Doxie Doodle, Surf Dog Diaries reporter, takes a walk on the wild side- a hike up past spectacular Mount Hood, past wild bad eagles, wildflowers, towering cliffs, and writes his own dog blog about life in the Columbia River Gorge.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
Dear Dog Diary:
Every single thing I’m gonna tell you really happened. Nothing’s made up. You couldn’t make this stuff up. What I didn’t see or live myself, I learned from my dog bro’s, my mom, my kitty sis or some other animal relative.
I am Doodle, fourth generation Ayers family surf dog. The surf dog thing started long before me – almost 30 years ago - before dog surfing was even a sport – at Dog Beach in San Diego. Before surf dog contests were even invented.
My dog mom Barb Ayers and my basset bro’s made that scene in So Cal and came home with prizes for dog surfing.
Our family surf dog hang 20 legacy was handed down, dog to dog – from Howdy to Elvis to Dude and to me. I came along in January 2012, the first doxie of the pack. I did my first surf dog contest a year later.
These are our Surf Dog Diaries, memoir stories - all real life, not fiction, not a novel - but totally novel. We are a pack of rescue dogs who found our way from sadness to surfing.
But Diary - you need to overlook my writing skills. Typing skills.
My toes are too pointy and hairy for typing. Lip flapping - talking - is for you dog people. I’m not a verbal guy.
I speak with body. My spine. My nose. My actions. My heart.
I had a little help with the writing part.
Our surf dog story is about finding your way in a world that has totally changed.
About being changed.
Big, blaring cities with wall-to-wall houses, where no one knows each other any more. That’s why we escaped to a dinky dog town in the Pacific Northwest.
We moved from Dog Beach, California to Dog River, Oregon a decade ago.
Back in Cali, beaches crowded with too many towels and tourists. Houses three feet apart sell for a million bucks. The 3-feet-apart part is why everyone hangs at Dog Beach. It’s like San Diego’s national park for surfers, dogs and dog people. Home of Mother Ocean - our old friend.
Our other old friend, San Diego River, the first river of California, is now penned in, paved over - just a glinty tinkle along the I-8 freeway, with a trolley on top, on the way to the mall. River - she floods each year, stealing back parking spaces from Fashion Valley, on her way to Dog Beach. In San Diego, being one with nature meant watching River overflow in big rains – dumping yucky stuff into Ocean at our favorite beach.
Or going to that famous zoo or safari park my mom worked for. Or camping in the desert. Or escaping across the Mexico border, surfing in Baja – which is still sleepy and old school, how US beaches used to look.
That's when our pack started taking surfing safaris. And ended up in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
We love life in small town America - Hood River, Oregon. Mosier, White Salmon, Parkdale, Stevenson, and other dixky-doxie-sized towns in the Gorge.
So Cali’s - we love you guys, but there were just too many of you any more.
We are living proof that dogs and people rescue each other every day. Together, we ride the ups and downs, the waves of life. Together, we surf.
These are the secret Surf Dog Diaries. Moments between moments.
Melting hearts of grownups, who've outgrown the magic of life. That’s our #1 job as rescue dogs. As kids.
Inside all of that grownup human species tough talk, is a little puppy. Sometimes with all the talk, you people just miss out on the best parts of life. I’m pretty convinced that’s exactly why dogs don’t talk.
We need each other - extroverts and introverts. People and puppies. Parents and kids. Windsurfers, surfers and SUPpers (stand up paddleboarders.) Grand dogs and seniors. “Domesticated” dogs, feral and wild child friends. People in small towns and big cities all over the world.
My thing is body language - not human blah blah blah words in the air.
Meaningful looks. Heavy sighs. Toes touching mom's on a surfboard ride. A gentle lick on the hand when you need it most. Long leaners - your whole bod smashed against hers, solid and reliable. Thoughtful butt sniffing. Wild bunny chasing dreams on hardwood floors on a cold winter night. Camping snores in the middle of nowhere. Farts. Big dog hearts.
Somehow in our fam, that magically evolved into dogs hanging 20 toes on a surfboard together.
For years, I rode with my mom and my two dog bro’s - all four of us on board. Hang 70!
I am a carry on bag dog - flying through air - something none of my brothers could do.
I even tried surfing with a cat once. Well, that was just weird.
These are our stories.
Come on inside.
Circle around a couple of times - find just the right spot and plop down on the rug.
For the secret surf dog handshake.