Cara relaxes

Dylan and Brittani are married now, and it was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, sweet and funny at the same time. They left for their honeymoon in Bermuda the morning after the wedding.

All of this happily coincided with Cara’s preparations to go overseas. She needed to get her visa, so she agreed to dog sit Maggie for the honeymooners.

Although I wanted to hog all her time before she leaves, I thought that it would nice for her to spend a week relaxing alone in a large air conditioned house with nothing more pressing than to walk the dog. The past couple months have been stressful for the new graduate.

After Cara dropped the new Mr. and Mrs. at their cruise ship, she hied herself to pick up Maggie from her 24 hours at the kennel. Maggie was predictably glad to see a familiar face. Cara was driving Dylan’s car, and Maggie spent the trip ecstatically snuffling the scent of her ‘mother and father’.

Once home, Cara could barely open the door for Maggie’s excited prancing and leaping. Inside, Maggie rushed to the kitchen sniffing, and then dashed to the livingroom. She bolted upstairs to all four bedrooms. Back down the stairs. Certain that she missed something, she did a more thorough check of the downstairs. She even checked the basement.

After several more dashes back and forth, upstairs and downstairs, around and around, Maggie resigned herself to the obvious. She was home, but mom and dad were not. In her misery she flopped down in the upstairs hall, pressed her face to the air conditioning vent and began to howl. The howl reverberated down the ductwork and echoed through the house. It went on and on and on.

The howling dog also refused to eat. Cara imagined picking up Dylan and Brittani from their cruise at the end of the week. “Can you start that happily ever after thing NEXT week? Your dog died.” Cara bought all manner of enticing dog treats and special dog food. The dog listlessly picked at it.

Maggie then began to anxiously chew on her paws. Horrified, Cara went out and found an all natural supplement that promised to soothe nervous and anxious dogs. It didn’t help. By that time, Cara was becoming pretty stressed herself.

She had a lot of stuff that she needed to get done. She couldn’t get her visa without a picture, and she needed to be wearing a hijab in that picture, which meant she needed to buy a hijab for the picture, which meant she had to find shops in downtown Philly that sold middle eastern clothing, so that she could begin the three day process of driving back and forth to Washington DC.

She was trying to balance all of this while watching a dog that was declining into serious canine depression.

Cara totally abandoned Maggie’s careful diet. Enticed by expensive canned dog foods, Maggie ate enough to convince Cara that starvation was not imminent, although the dog was certainly losing weight.

Cara managed to find a place that sold the clothing that she needed, and she spent a small fortune outfitting herself for the next year. She picked up very helpful tips from the women in the store that made her feel much more confident about not offending cultural sensitivities in a culturally sensitive part of the world. Who knew, for instance, that a glimpse of the wrists could be so sexually intoxicating?

She ran back and forth between Washington DC and Blandon. The first trip was to drop off the paperwork. Once approved, she had to return with her picture. The final trip was to pick up the visa. Weary, she said, “Can you just mail me the visa?” Two bushy black eyebrows came together over two sharp eyes, and a gruff voice growled, “You be here Friday.”

That is how she came to be there on Friday.

Cara finally ticked everything off on her to do list and she now had time to focus on the puddle of canine misery that was Maggie. For her part, Maggie had evidently decided that she was never going to see her people again. She moaned and wept, and chewed on her feet. She continued her hunger strike, and fixed Cara with long mournful stares, as if she was personally responsible for Dylan and Brittani’s disappearance. The natural calming supplement did not seem to be helping at all.

All good times must come to an end, and eventually Maggie was treated to the sight of her parents coming through the door. The reunion was touching. Maggie forgot all good manners, and jumped up on Dylan wrapping her well chewed paws on his shoulders and laying her head against his chest as she cried in her relief.

Cara returned home, but only for a few days. She had family in Michigan to say goodbye to, and was soon on her way once again. I thought, “Well, she’s been under a lot of stress. It will be nice for her to have a chance to relax. “

It wasn’t long before I was getting a call from Cara. “There’s been a bad accident. I’ve been stuck in traffic for a couple hours now. I’ve gone about a mile and a half. There’s nowhere to get off. This is crazy frustrating.” She sounded hot and tired and at the end of her rope.

She didn’t sound as if she were chewing on her paws, but still I wondered if there is an all natural calming supplement for people.