Saturday, March 05, 2011

Hanging With The Dogs

My body has gone into hibernation. I wake up and go through the motions. I am able to stay awake for the things I absolutely HAVE to do. Like right now, it's feed the dogs, take them on their walkies and then pour out a modicum of milk as an evening, after-walkie treat.

That's it, as now I'm the full-time dog carer until the Big M returns.

The Big M, I might add, is on her very first trip to Sabah, compliments of Jackie and Simon, who are there with her. From Jackie's first phone call to update me, it sounds like she's having a blast with Uncle Babu and Auntie Theresa.

It being Sabah (and Uncle Babu and Auntie Theresa) meals figure into the equation in a big way. Huge meals. Auntie Theresa being a famous cook.

This morning I had to stay awake long enough to cart them all to the Senai Airport with a nervous Mummy sitting next to me, chirruping worriedly as there was no turning into Senai airport, where there was supposed to be a turning to Senai airport and the signs announcing Kuala Lumpur-Tuas took over, obliterating airport signs (which had vanished mysteriously).

"Jenny, you must have missed the turning. We're going too far, turn back, turn back."

I continued to drive, keeping my eyes peeled for airport signs. Eagle-eyed Simon at the back, had also not seen any airport signs. There must be some mistake. But there was that awful Senai-Desaru highway construction going on (working on that highway book told me at least that much) which may have blocked the necessary road.

If so...

Then there it was. A little sign, with a U-turn symbol on it, saying airport. So all I needed to do was make the U-turn and I would be on the right road, heading in the right direction.

Until we finally made the turn into the Senai airport road, my Big M's nervousness did not abate.

"Are you supposed to turn here? Here? Here?"

Even with this slight detour, we were about two hours early. I had chivvied everyone out into the car by 11.30am. Jackie was a little pissed because she had left her Agatha Christie back in the room, in the rush. But I told her if we hadn't been so early, I would have started to panic the moment we didn't see the airport sign. So all in all, it was a good trade-off.

They checked in their luggage and we decided to see what the newly-renovated airport had to offer by way of lunch. KFC was too far for Mum to walk, Secret Recipe was "too expensive" so we settled for Marrybrown Chicken. (You can tell from the spelling that it's a local chain). Mum and Jackie had ice cream floats (strawberry and root beer), Simon and I had iced milos, Simon and Mum had chicken burgers and I had a Hot Touch (or spicy chicken burger). Jackie was saving herself for Auntie Theresa's dinner.

We finished, chatted a bit (the nice thing about being early is how leisurely everything is and how you don't have to rush, heart racing, for the plane), the guy came and wheeled Mum off to the gate in a wheelchair, with Simon and Jackie trotting alongside, and I made my way back to the carpark, paid for my parking ticket, and took off, listening to a show on Lite FM which extolled the virtues of a particular Mazda model on sale in Malaysia now, how they were selling it below cost at RM175,000 and how everyone should rush out then and there to get it.

The host started salivating and the guest promised to drive the car out of the showroom to his (Ross's) house next Saturday to try.

Then the guest (I think he was called Daniel) said: "You say you are going to buy this car, but Ross, can you afford it?"

Ross: No, but I'll sell my house, I'll sell all my other stuff...

Daniel: What about your pets? You have way too many pets.

Ross: No! Those are my babies. (And he skillfully changed the subject and introduced the next songs)

And even though I thought the two of them had been doing the hard sell for that Mazda (OK come on, it was a manual not even an auto and on which planet is RM175,000 cheap?) I felt myself warming up to Ross because I could imagine saying something like that if anyone suggested I swap in my pets for anything.


I got back, put the dogs's food on the boil, settled down to read a book, didn't have time to turn many pages as the food was quickly done, waited for it to cool, dished it out to both (remembering to squish Elliot's pink vitamin pill into his rice), filled up their water bowls and then made my way upstairs. To read perchance to sleep.

I slept.

I think it rained (things looked a little soaked outside) but I was too fast asleep to care. JB has exercised its soporific effect on me and I can't believe how tired I am. My body aches and as I settle myself below the covers, I drift off. I fall asleep so deeply that it feels like I'm swimming underwater. Sometimes I make a few ineffectual stabs at the surface but the water is warm and comforting and I want to stay under.

Then up because its getting dark and the doggies (who are very quiet as the centre of their existence - the Big M - and the reason for their recent delight - Simon - failed to emerge from the car when I got back) need to be walked. I take them (Elliot first today) and then Maggot, and both behave admirably. Then (as we have run out of milk) I walk down first to one petrol station, and then another, looking for the full cream (these dogs don't waste their time on skim) version. I find it.

When I come back up, Elliot, who is keeping an anxious watch for me (he is a lot less nervous than he used to be about being abandoned, but still...) heaves a sigh of relief. I tear open the aluminum foil at the top and pour out some in his bowl. He starts lapping as happily as any cat. Then I go to Maggot's bowl. Maggot starts lapping at the milk even before I've finished pouring. I give them a pat each and go back in, my "care of the dogs" done for the day.

One nutella sandwich, some tea, a phone call from Jackie, and I'm ready for bed.

Jackie brought me Expecting Adam and Long Quiet Highway - I've finished Long Quiet Highway and now I know I'll do a Natalie Goldberg bookathon when I get back to KL - I now want to read about her painting, and all her other books on writing. I'm now reading, and reveling in Expecting Adam, my first Martha Beck book.

It fills me with delight.

And JB fills me with sleep.




perl hacker said...

Busy! Mmm... nutella. Wish it came in five-gallon plastic buckets. When my time comes, I think I'd like to be embalmed in it. Would make an awesome dissertaion topic for some poor doctoral candidate from the distant future: 'Nutella Mummies of the American Southwest.' :)

Jenn said...

Yeah, it's unfair that it's sooo addictive and thus so expensive that we can only afford it for occasional treats.