The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Boots’ Results


Last check-up for Boots’ ear surgery. I had to take my grandson with me, a canine and a primate pulling at their leads (Not literally for Caleb. I don’t actually put him on a leash.) Caleb jabbered while Boots sat on alert as we waited in traffic from Squirrel Hill to the Fort Pitt tunnels. People with signs standing beside us on the wall edge to the Mon Wharf. Yesterday a pregnant woman smoking a cigarette ascending the steps at the abutment. I wanted to yell, “Stop smoking.” But nothing’s that simple. It was sunny and hot as we snailed our course to the tunnel. Finally emerging on the other side into large steady raindrops. It was as if the 3600 feet burrowed into the hill divided the sky of city and suburb. The traffic slithered up the hill. Usually at that time of day, I move quickly. By the time we reached the exit for I-79, it was raining pressure-washer-hard on the cars pounding away dirt and bugs and maybe paint. Vehicles traveling with flashers at 40 mph. There were a few times I thought of cancelling the appointment as the National Weather Service interrupted my music with warnings of flash flooding in Allegheny County, but the rainbow promise of a slow-down pushed me on as did the thought that cancellation would mean rescheduling. It did eventually slow down by the time we reached the exit for National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. Not stop, but slow as if someone changed the nozzle. It rained the entire drive slowing to sprinkles and then increasing to large pounding drops intermittently. At the road separation of I-68 and I-79, we returned to flashers for a few miles. At Fairmont just a sprinkle.

We sat down beside a yapping small white dog asserting itself to other dogs and a champing-at-the-bit Bernese Mountain Dog who really just wanted to meet Boots. Boots was willing. Then a kid came in to offer pets and wheedle tricks of this 1-year-old Bernese still growing. Boots has her admirers too who always think she is a puppy instead, according to the Pedigree breed calculator, ∼ 44 and considered a senior as those few gray hairs attest. Caleb was lying on the floor where dogs have undoubtedly peed. Maybe not that day though. He got up after a couple of requests and told the new pet owner who came in to say hi to Boots. He did as commanded by the almost-three-year-old.

Boots jumped in my lap in the examining room as we waited for Dr. Moore. I lifted her to the table for him. He trimmed a little hair from her ear and happily showed me his work. I, knock-on-wood, am well-pleased.  “If only someone had suggested surgery earlier,” I said as we left.


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