you called her yet? Would you like me to bring you your phone? Am I going to be late? What if they were in an accident? Do you even have enough gas to take me to school if you need to? Want to see how many times I can make my belly do this while we wait? I can whistle while I do it, too!” [Answer key: Yes. I wasn’t. Nope. Not yet. I don’t think so. They’re fine. Yes. Please, God, no, and STOP THAT.]

Finally he was bundled off to school and I was free to take Licorice to the groomer’s.

As much as I love my pooch, I have a specific strategy when it comes to keeping her freshly-groomed, and it is this: Totally forget that she needs to be groomed until her face completely disappears, then make her an appointment. In other words, in much the same way that I may have 3″ or more of gray roots before it occurs to me to go get my hair fixed, I’m not one of those Snookums-gets-clipped-every-5-weeks kinds of people. Because I am 1) lazy and 2) cheap. Also, Licorice hates being groomed.

The groomer is a lovely woman, by the way. It’s not her. It’s Licorice. To be fair, Licorice also hates riding in the car (which she must do on the way to the groomer), being anywhere other than home (check), and me leaving her (three for three). Part of me feels like she might find these visits less stressful if we made them more often, but most of me thinks she’s just neurotic and I’d rather save my money and stress her out less often by continuing on our schedule of “oh it’s been a few months and I can’t find your eyes” groomings.

We arrived at our destination and I took Licorice over to a tree and encouraged her to pee, which she did. We went inside and she immediately began to cry. Which was pitiful. I felt incredibly sorry for her until she pooped right next to my foot.

I apologized profusely while someone swooped in with some paper towels and assured me that it was fine, it happens all the time, no worries! I finished getting Licorice checked in and looked down to see her pooping AGAIN on my OTHER side.

By this time, the woman who’d cleaned up the first time was missing, and the woman behind the counter seemed not quite so forgiving, so I whipped out a bag and cleaned up after my dog, all the while cracking jokes about how the GOOD NEWS is that she’s empty now! (Meanwhile, all I could think about was how she hadn’t yet done the whole nervous puke thing so really, I was lying.)

When it was time to lead her to the back, Licorice did the plant-her-feet-and-glare thing, and finally I just had to hand her over and leave, because it was too pitiful. I mean, I really don’t think they’re beating her with a stick or anything, I think she’s just spoiled rotten and neurotic. But I guess we’ll have to wait until she comes home later and yaks all over my office to be sure.

Anyway, once I left her, I came home and felt like MAN I HAVE THE WHOLE DAY TO WORK UNINTERRUPTED and immediately got to it. For about twenty minutes. Then I realized I was hungry, so I went and scrambled myself a couple of eggs. While moving the eggs from the pan to the plate, I dropped some on the floor. So—as one does—I made loud kissy-noises to summon my dog to come clean up my mess. Only, she didn’t come. So I called her by name. And waited some more. And then remember that I’d left her at the groomer.

I had to pick up my own mess. It was tragic.

I ate my eggs, I did some work, I called the orthodontist about a broken hook (“Braces: They take up your money AND your precious time!”), I set about sucking up to a few key people at the local university so as to procure a “qualified scientist mentor” for my kid for this year’s Science Fair (otherwise known as “making the biggest headache of the year someone else’s problem”), and I dusted my desk, because yesterday I cleaned it off but appear to have been blindfolded for the dusting that followed, because I seem to have missed most of it.

In other words, I’ve been so good that now all I want in the world is to go take a nap. And I probably would, if I wasn’t going to have to go pick up the dog and be on Barf Alert for the rest of the afternoon (or at least until I have to take Chickadee in for her emergency orthodontist appointment).


  1. Megan

    You have been flippin’ angelic.

    When I try to explain people why I get up at [mumble] o’clock in the morning and head down to work TWO hours early it sounds mad but it’s totally true – I have to get up at the not-even-cracked-yet of dawn because I’m not a morning person and in order to be able to do anything at all by the time I need to start work I have to have at least an hour of exercise and an hour of body-cool-down/mind-warm-up just to be even remotely sane.

