Wednesday, July 1, 2009
One of Manzi's distinctive and quite possibly funniest features when she arrived in Casa Cochabamba was her backside. Let me put it this way: the girl was operating with some serious junk in her doggy trunk. For such a small pup, she had such a disproportionately large butt, and she would uncontrollably shake what her Mama gave her as she walked. Coupled with her equally active, stubby tail, the simple act of her walking would crack me up. Now that the rest of her body has caught up to her early blooming behind, neither the size nor the shaking are as noticeable, although the latter comes out (along with trickles of urine - oh puppies) when someone returns home.
But therein lies the problem - her once svelte figure that merely looked bigger due to her Dr. J-esque afro is now approaching Lane Bryant For Puppies territory! Nearly everyone who frequents the house on a semi-regular basis makes note of her increase in girth, remarking "Ay, ¡está gorda!", or "¡Que gorda está!". It's worth noting that Argentines will affectionately use gordo (fat one), viejo (old person), loco (crazy person), and boludo (stupid person) as nicknames for friends, and flaco (skinny person) for a friend or in reference to an unknown person, but when we call her "gorda" it's because, well, she's gotten a noticeably tubby.
Most if not all of this trend can be blamed on us: while we cannot account for genetics - hence "shake what her Mama gave her", which could have been bad genes in addition to a generous helping of ass, chances are we spoil her food-wise (we have just switched to actual dog food after a month or so of cooked chicken, beef, liver, veggies, rice, and other dog-friendly items we eat ourselves). And since she hasn't gotten all her shots yet (also not our fault), she can't go out to the street or park for walks, resulting in a somewhat sedentary lifestyle where she gets exercise from the occasions when someone comes home and she sprints to the door. Today I tried to change that by giving her a workout on the latest mountain she has conquered: our stairs. I planned on having her go up and down the stairs five times to start, but on her second descent she started yelping between steps - she's had a nagging injury to the front-left paw that acted up. I thought she'd gotten over it, but evidently it's still bothering her and severely limits her capacity for strenuous activity. So I will wait until she gets better, or gets her shots, so she can lose her proverbial "freshman 15".
I can identify with the young pup because I've also been nursing a few injuries. In fact, I've gone three weeks now without running more than a few meters due to a bum knee and a (I guess) strained hip flexor. My knee had been bothering me for a few weeks previous, but I kept playing for three reasons: our team, even with me there, struggled to field enough players to hold proper games, so my absence would have meant forfeit. The other two reasons why I kept playing can be attributed my high tolerance for pain and ultra competitiveness. Julia calls stubborness, or stupidity, but hey, I saw to-may-toe, you say to-ma-toe. I finally took a break after the latter injury, which occurred while running at full speed and hitting an uneven patch of grass that caused one of those lovely athletic situations in which one half of your body moves in one direction and the other violently goes in the exact opposite direction with my left hip flexor suffering the consequences. It was so bad later that day that I could not lift my left leg without doing so manually. Walking, especially up stairs, was quite difficult. My normally upbeat gait turned ginger and pain accompanied many a step. Frisbee Thursdays, Saturdays, or Sundays became tortures sessions. All I could do was sit on the sidelines while others competed or simply enjoyed the sunny days by running around, something I simply could not do even though both injuries do feel better. I've done my best to maintain a regular exercise schedule of sit-ups and push-ups so as not to fall completely out of shape, but I miss running and jumping. Luckily we've had a giant influx of new players in the past few weeks, and I hope to come back from my time on the disabled list to help them out in the coming days when we will try to shock the world and win our play-offs as the last seed. Pray for us, we may (really) need your help. And if my injuries flare up, I may have to postpone all athletic activities until Manzi gets her shots, at which point we can both begin our new workout plan.
Also, happy 4th of July everyone reading in the States! I've tried to convey the importance this day should carry for all mankind but the Argentines are reluctant to adopt my way of thinking. Oh well, do expect a blog post with pictures galore documenting the glorious day. America!