By: Dash with Aurora nestled in the crook of my knee, taking up half of my bed.
Aurora is a snuggly gal. She just loves to be near me. I sometimes feel an overwhelming amount of guilt when I have to leave her for work, or don’t get to give her the proper hour walk after work because of the weather or the sun goes down so early. Today I especially felt that guilt.
Today it was Valentine’s at school, if you don’t already know, I teach third graders. Another holiday in school, another day to make memories. We had fun. We ate LOTS of sugar. I also had an appointment to get my Mirena IUD out. (PRAISE BE!) (*No, I am not religious, but it’s an expression of excitement because I am finally excited to be off of birth control after 10 years of being on some form of it!)
Anyways, I digress. Today was a different day. Valentine’s Day mayhem and an appointment after school. So needless-to-say, Aurora’s daily routine was thrown off. Now, this whole school year I have been diligent. I wake up every morning at 5:30… lately 5:45… 5:50 AM and make my coffee and walk my gal while drinking said coffee whilst listening to a podcast for about an hour, sometimes forty minutes. Every morning. My younger not-such-a-morning-person-self would be shocked. But I have grown to love those blissful, frigid, quiet morning leash walks with Aurora. I know she loves them, too.
Usually then, I can leave for 8, sometimes 9 hours and she just sleeps. Well, when that routine gets thrown, so does my gal. So I come home in a mad sugar-rushed dash to snuggle her, give her treats for being good and deciding if I can take her on a quick stroll before my IUD extraction appointment. We’re in the car in a matter of 10 minutes of me getting home.
I decide to go quick to the fields where I throw around a tennis ball for her. As I am driving by… I see my dog walking crush… Shane and his pup Reed. Shoot. If I stop I know I will be late to my appointment. So amongst my better judgment, I keep my foot on the gas and keep driving. Sorry, Shane, you look cute even from the car. Aurora can sense the tension. She whines, almost as if to say, “Mom, you missed the turn!” I know Aurora, not today. I think back to her, telepathically.
I talk to her that we go tomorrow, that today is not the day. She is such a good girl, she waits in my car for my entire IUD removal, which was only like 30 minutes, and it was 40 degrees, so she was just fine.
Well, routine change again. I am getting out of the office, feeling somehow different without a foreign object wedged in my cervix… and it is raining. RAINING! In the middle of February. While there is still half melting/half frozen snow on the ground. And here I am wearing my high top converse shoes…
Well, its not that cold, let’s go for a walk around the tree farm anyways. BAD IDEA. Slush. Dodge the melted snow puddles. Hold on to tree as not to slip. Stick mitten hands in pockets to avoid them getting wet. Avoid judgmental stares from other dog owner-passerbys. Turn around after 15 minutes and head back to car.
Aurora only got 30 minutes of a walk afterschool. So while making dinner she was barking, wanting to play. Of course I do every chance I get… but still the dog mom guilt gets to me.
Tomorrow I’ll make sure we go for two extra long walks.