Knowing When You’re Going To Get Taken By Someone


My daughter came by yesterday.  She took me to lunch, then to get my hair and nails done.  I knew that I was being buttered up for something.  She doesn’t come often, let alone take me out for lunch or spend that kind of time with me.  Her life is usually “busy”.  Her world is “busy”.  Worst of all, she was sweeter than a chocolate bar with caramel dripping from its middle.  That’s when I know that something is coming and it did.

At the end of all of her greasing me up, she lowered the boom.  Luckily, I’d gotten a heads-up from my granddaughter to what she was up to so, I played along.  At least I got my hair and nails done and a fancy, expensive lunch out of it first.

When she finally got me back home, she came in, sat down and started clearing her throat.  Of course, I already knew what was coming but, she didn’t know that I knew it.

“Paul and I were wondering, Mom,” she said, sugar dripping off her fool lips as she started in a soft voice, “could you take care of our dog for 3 months?”

Turns out that she and that yahoo husband of hers, want to take off for Florida from January through till the end of March next year.  Hell, I don’t even know if I’ll be alive then.  At this point, every day’s a cherry on top of a pile of whipped cream already.  Hell, every hour is a miracle.  How did I know what I was going to be doing 4 months from now?

“What in the dang Sam Hill do you think I’m going to do with your mutt in the dead of winter?” I asked her.  “I can barely get myself around over ice and snow.  How the hell am I going to walk that thing?”

“She’s small, Mom.  She doesn’t need much walking,” she answered, with a smile that I wanted to swat off that over-priced made-up face of hers.  “She’s a shih tsu. She’ll be no trouble.  It’ll be company for you.”

I wanted to haul off and whack her one.  I’ve seen that dog.  Looks like a ball of fur and that little thing is as snarly as they come.  She’s already eaten pretty near everything in sight, including the corners off of her stairs and all of the fancy wood-work trim she paid a fortune to have installed in her decorator house.  It craps all over the place too.

“No, thank you,” I answered, waving my hand in her face to stop that conversation right in its tracks.  “You aren’t fooling me.  You asked your sisters and brothers and they didn’t want no part of that damned fool dog, did they?  That’s why you’re coming to me.”

Her face looked like she’d just eaten a sour lemon, lips all pursed up.  Looked like she was going to burst a blood vessel.

“Oh, Mom…you know I wouldn’t ask you first.  I tried.  I asked everyone but, they’ve all got their own animals and Rick is travelling most of the time so, no one else can do it,” she said, seemingly thinking that I’d somehow become a sucker and would cave in on this one.

“Nope, I ain’t lookin’ after your dog,” I answered.  “Take the thing to one of those fancy boarding places where they shampoo the thing, put bows in their hair like little dolls, walk ’em and give ’em treats for lifting their legs on trees.  I ain’t doin’ it.”

It’s not that I don’t like dogs.  I love dogs but, I raised 10 of them throughout my life and I know that they take a lot of care and time.  It’s all that I can do some days to get myself out of bed to let Busker out, let alone take some frou-frou, she-she dog out, complete with rhinestone collar.  Hell, the dog’s got more coats, boots and outfits than I do.

“Mom, Smoochie would die in one of those places.  She’s not used to being with other dogs.  She might get sick.  Besides, she’s been professionally trained now.  I got her a trainer and she’s learned how to follow commands.  It’ll be easy.  I’ll teach you the commands and she’ll behave beautifully for you,” she said, leaning forward with those pleading puppy-dog eyes she loves to put on when she wants something from me.  She knew how to do that from the time she was a kid but, it wore thin now that she’s in her 60’s.  It ain’t so cute anymore nor, does it work on me.

“So, let me get this straight,” I said and leaned back in my chair.  “She might get sick if she’s in one of those doggie boarding places but, you don’t care if I catch my death of cold or slip on ice and break my dang fool hip, walking the stupid thing.  And, you want me to get trained too so that I can babysit your dog while you’re away on vacation?”

“Don’t think of it like that, Mom,” she answered, sitting back herself in a bit of a snit.  “It would just be me, teaching you what Smoochie has been trained to do.”

Well, I’d heard it all at that point.  Not only did she want me to take care of her danged fool dog for her but, she wanted to train me too now because her dang fool dog was trained.  Didn’t that beat the band?

“Tell you what I’ll do,” I answered.  “I’ll take the dog for those 3 months on my terms but, I want to be paid for doin’ it.  I ain’t gonna do it for free.”

She sat there like a moron, mouth open, staring at me like I had grown three heads or something.  I knew what she was thinking.  She doesn’t like parting with her money even though she’s got a lot of it.

“You mean you’d charge your own daughter to look after your gran-doggy?” she asked.

“Oh good heavens, Woman!  Grow up.  That dog ain’t no grandchild of mine and, if you got the nerve to ask a woman my age to do all of this for you for three months so you can trapsay somewhere to keep your behind warm all winter while I freeze mine off, you’re danged right I want to be paid,” I answered, getting up to put on the kettle for my afternoon tea.

“Fine!” she said, standing up to grab her coat.  “How much do you want me to pay you?”

“Twenty-five hundred bucks,” I answered, putting a teabag into my cup, not blinking an eye and not feeling bad in the least.

“Twenty-five hundred dollars?” she asked, nearly swallowing her own tongue.  “That’s extortion!”

“Take it or leave it,” I answered, putting two heaping teaspoons of sugar into my cup, not turning to look at her.

“Fine,” she said, spinning on her heels and heading for the door.

Busker, jumped up onto the warm chair my daughter had just left and curled up in a ball, snuggling in for his afternoon nap and I smiled.

I’m no fool.  After my granddaughter gave me the warning about her aunt going to ask me to do this, I called a few of these dog boarding places.  At $45 to $60 per night, over 3 months, my twenty-five hundred was a steal and I know she knew it but, she thought I’d do it all for free.  Guess she didn’t think I had it in me and would be a push-over.  Thirty years ago, I might have been but, not now.

Right after calling the dog boarding places, I’d also called a travel agency and my friend, Agnes.

We’re on our way to Vegas in November for a week.  That $2500 should cover this trip nicely.  My granddaughter will be taking care of Busker for me while I’m away.  She giggled when I called her afterwards and told her how it went.

“You go, Gran!” she said, laughing with delight.  She can’t stand her fool aunt and uncle now either.

Think I’ll bring her back something nice from my trip.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

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    Sep 06, 2012 @ 00:54:55

    Generally I don’t read post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice post.


  2. ponderinglifetoo
    Mar 01, 2018 @ 04:38:42

    Reblogged this on My Little Corner of Life and commented:

    My grandmother had quite both the sense of humour and nerves of steel, not to mention her tenacity. Another story that my grandmother remembered and wrote out. My sides still hurt from reading it.


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