AARP sponsors a tax prep program to benefit seniors and low income. The local chapter runs a week-long training course to certify preparers. Since Mike worked in tax prep before fully retiring last year, this activity seemed a good fit with his interests. After all, how tough could it be, right? – I say, right?
Tough! Mike studied the tax manual diligently and last week participated in the training session. I’m not sure what the real purpose of this senior activity is – to challenge oldsters through tax training or to actually provide the tax prep.
As the week went on, I could see that the training was stressful for Mike, but he persevered. Last weekend he took the tests, passed them, and is now a certified tax preparer. With that behind him, he looks forward to the actual work – if there is any.
Anyway – since Mike was busy last week I was left with the care and feeding of the dogs. Mike took them for their usual constitutional right after breakfast, and then he left for the day.
Usually Nellie and Bess nap all morning and then have a walk or hike in the afternoon, but when Mike isn’t here they’re nervous. They know he's gone and they aren't sure when he'll return. They begin to pester me early. Perhaps they know if they don't pester, they won't get much attention.
The routine doesn't vary much. Bess gets up, stretches, and casually moves into my space as Nellie surreptitiously watches her.
Up beside me on her forepaws, Bess leans between me and my laptop and says, “Me and Nell want to go for a walk.” (She does not practice good grammar.)
Coming even closer with her snout, she tests my breath like a connoisseur, nostrils working as her eyes focus away from my face. Then, she turns back to me with her assessment. “You ate something, didn’t you?” she accuses. “Don’t lie to me.”
Indignantly, I push her down. Meanwhile, Nellie, noticing that Bess’ effort has not brought results, rises to provide back-up.
“Lie down!” I command them both. “You’ve already had a walk.”
“EEEE-ow-errrr,” Bess complains, and Nellie turns to face the door. They have no intention of lying down.
They mill around. Bess gets in my face again. “Me and Nell really, REALLY want to go for a walk.”
And so it goes until finally I give in, put on my shoes, and take them for a walk. KW