Phobia Schmobia


by Dinah, the Labrador

Hello, Cheri’s readership ( all ten of you)!

In Cheri’s composing, anytime she mentions my name, I have asked her in no uncertain terms ( I do this by repeatedly putting my paw with overgrown nails on her thigh while she is trying to write on her (damn) computer), to notify me and secure my approval before she uses me for her own personal entertainment.

This request has always gone by ignored. (Shock)

You regular readers, all ten of you, must know that when she photographed me growling at the Dyson vacuum last year (as if it were weird to be frightened by a sucking machine with a see-through canister that holds so much of my own hair), she did not ask  my permission.

That I now have developed a perfectly normal aversion to coming down one stair from our entry way to the only room I am allowed in, the “family” room,  is no big deal.

I decided to beat Cheri to the punch and put that psychological diagnosis right out on the table before she could use  me for your amusement.

She tends to that with many people and pets. I call that habit “ruthless.”

My decision to elevate my concern about trotting down one tile step started when I must have tripped either going down or coming up. I’m overweight; my nails look like a fortune-teller’s; is it any wonder that a 70-lb person ( I mean, dog) who walks on four legs with over-grown nails might worry about “getting a grip???”

I asked Cheri to describe the pre-dance that I now do before I can come down that one stair.

She likened it to a Roomba vacuum (there’s that V-word again) stuck in forward-backward motion, trying to move but unable to do so. The clicking of the nails on the tile, the readiness of a creature to step down (but not), the locomotion of a falling object accented by whining and whirring…

It’s really gotten out of paw. I refer to Cheri’s angst.

I find that being stuck in limbo (between the entry and the family room) in a place outside the powder room draws incredible attention to my predicament although Cheri’s husband, the good judge, could “care less.” He appears to be more concerned with his Wheat Thins and vodka tonic than my anxiety on the stair.

Last night, Cheri had had it watching what she termed a “pathetic situation.”

Finally, her brain clicked into gear.

She saved my life by putting an old towel (now dirty with rainy paw prints) over the one stair.

I’m coming down no problem.

Life is good.


About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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11 Responses to Phobia Schmobia

  1. Richard says:

    Dear Dinah,
    You and I are twin souls.
    Last night, after catching a bus all the way round the world, I was surprised to find myself on a cliff edge obscured by a fence of white sheeting.
    It may have something to do with going A over E down a slippery slope a month ago. On the other hand it may not.
    I can say that only now do I begin to view our driveway with less suspicion. Life, it seems, is now returning to normal for both of us.
    Keep in touch.

    • Cheri says:

      Thanks, Richard. I feel better already. I’m still hesitating to go up the stair but the towel is providing some visual footing for my paws. I am very glad to hear from Cheri that you, too, are recovering from you bobsled accident. You know, the Winter Olympics are coming up.

  2. Good for you Dinah. I knew she would catch on some day. Sometimes it takes a blind pig to find an acorn. I feel so much better knowing you will not be tumbling A over E down those slippery tile steps. Remember you can always come live with Aunt Kayti if things get too tough. AK

    • Cheri says:

      I can’t believe you mentioned acorns, Charlie’s mother. I am sure Cheri told you all about my eating as many acorns as possible. I will mention the options of coming to live with Charlie to Cheri.

  3. shoreacres says:

    I’m happy for such an easy (if late solution), but I fear I must show my ignorance. What is this “A over E” people seem to know about? I know “I before E,” but I don’t think “A over E” is a spelling rule. I suspect I know what the “A” represents, but “E”? Could it represent a shortening of “teakettle”?

    • Richard says:

      Don’t you have Accident and Emergency departments in Texas, then, Linda? Mind you, the NHS has run out of beds so I just dealt with it – like a Texas cowboy.

      • shoreacres says:

        Oh, gosh. I missed your comment, Richard, and just found it now when Cheri’s popped up. We don’t have Accident and Emergency departments here, although we do have Emergency Medical Services that tend to everything from heart attacks to car wrecks to fires (in conjunction with the fire departments). I suspect they’re busy tonight. We’re in the middle of real winter, with icy roads, sleet, snow, freezing rain, and all the rest. With so many overpasses and bridges, there’s a lot of frozen roadway out there for people to play bumper cars on. And cold? Oh, my.

    • Cheri says:

      Those British guys…Love to show off their abbreviation skills.

  4. wkkortas says:

    (This response dictated to me by own canine, who goes by the nom de plume Pete)

    Ah, Dinah…please note I do not share in schadenfreude experienced by our “masters” as we engage in the struggle between the pastoral nature of the simple, time-honored way of doing things and the alien and alienating nature of the so-called modern conveniences. Indeed, their clucking and tut-tutting leaves me flummoxed. Have they not read their Waugh, their Huxley, their Camus? It boggles the mind. If you would excuse me for a moment…


    I’m sorry about that, genetic imperative and all that…so, where was I? Oh, yes. Tell the good Cheri to get a good old fashioned broom. They do fine work, and I’ve yet to see a canister upright that could scratch one’s belly.

    • Cheri says:

      Dearest Pete,
      Are you dating anyone?
      I am 9 (63) but I am friendly, loyal, and smart. I wear eye makeup. My teeth? Well, Pete, that is a different matter. You see, I chew rocks, eat acorns, and retrieve anything that falls from Cheri’s deck.

      How do you get the nerve to scream at deer?

      I am so consumed with foraging for truffles, I never even notice that the deer are around.

      Cheri is profoundly disappointed that I do not chase turkeys.

      Sometimes I think Cheri rides a broom!

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