And now it's time for the continuing saga . . . of Cooper.

Way back when we were still in school, Russ did an internship and we spent the summer living next door to sort of a strange family.  Actually, the family was nice enough -- it was the father that had something a little off about him. 

For one thing, he hardly ever had to work, which is not conducive to normalcy in a 30-something male in my experience. So he had a lot of free time which he spent around the house and in the yard, engaging in loud activities. He was one of those "look at me" types.

Lindsay was just a baby then, so I toted her over to their house and did babysitting for them -- until the day I was dismissed for feeding their children cinnamon toast for breakfast (which their children suggested and fixed for themselves, btw, being well-practiced in the technique.  Fishy.) What did they expect for breakfast . . . steamed broccoli?

Anyway, our most vivid memory of this family is the time the youngest boy broke his leg in a somewhat spectacular fashion and had the most enormous cast I've ever seen on a 3-year-old boy.  So the father did what any normal dad would do -- he put the little boy in a wagon and pulled him around the neighborhood, loudly wailing (the dad, not the kid) "POOOOOOR FRANKLIN!   POOOOOOR FRANKLIN!"  Oh boy.

But I've been thinking about that memory . . . and I've started looking for a wagon.  The problem is, it needs to be a REALLY BIG wagon because of what I need to pull around the block:

Cooper endured his second knee surgery last week, and although he is now begging to jump and run and play, my checkbook is less eager to rebound.  I'm not sure whether I should wail, "POOOOOOR COOOOPER" or "POOOOOR RUSS AND SUSAN" because so far, this dog has set back our retirement just about as much as our youngest child's college education.  (But that's another post.)

Flying McCoys, Glenn and Gary McCoy

Cooper hates nothing more than wearing a big plastic cone on his head, but he seems to be completely unaffected by pain.  They did, after all, slice off his knee, twist the bones around a lot, and reattach everything less than a week ago, but that hasn't really discouraged him from BOUNDING to the door when it opens or to the cookie jar when he sees me enter the target zone.

The nice lady who cared for him at the vet's office commented that, while he has an amazing capacity for pain, he also has quite an endearing capacity for self-pity, and she was right. Cooper is well practiced in the art of "puppy dog eyes." 

Since coming home, however, he's moved more into the "stoic endurance" phase of his recuperation.

He just sighs a lot and hopes someone remembers to reach in the cone and stroke his ear now and then (which I do . . . but it's getting a little icky inside that cone . . . and still a week to go!)

Our biggest problem is keeping him from running and jumping, or from trying to barrel up and down the stairs every time he senses movement on another floor. We'll be fighting those impulses for the next 12 weeks.

Special Agent Cooper, from Lindsay's Dog Comics, 2008

Wouldn't that be a wonderful problem to have?  
Can you imagine if your biggest problem 
was trying to keep  from being too enthusiastic and/or too active?

Me neither.

And on another note . . . if you haven't popped in to visit Small Works' Happy Thought yet, please do!  It's still a little lonely over there, but since I embarked on this little adventure I've taken to jotting  ideas on  every scrap of paper I can get my hands on -- and that includes at the car wash, in the shower, at the grocery store . . .

and I just love when that happens!  

Come to think of it, sometimes my biggest problem is trying to keep my BRAIN from getting over-excited and wanting to run and jump and bound up and down stairs.

Maybe I should put it in a plastic cone?

 On second thought, I'll just keep scribbling down the ideas 
and be grateful I'm not a dog.


Jessie said...

COOOOOOOPER!!!!! I hate to see my baby boy in such a sad state! Give him my best (in a high-pitched, words-strung-together manner).

Allie said...

POOOOOOOR COOOOOOOOOPER!!!!!!! Glad he seems to be feeling no pain - how come dogs can bounce back so quick!

Chelsea said...

hahahahahha. that cooper. what a dog. the stoic endurance picture made me laugh out loud. i love that picture! great post!

Amelia and Justin said...

That last picture looks like you tried to force feed him lima beans (or maybe Russ tried to, since I seem to remember him being of the force feeding type).

Poor Susan and Russ :| Probably more Poor Susan than Russ since you are the one that has to stay home with him all day.

We both love the new blog. Justin is so happy that his motto could be used for good :)

susan m hinckley said...

Thanks, Amelia! And I'm sorry if Russ ever tried to "ram feed" you . . . funny Uncle Russ.

I can't thank Justin enough for kicking off my new idea! I'm starting to see this in a book format maybe . . . anyway, I'm really enjoying it. But in about September I'm going to need new ideas, so get thinking, you two!

luanne said...

Love the Special Agent Cooper cartoon! Hope your Cooper recovers quickly, poor guy.

But I'm not sure who suffers more with those dreaded headcones ever-so-casually dispensed by the vet. I think maybe they're a cruel veterinarians' joke on us pet parents.

And 12 more weeks of guarding the stairs? Eek, good luck with that.

Amanda and Christopher said...

Oh NO! The cone of shame! POOOOOR COOOOOPER! Cooper has done something inspiring for us however, that is, he inspired us to get pet health insurance! So thanks for that Cooper!?? Of course I wish it hadn't been at your expense Susan & Russ!

You also noted that "I've taken to jotting ideas on every scrap of paper I can get my hands on -- and that includes at the car wash, in the shower, at the grocery store . ." I bet your dad could tell you that napkins work spledidly for this purpose. :) Love the new blog, btw!

susan m hinckley said...

I had forgotten the napkin habit, Amanda! Thanks for the reminder. Now I just need to carry cool fountain pens with me everywhere I go and I'll be prepared (paper restaurant placemats were also favorites, but they don't fit in his pocket as neatly. They do hold more ideas than a napkin, however . . .)

susan m hinckley said...

Oooh, and I forgot -- well done on the pet insurance! We'll be purchasing it as well for the next dog Russ keeps threatening to get.

Amelia and Justin said...

I love the idea of a book format. Justin suggested a daily calendar where you tear off each day after it passes. I'll take one of each, please! :)

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