The key to reducing angst for me is often decluttering. Get rid of all those projects that are staring expectantly. I still have hopes of finding my other boot, but I put the one in the closet—it was staring at me. I put the zucchini on the compost pile—I refuse to be cowed by zucchini. I mowed the grass and I planted some perennials I bought at a going-out-of-business sale. I put entire stacks of magazines right into the recycling pile. I stuffed the mousehole with steel wool—a temporary solution, but at least it stops Max from sitting in front of it wailing and whining.
From Mom comes the comment that from chewing shoelaces, Cassandra can be expected to move on quickly to chewing shoes—Toby will surely teach her. And Max will likely teach her his most annoying habit, asking for a cookie every single time he comes in from outdoors. I have never before replaced a dog during the failing years, but my friend Joe routinely does so. And he notes that this practice transmits bad dog habits through the generations. Is there any hope that Cassandra will not whine incessantly for cookies, bury my shoes, and bring rocks into the house?
I washed the windows—imagine! Now I can see the spectacular Vermont landscape unblurred by dog nose prints.