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Take this smelly job and shovel it!

Fried Rice
Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

“… And there’s one over there … and over there … and over there,” husband-head pointed out to me as he walked around the back yard.

I followed behind him with a shovel in one hand and a bucket in the other ” and I was not very pleased.

While recovering from open heart surgery, husband-head wasn’t allowed to lift anything, so I had to take on a number of chores that are normally his around the house.



Including picking up the dog poop.

And while I realize that what goes into the puppies must come OUT of the puppies, I didn’t realize exactly how much that entailed.



“The trick is to get the shovel underneath and kind of fling it up like a pancake,” husband-head coached. “It’s also easier to pick ’em up in the morning when they’re frozen.”

Ah … the fine art of shoveling dog doo.

“This is so totally gross,” I said, putting the neck of my sweatshirt over my nose as I attempted to capture one. “It’s worse than taking out the garbage.”

“See … now maybe now you’ll appreciate me,” husband-head nodded. “I had to do this stuff every day.”

Dusting, vacuuming and mopping the floors were beginning to not look so bad.

When we got back inside, husband-head plopped himself on his pillow on the couch.

“I’ll have a steak and cheese bomb sandwich now!” he yelled out.

You’ll have no such thing.

Since his heart attack, our kitchen very much resembles the inside of an entire health food store. No-fat cheese, sour cream, lactose-free milk, baby spinach, salad mix, fruit and berries, vegetables, whole grain everything and oatmeal. All we are missing are some wool socks, Birkenstock sandals and some trees to hug.

“All we are saying … is give peace a chance!” I sang out to the old John Lennon hippie song as I opened the fridge door.

I would’ve waved a lighter around like we did at concerts in the old days, but I’d quit smoking months ago and we have no lighters in the house.

“You’re having chicken and rice soup and a salad,” I yelled to husband-head from the kitchen. “And if you’re nice, you can have an oatmeal and craisin cookie afterwords.”

“I’LL decide what I’m having,” husband-head yelled back from the couch, trying to retain some semblance of household control. “I’M still the big toe!”

True, but right now he was the broken toe.

“Yes honey,” I agreed. “But I’M the one dispensing the pills and the pain medication and deciding which end of you I’ll put the thermometer in. If I were you, I’d be really, really nice to me.”

That quieted him for a few minutes.

But husband-head has been doing very well and when we went to our first followup visit after the surgery, the surgeon was pleased with his progress.

“And how are YOU?” she turned to me after examining husband-head.

I knew she was asking because of how freaked out I was when husband-head was in the hospital. At one point, they threatened to hospitalize ME if I didn’t calm down and breathe.

“I’m OK,” I assured her. “But I don’t like picking up the dog poop.”

The doctor laughed.

“I said he couldn’t lift anything over ten pounds for awhile ” surely that doesn’t qualify,” she said, looking at both of us questioningly.

“They’re big dogs,” husband-head offered up lamely.

“I knew it ” he’s milking this,” I said, staring at husband-head accusingly.

The nice surgeon then asked if we had any other questions regarding husband-head’s care.

I figured at about $3 million per hour, we might as well ask her any damn thing that was on our minds.

“When is it safe to … you know …” I sort of whispered.

A big grin came across her pretty face

“Anytime now,” she assured me with a wink. “But I don’t want him putting a lot of weight on his arms … so you’ll have to do all the work.”

Of course … just like picking up the poo.

That evening, when I was again out on doggie duty, I had a brainstorm.

“Honey, you know all those sweet cards and phone calls from people who asked if there was ANYTHING they could do …”

Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her website at http://www.heidirice.com.


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