    So I think not showering before noon makes total and complete sense. I mean, who’s together enough for that?

  2. Scottsdale Girl

    Sitting in my pajamas, working from home, reading this. I shower at lunchtime because it makes me leave my desk. Sometimes it isn’t so much ‘working from home’ as it is ‘living at work’. AMIRITE?
    I bet Licorice will be happy once she is groomed, my dogs are very reluctant to go in but are soooo HAPPY when I pick them up. We aren’t matted! We have clipped nails and clean ears! And I am pretty sure that anal gland expressing is a good thing too, although they never share their feelings with me on that subject. Thank God.

  3. Kethrim

    Any chance that you could find a groomer who does house calls? Then Licorice wouldn’t have to go in the car, and you could stay in the house instead of leaving her. Two out of three?

  4. Zuska

    Oh, the pooping at the groomer!!! I feel for you and Licorice. Oddly enough, our epileptic pup (Caramel – hey! another candy-named dog!) is GREAT at the groomer. Gracie, OTOH….luckily, she only gets occasional grooming. We always get called to come get her early. “Gracie is so sweet, and she’s all done. We’re still grooming Caramel. But Gracie has pooped eight times. Any chance you could pick her up NOW???” I’m sure it’s separation anxiety!

  5. Karenp

    Have you thought about learning to groom her yourself? My husband used to groom our cocker spaniel, Macduff. Macduff actually used to fall asleep while he was clipping him.

  6. jen_alluisi

    Just did the exact same thing yesterday with my small fluffy dog who needs copious grooming (Delia, who honestly looks like a white version of your Licorice). She was anxious and nervous, but there was no pooping or puking. I did, however, get a lecture from the groomer on how we waited too long to come and her hair was more matted than it should have been, and it wasn’t fair to her. To which I replied DUH, I know, I feel guilty enough THANKS. (In case that’s not a tip-off, I also follow the wait-to-groom-until-she-has-no-eyes method.)

  7. Nelson's Mama

    I take Nelson on a regular basis because:

    1) The heat is absolutely brutal on him if he isn’t clipped down fairly short.
    2) He smells MUCH better short and is happier!
    3) I think you’ll find that the groomer’s price will be much more favorable if you go on a regular basis and she isn’t faced with such a job each time. Ours charges premium prices for non-regulars versus those she can count on to help her keep the doors of her small business open. Just sayin’

  8. MaryP

    I think all that pooping is what is commonly known as “scared shitless.”

  9. The Mommy Therapy

    I am not a grooming my dog fan either, it just seems excessive…until he’s disgusting and then it seems like I’m irresponsible. Nothing worse that a puking/pooping nervous dog. Mine has loose bowels if we even drive near the boarder or groomer.

    It’s dangerous having a nervous dog. :)

  10. Celeste

    Sanders is prone to horking next to my bed in the middle of the night. Nothing like waking up to that at 3 a.m. I just roll over and go back to sleep. It will be there in the morning. Unless he eats it, which means, less for me to clean up!

    I love the word “hork.” If you say it right, it sounds like you’re horking. ;)

  11. karen

    House call groomer. SOOO much easier. While you work! Right outside your door! Ours up here is called The Dogfather, not kidding.

  12. Chuck

    I remember the same experience with the vet when I took my mother’s dog there – take him outside to do his business/walk around and he would still poop once we were waiting in the office. They were always nice about swooping in with paper towels and windex though.

  13. addy

    Big dog hates car rides, vets and groomers. So, he goes to vet only when deathly ill and never goes to groomer. College kid must come home on semi-regular basis to groom, clip nails, clean ears and be the bad guy. Meh he is so happy to see her he doesn’t complain …. much.

  14. Rachael

    It’s 5:49 here. I’ve been working, all day in — you guessed it — my pajamas. Dressing up for me is jeans and a tee-shirt. Working from home does have its perks… but the downfall is, when you’re sick with another stupid sinus infection, you can’t call in sick.

