Friday, September 20, 2013

The Dowager Duchess in her Golden Years

Dowager (dou-uh-jer) --noun  a woman who holds some title or property from her deceased husband, especially the widow of a king, duke, etc. (often used as an additional title to differentiate her from the wife of the present king duke, etc.): a queen dowager; and empress dowager.
an elderly woman of stately dignity, especially one of elevated social position  a wealthy dowager
--adjective  noting, pertaining to, or characteristic of a dowager:  the dowager duchess; to prefer a dowager style of dress.

Any of you who have been following me for the past some years know that I try to keep my dignity at all times.  It was difficult when I lost my dearest friend, WishBone who was the 1st Duke of the House of Hagg.  I suffered terribly and I know it was hard on my staff and servants to see me thus.  During that time, they graciously provided for me with much love and, when the appropriate time for mourning was passed, they helped me to adopt my much beloved Chamberlains, the Lord Malcolm and the Lady McKenzie.  They were hired, of course to tend to my household and keep it in a manner to which I had become accustomed;  well ordered and stately, punctuated with just a smidge of humor every now and then.  It was to be my task, as Dowager Duchess, to train them to perform their duties in a dignified, loyal and regal manner;  always keeping the palace in a state of welcome to the many guests and visitors who frequent it's beautiful gardens and halls.  They were to learn how to oversee the staff in ordering and preparing the food for the many stately dinners and entertainments we enjoy, and for the keeping of the bed chambers and apartments and the upkeep of the gardens and lands.  Our palace is quite grand and the king has honored us with much property so there are many tasks that fill our days.  The Chamberlains were young and inexperienced when they were hired but full of enthusiasm and a strong desire to please.  I knew I would have a great deal of work in their training, but this is just what I needed to bring me out of my sullen state.  I dove into this work with great vigor and energy.

Now, I must admit, that I am beginning to acquiesce to my aging old bones.  I have been so involved in raising these youth to be the fine upstanding nobles they have become that I nearly forgot to care for my own person.  Today, upon gazing into the looking glass, I realize that I have aged a great deal in the past 4 years of their training.  And why wouldn't I?  They have proven to be much more difficult to train than they first appeared and I, after all, will be 11 just 3 days past Christmastide.  I cannot stay young forever and more and more, I yearn to be with my old dear friend, WishBone, Duke of the House of Hagg.

The Chamberlains have required my servants and staff to document the progression of degeneration that has developed in my back legs.  Mind you, my heart and mind are young and active and quite full of my usual vim and vigor.  It's just my back legs that I struggle with.  The Royal doctor calls it arthritis.  It has the effect of slowing my progress as I chase down those two, so I tend to call out direction to them rather than show them what is expected.  I struggle to hold my derriere at a proper level while standing for long periods, and my right rear paw tends to drag or turn at an odd angle while walking.  It has become increasingly difficult to control where my right rear leg is, as it tends to slide in almost every direction except the direction it should.  Seems it has a mind of it's own, my leg.  Ha!  Still, if I can get to the grassy lawn, I get better traction and one would  have to be quite observant to see my legs flailing out the wrong way while I run.  The Acupuncture and the Hydrotherapy do help and I enjoy the time alone at the spa.  It's a good chance for me to catch up on my reading and to organize my thoughts and duty lists for the week.  As much as I adore my Chamberlains;  time away from them is precious and well enjoyed.

The following are the documentations provided at the request of my Chamberlains: 

Notice the drag of the back right toes after she drinks her water.

Nessie barks when she can't keep up and just at the end, both her rear legs flail to the right.

Watch closely both back legs.  The right toes roll in and both legs struggle to find a proper position.


That's me in the Hydrotherapy Chamber.  I love the spa!