Over the years, I’ve acquired one untrained dog after another. I dismissed the American Kennel Club admonition, “Scottish Terriers are hard to train” as if it didn’t apply to me, because I simply love them. The AKC is right, of course. Scotties are hard to train in all
areas particularly in their nasty habit of “marking” any old spot they please including inside, on the carpet. My last Scottie yanked so hard on his end of the leash to protect me from sidewalk dogs that I’d lose my grip as he went on the attack. I’d been to court twice for his biting dogs and their owners. He was finally sentenced to permanent muzzling but before I could carry out his punishment, five-year old Ozzy inexplicably and suddenly died.
After Ozzy’s death, bottomless-pit grief drove me to vow to be forever dog free. This made the decision to rip up the stinky carpet an easy one. I replaced the old stained wall-to-wall with Home Depot’s TrafficMASTER Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring. No more dogs with their curious canine mating rituals. No more carpet cleaning. And no more vacuuming, which I hated even more than the dentist’s three-hour procedure to extract my ankylosed tooth. I didn’t need to worry about traumatizing the dog with such a drastic change. Ozzy was dead. I’d never have another. I didn’t know I’d parked the idea of a dog in a sub region where ideas slow cook before the boil.
The first week of the new cherry colored hard floor, one of my favorite CB2 glasses slipped from my grasp and smashed to pieces. The next week another fell out of my hand to the floor.
The Marta glass collection from CB2 has a cult-like following. The glass itself is micro-thin. Your lips close in on the minimalist rim with ease. Liquid doesn’t sneak out of the edges between the glass and your cheeks, dribbling down your neck onto your new pink velvet blouse. The sides are smooth and straight; no prismatic mystery of what’s inside. They are a joy to embrace, these perfect affordable glasses. I loved to open the kitchen cabinet and see my whole Marta collection lined up like gossamer terra cotta warriors.
The hard floor brought a hard reality. With carpet, when my hold weakened on breakables, and they dropped, they didn’t break. With the hard floor underfoot many treasures have slipped out of my grasp and smashed to the ground before I remembered to get a grip. Glass slivers embedded in my feet led me to question what was wrong with my hands.
Hand grip strength is a test the doctor performs on the aging. Greater grip strength equals greater mortality. There it is. That old mortality jumpin’ up trying to scare the bejesus out of me, tempting me to obsess over how long I have to live.
Only one of my treasured glasses have survived. All is not lost though. I have a new well-trained non-Scottie dog who doesn’t test my impotent grip on his leash. And I’ve softened my grasp on mortality, leaving the fear of dying for another day.