Windsurfing is our first passion as surf dogs. We love to sail the Columbia River, right in our Oregon front yard. My three dogs sons - Elvis, Dude and Doodle sail with me in Hood River, Oregon, the windsurfing capital of the world.Read More
There are those sweet and selfless beings. The only ones so incredibly happy that you’re stuck at home, miserably sick. They aren’t your people. But you are theirs.
I’m not suitable for public consumption. I can’t get out of bed. Can’t talk. Or walk. Or breathe. Bed bound.
The Mount Hood peak of wadded tissues, volcanic overflow up and over the trash can. Wadded papers stacked up like a week’s worth of writer’s block per day.
Only worse – way worse.
Crumpled tissues with parts of me wrapped around them. Not given, but taken. Expelled. Violently removed. Sneezing and coughing and nose blowing. No, not blowing, more like blow torching. Body shaking violent eruptions. Mt Hood going off. Or is it St. Helens?
Overflowing trashcans; a four Kleenex box day.
Way worse than textbook virus. Not nose running, or sniffles or coughing. All of that, and more, on steroids. Must be why the doc gave me steroids, to counteract my body’s bizarre over response to a flu bug attack. It's spring - allergy season, too.
Body shaking, rattling, racking, uncontrollable coughs that tear into lungs and passageways. Ripped open, against their will. Bruising cells, now flooding with viral gunk. Disgusting junk. Way worse than baby poo, diarrhea on diapers, normal people call rough stuff.
Profoundly ill. Inhuman conditions. The kind another human can’t tolerate.
The kind a sick human would never ask another human to.
Alone in the house. Sick house - the kind no normal being enters voluntarily. A good friend drops off homemade soup, but understandably leaves it on the porch. This is not a moment of intimacy people like to share.
In comes the doxie.
For better for worse. In sickness and in health.
Burrowing in, elbowing along, dragging his stomach, inching up the bed, like sneaking up on prey. Pulling himself along the length of my body, from my toes up to my nose.
Jumps up to my head, propped up in bed. Wraps his arms around my neck, paws on skin. Looks deep into my eyes - his, glistening bright. Mine, dull and dim.
One quick lick to my cheek. Not an annoyingly long submissive thing I couldn’t stand, even on a good day. Just a kiss. Not noticing I’m sick as a dog. Or maybe just because?
My doxie noses in, under the tangle of blankets and pillows and body parts. Finding an opening. under covers, through the gunk and the wracked, soggy, disgusting mass of former humanity curled up like a dog. Finds a crevice that he can ooze into that will expand out to let him press full body against mine, between legs and stomach and sharing soft, warm body heat like a doxie hot water bottle, soothing and sweet as if sweet was even an option right now. I’d go for tolerable or even one percent less than inhumane. And then sweet noses in.
My son, my Doodle. Full body contact as if I’m not really a leper. Pressing his cute little shiny orange butt up against my jammies. Curly q tail wrapping around my thigh like even it wants so desperately to embrace me.
And now we’re snoring together. Wow, sweet snoring at last. I can’t sleep, so any catnap will do. Even 10 minutes of rest is a welcome change of fate.
Why do they call it sick as a dog?
Back in the 1700’s, people would just let homeless dogs die in the street. They were not welcome in neighborhoods or homes – never in beds, not for centuries. Nor were they given medical attention. Outcasts. Bad luck was blamed on dogs, sick and wandering the streets. In misery.
Seems like we’ve come full circle here.
Now I’m the miserable one, the down dog he’s catering to. He’s the one I adopted off the streets. Or is it the other way around? If this isn’t medical attention, I don’t know what is.
I love my dog. So profoundly glad he loves me too.
And when he’s worked his magic on me, that cat takes over baby-sitting duties.
And at some point in the distant future, I’ll be suitable for human interaction.
Elvis is at the vet - is there any more helpless feeling?
I'm a worried sick dog mom
My majestic blind surf dog is finally better
Coping with disasters - love, loss and oil train derailments
Eagle Creel Fire - hoping for the best, preparing for the worst
‘Tis the season!
Ride along with us - Surf Dog Diaries - in our annual Christmas parade in the Columbia River Gorge. Together, we’re surfing the streets in Hood River, Oregon.
Dog Beach. Dog River. Dog Mountain.
We surf dogs have lived (and surfed) in three states, searching for life’s perfect wave - Dog Beach (California,) Dog River (Oregon) and Dog Mountain (Washington).
Yes, those are real places, all important to the history of the wild, wild west. And surf dogs everywhere - man and animal.
By the way, Dog River and Dog Mountain are neighbors here, across the Columbia River where we live and surf.
Surfing the streets
We started parade surfing the streets in San Diego’s Ocean Beach in 1992, promoting our old home beach, Dog Beach, which needed repairs.
Back then, my first surf dog, Howdy Doody and I marched with the O.B. Geriatric Precision SurfBoard Drill Team - an OB institution, and a killer-good surf club.
OB geriatrics were surfers that were 30 or older. We carried surfboards in parades. Howdy and I “skied” behind a ski boat or “surfed” land boards down Newport Avenue.
At the time I was OB Town Council President. Howdy and I were co chairs of the OBTC Dog Beach Committee, responsible for fixing up America’s first leash free beach.
The parade tradition carried on, after the OB Geriatric surf club retired for good, and after we moved to Oregon.
All four of my surf dogs were low riders- three bassets and a doxie. All were rescue mutts. No pedigree necessary.
Up on the roof! A 7-foot weiner dog. “Doxie Dasher - up, up and away….”
Windsurfing right behind - 16-pound doxie Doodle...
Who’s that green “Who” of Who-Ville?
Kelsey Jacobson, our next door neighbor girl, dressed as the Christmas Tree in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie.
On her shoulder is the cat that tore down the Griswold’s Christmas tree, tangled in lights.
This is small town community spirit.
Here, we all come out to celebrate the holidays - together - at the parade. Or ANY day!
Together, we are all the Whos in Who-Ville.
As the parade ends, the countdown to Christmas begins… with kids and adults chanting…
… Then lights fill the sky -
and songs fill the streets - carols filling homes and hearts all around…
From Doctor Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas:
“Every Who down in Who-Ville,
the tall and the small,
was singing — without any presents at all!”
“… and then the true meaning of Christmas came through…
and the Grinch found the strength
of ten Grinches, plus two!
“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store -
maybe Christmas perhaps, means something more….”
The Morning After the parade - a Christmas visitor…
Who-Ville got its first gift of snow December 8th, decorating hills and homes… rivers and forests, mountains and roads…
Don’t stop believing!
Snow magic - Santa magic - Grinch magic.
The spirit of Who-Ville.
It can happen any time - any season.
Give with your whole heart - just like your best friend dog does - every moment of every day.
JOY TO YOUR TWO FEET AND FOUR PAWS!
Barb & Doodle Ayers
Surf Dog Diaries