  15. Heather

    We are super lucky over here – our doggy loves the groomer. She even comes to pick him up, and he is happy to see her. He doesn’t like car rides with his people, though – probably BECAUSE the only place we end up taking him is the vet. (He is mostly the pet of my grandfather now, and like said man, um, doesn’t get out all that much.)

  16. mamaspeak

    May I suggest a (bi-)weekly ride to the pet store? The pet store is a place where you can take your pooch, they don’t mind if s/he needs to go and does, and will, in fact, offer some kind of treat upon check out.
    While Licorice may never love going to the groomer, if you took him out regularly in the car, he wouldn’t associate it w/”danger!danger!WillRobinson!” every time you did take him out. My pooch, Merit, HATED to ride in cars when I first got her. I had a Honda Del Sol & I would have to pick her up (35-50 lbs…she was growing up,) and put her into the passenger seat. Thank God that was a low car. (I worked at a VERY dog friendly place.) After a few weeks, if was all I could do to keep her out of the car. Work was play time for her & she LOVED it. (My co-workers even had biz cards made up for her; “Director of Dog Services” They may have been living vicariously through me a bit.) I’m a SAHM now, but we go to the beach, parks, what not & take her somewhere at least once a week; even if it’s just to pick up kids from school or something.
    It won’t cure her in regard to the groomers, but it probably would make it much nicer for both of you when she does ride in the car.
    We also have on-site doggy grooming by us. There’s more than one, but in both cases, they have motor homes that they do the grooming in. Seems pretty smart to me.

  17. StephLove

    I’ve been working at home (for a week and a half now) and I find needing to get my kindergardener to the bus stop at 8:20 helps with the getting dressed part.

  18. Nelson's Mama

    I’m back!

    Nelson loves to GO – he makes the morning school drop-off and the afternoon school pick-up almost everyday. He’s a hit at the bank (yes, he goes IN), loves my local boutique, and even goes to church when I have things to do there during the week.

    He always jumps into my SUV and goes straight to the console where he rides as my wingman. However, if I leave around 10:00 in the morning I have to FORCE him into the vehicle because he KNOWS that it’s groomer time!!

    Perhaps you should start taking Licorice on some of your quick errands; I think you might be surprised at how dog-friendly many businesses are. The local bank and pharmacy both have dog treats on hand and he knows those places and is waiting at the window for them to send it out to him. Nelson associates car rides with friends, treats and adventure…and occasional torture at 10.

  19. Cheryl @ Coffee with Cheryl

    We won’t have a dog until the baby is able to at least run away under his own power, but I once had a cat that was the coolest. He loved to ride in the car (he would stand with his hind feet on my leg and front feet on the dash), once attended art school in Boston with me, and came to work at a woodcarving shop with me for months. He was awesome. Except when it came to dodging leg sweeps from his younger brother!

  20. Betty Fokker

    Okay, I have an Aspiegirl named Lilo so I pity you the late ride. I also have two spoiled, neurotic dogs who try to outdo (har) one another when it comes to pooping all over the vet’s office. One dog get’s nervous diarrhea. Seriously, it could be worse than barf patrol. I also have two daughters who are neurotypical but they are Evil Geniuses so I spend all my time thwarting their plans to take over the world. I am a stay at home mom and getting a shower has become a quest, not unlike seeking the Holy Grail or proof of Bigfoot. If I didn’t find the humor in these things I would go squirrelly as a pecan tree. I like your blog. I shall return.

  21. Daisy

    I do the pajama thing on weekends. Correct papers, clean the kitchen, attack Mt. Washmore – who needs clothes for that? Um, that didn’t sound right. Never mind.

  22. carson

    My sister’s dog was fine going into the vet & groomers. But when we took her to board–at the exact same place, mind you–that’s when she would poop on the floor. Just once, to express her dissatisfaction with the arrangements.

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