Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Song for September

A little companion story and song for my September post:

In the few weeks before he died, Frodo was having trouble getting up and down the back stairs on the deck to go to the bathroom in the grass.  Unlike some dogs, Frodo always, only, went to the bathroom on the grass, with the sole exception being when it snowed and he decided that a snow-covered deck was no different than snow-covered grass.  So, I started carrying him down there much of the time, but I knew he didn't love it.  Already he had to be carried up to the bed, when just weeks before he could spring up there with the energy of first-grader.  My first plan to solve this problem was to build a ramp, or rather, have my very talented father come up and build a ramp.  I went so far as to take measurements and do geometry, but ultimately decided the project was too involved for something I wasn't sure he would even use; he was a creature of habit and an attempt years ago, during his back injury days, to coax him to walk up those little stairs you can get at Walgreens was met with a blank doggie stare.

Then I had a flash of brilliance. If he couldn't come down to the grass, I'd make the grass come to him.  After a ridiculous attempt to buy sod at Lowe's, where they not only don't carry it, but the garden center clerk didn't even know what it was (Me: "Do you have rolls of sod?" Garden Center Clerk: "Huh. Sod. I don't think so. Maybe. I'm not sure. What is sod anyway? Maybe I should call and ask?" Me: "Yeah, why don't you do that."), I went to a local nursery where you can buy a six foot roll of sod for the utterly reasonable price of five dollars.
After getting it home and lugging it inside (six feet of sod is heavy), I cut it in half (tip: regular scissors will indeed cut through sod!) and laid it out on the back deck.  And suddenly I had a lovely little patch of grass for Frodo to do his business, right out the back door. 

Convincing him to use it was another story.  At first he found it to be a delightful place to lay in the sun, which was just fine with me, though it meant I was still carrying him down the steps.  I was afraid I'd have to sod the entire back deck, in order for him to have the proper square footage to pee and poop and sun. Eventually he began to use it occasionally for its intended purpose, though he never full bought into the notion of the sod patch as a replacement for his precious backyard kingdom, a place where his beagle nose sniffed out all the goings on of the neighborhood cats and squirrels. But the chance to give him a little joy on that little patch of grass was the best five dollars I ever spent.

The sod started to turn brown in his last days.  That's not some sort of metaphor; apparently sod on a deck still needs to be watered.

In the spirit of that little patch of grass, I wanted to post this song. As usual, James Taylor delivers.

"Well, the sun's not so hot in the sky today
And you know I can see summertime slipping on away
A few more geese are gone, a few more leaves turning red
But the grass is as soft as a feather in a featherbed
So I'll be king and you'll be queen
Our kingdom's gonna be this little patch of green
Won't you lie down here right now
In this September grass
Won't you lie down with me now
September grass
Oh the memory is like the sweetest pain..."

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