It all happened so quickly. In recent weeks I heard Kathie and Ken speaking in hushed tones, in conversations hard to hear and difficult to understand. I initially thought they were making plans for their imminent Ireland trip, an adventure on which I was not invited, a reality I have in time come to accept and appreciate. “Good trip to you both” I say; I can and will enjoy the company of others. But no, this other rumbling was different.
I heard things like “how much would it cost?” And “is this the right time?” And “What would the kids think?” Admittedly, they did say “can we have Juno in a condominium?” So good to know that I do figure in this logistical calculation. They spent a lot more time on the computer looking at pictures of property and houses. They even considered the City Gardens Project here in Kamloops. No, no, no! How would you like to take an elevator ride in order to go pee — Time management issue here. Bladders wait for no dog or human. Thankfully, they looked elsewhere, even out of town.
There were lots of phone calls, emails and text messages. There was the occasional knock on the door, visitors with a smile and a calling card; more people for me to scrutinize. And then — and this is the kicker — they cleaned the house as never before, over and over again. Hours turned into afternoons of work party after work party. We would then go out more often, for an hour here, and forty-five minutes there. They would clear off the counters and put my dog beds and toys away – they seemed embarrassed about my very existence! Ken cut the lawns; Kathie crammed things into already crowded cupboards. All of our daily clutter was stored in strange locations – we still have not found some things days later.
All this skullduggery continued for about a week, and then, big announcement! We have sold our house! We are moving to the South Okanagan, to Summerland, to that small town of 11,645 people, that beautiful place where Ken, Kathie, Cameron and Hannah lived from 1994 – 2005. I joined them here in Kamloops in 2019. Arrowstone Drive is the only home I have known, so it’s hard for me to think about a move. If I must however, I have some questions:
- I am told it’s a condo with no garden. It has two bedrooms (but lots of other spaces) and three baths. So one bathroom for Ken, one for Kathie . . . and one for me? Where will I relieve myself. There’s no back yard. I need my own bathroom? So tell me more — what colour are the walls? Is the floor heated geo-thermally? Must I flush?
- What sort of dog parks will there be in Summerland? Parks are a huge part of my daily routine. Kathie says I will swim almost every morning and night. This will affect my coiffure. If refreshing in summer it sounds cold in November. A map would be helpful.
- Can I still come back and see my friends? What about Murphy, Reggie, Phoebe Gypsy, and Rufus (Didn’t know about him, did you)?
- What sights, sounds and smells should I expect? I have visited the area a number of times in recent years, but only as a tourist. What will winter feel like? Is “Giants Head” a mountain or a piece of public art?
- I am unsure about Condo living. I gather that strata bylaws allow only one small dog. I am forty pounds; Is that “small?” One dog only? I was looking forward to a younger sibling in a year or so. This might be a deal breaker for me. Sorry.
- Finally, I really need to express myself – yes Virginia, this means barking. Is barking allowed? If so, how often and how loud? Will the neighbours with whom we will share either a wall or a floor be patient with me? Will Ken and Kathie receive a visit from the strata council chair in short order. What sort of person is s/he? The Good Book says, “even the rocks must cry out.” Well, that means me; I must speak truth to power. Just sayin.’
The whole enterprise seems unnecessary to me, and hey, was I consulted? Absolutely not. I love Ken and Kathie so very much, but I do feel betrayed. Well if forgiveness is the better part of bitchiness (canine reference intended) I will collaborate with the hopes and dreams of others, again. See what happens. Please visit often.
Friends forever, fat chance.
I can’t believe you are leaving without me!
You dirty rat . . .