Those who are regular readers know that I have Karina staying with me unexpectedly this month. With Karina comes her dog, Minnie. There is a difference between “babysitting” for a weekend and having the dog come to live with you. I’m learning a lot.
One of the things I find interesting is how much I struggle with Mom vs Grandma. When I talk to Minnie about Karina, it’s Mom. When I talk to Minnie about me I stumble. I’ve still got Orion and I don’t have grandchildren (beyond the dog). I think I’m ready to be a grandma. (I’m not sure I’m ready for Karina to be a mom, and with Orion all bets are off.) But I clearly don’t think of myself that way. I wonder how many other people struggle with the words during that transition?
The other part of that is “Whose the Boss?”. Karina is gone, a lot. I’m home, in my house. On their own, Minnie would spend that time in her kennel. Here, since I’m moving about, that’s just not fair. So I have Minnie for much of the day, but she’s not my “responsibility”. That might be fine if she was a plant.
As it is, Minnie and I are constantly interacting. She wants to go out, her food bowl is empty, it’s hot and she needs water. She wants to play, she wants to cuddle, she wants to jump into my lap and jump out and jump back in. When I’m in the kitchen, or doing anything else, she’s under-foot. Even when she’s quiet, her presence napping on the couch while I type makes the atmosphere different than when she’s not around.
This weekend Karina spent some time in her room binging on The Lord of the Rings movies. Minnie, of course was with her. It occurred to me more than once to look up and wonder about where the dog was, and what she was getting into. I think I’ll miss them both when they go.
This morning I took Minnie for a walk. She’d spent a lot of the time in the kennel this weekend. She was really hyper and needed some exercise. It’s not my job to take the dog for a walk. I spent a lot of time not doing anything productive this weekend. I needed some exercise enough to notice that I hadn’t been getting any. The fact of the matter is that the walk was for me, but I wouldn’t have taken it without the dog.
It’s probably good to be doing this transition with a puppy rather than a baby. The “stepping on toes” doesn’t hurt quite as much this way. If Minnie was a baby, Karina would want to know when, what and how much she was eating (and what was coming out the other end.) Do I really have to tell her that I sneak Minnie bacon at breakfast?