Saturday, August 30, 2014

In The Dog House

Back before I went back to work, I loved this blog.  It was such a fun way to get a little "me" time.  Sit down, look back over the day's events, and process it out over the keyboard to all of my friends who live in the computer. 

Working full time really puts a damper on the amount of time I have to do that these days - as evidenced by the date of my last post, practically 2 years ago.  A lot goes on day to day, and sometimes I think "That would make a really good blog story", but then I weigh out the time it takes to sit down and compose something halfway witty - and ultimately resort to the laziness of condensing it into a Facebook post and calling it a day. 

But that doesn't mean I don't miss these little sessions. 

I do.

So here's a funny little story that was WAY to long for a Facebook post.  (And by "funny little story" I mean it's really long, but funny if you like dogs, and poop, and destruction, and sleeplessness, and the general overall misery of *someone* totally getting what's coming to her.....)  Still with me?  Ok then.  Here we go......

Did I tell you we got a dog? We did.
And then we got another.  Because the instant that little 8 pound Norman got out of the car, I could NOT get enough of him.

I had this little episode that I can only describe as a minor mid-life crises where I wrapped him in my arms, smothered him to my face, and was all:
And Mike was all "Uhhhhhhhhhh........What?"  And then he listed all the practical things he could come up with that would counter my crazy ramblings about the absolute necessity of another puppy. 
Double the dog poop. 
Double the vet bills. 
Double the food. 
Double the walking.
Double the space in the car. 
Double the 80 pounds of dog. 
Double the puppies, for crying out loud. 
And I didn't care.  Wouldn't listen.  Wouldn't hear of it.  Wasn't interested. 
I answered all his statements with a chipper "That's fine."
We were getting another puppy. Period.  I was driven.  And so I made us go back for Oscar.


And Oscar, my friends, is the gift that keeps on giving.  He is a sweet-faced little bundle of fuzzy joy who reminds me daily that practicing a little restraint is not a bad thing.  And that sometime - (yes, sometimes) - maybe you should listen to your husband.  (Bookmark this blog post Mike, because I'm only sayin' it once.)

Norman is generally quiet.  Oscar barks.  Norman sleeps through the night.  Oscar is up at 4:00am trying to explain to us that it's morning and we should be up too.  Norman travels well.  Oscar barfs in the car.  Norman rings the bell on the back door to go outside.  Oscar poops in the dining room.  You get the idea. 

Fast forward to early June.  The dogs are 9 months old, and we're traveling to Ohio for a visit to Grammie and Grampy.  It's just the boys, the dogs and me because Mike is swamped at work.  Oscar has been given his road-trip meds (and by "given" I mean mostly shoving them down his throat  up to my elbow and then halfway wrestling his 80 pounds into submission to make sure he swallows, because I've never seen a dog who hates pills more, or who is SO good at spitting them out if you don't get them in just right) and for the 8 hour journey, all is good.    

We arrive in the afternoon, no worse for the wear and the dogs get a good run in...... down 4 yards to the neighbors who are sitting on their front porch and totally freaked out because two 80 pound dogs are running at them -- (delighted, by the way, to find someone to play with) -- while a disheveled 40 year old and a 12 year old worry wart chase after them.  But no harm, no foul.  We make jokes with the neighbors who seem to brush off their initial panic, and get the dogs back where they belong. 

The rest of the afternoon into the evening goes smoothly and eventually everyone settles in for the night.  I stay up for a while, watching TV and putzing around, and at 11:00pm I let the dogs out to go to the bathroom and then take them downstairs to sleep in the basement with me.

I turn out the lights and get under the covers, but I can hear one of them - presumably Oscar - wandering around the room.  More than once, over the course of the next few hours, the jingling tags on his collar wake me up, so I lean out of bed and peer into the darkness to tell him to "lay down".  

And then, all of a sudden he's right next to my bed - right up against it, practically in my face.  As I'm waking up and trying to get my bearings, he jumps up on the bed, walks over me and lays down.  And as the words "Oscar!  What in the world are you doing?!" are coming out of my mouth, a horrible smell is hitting my nose.  And as I'm leaning out of bed to turn on the light, I asked him.... "Oh my God, did you POOP in here?!". 

The short answer, ladies and gentlemen, is yes.  Yes he did.  The scene that unfolded as the light spread across the room was one that will haunt me for years to come.  Because not only had he pooped in the room...... He'd pooped everywhere in the room.  Including INSIDE my duffel bag.  AND he managed to walk in it - because it was in SO many places - and then spread it to every square-inch of the room while he presumably looked for a place to walk that didn't already have poop on it.  And THEN, with poopy paws, he'd jumped up onto the bed - which - if you remember from the previous paragraph was exactly when I was waking up and smelling bad smells simultaneously. 

So when I tell you that there was poop everywhere....I mean it was everywhere

And did I mention that I'd forgotten to pack pajamas?  That I was only sleeping in my undies?  Because that is also part of the story.  Me, standing there in a poop-filled room, in my undies.  And there was nothing I could put on, because as you'll also recall from the previous paragraph -- he shit INSIDE my bag.  Where my clothes were., yeah.  Me and the undies I was wearing.  That was my only option.

Also.... I couldn't quite figure out how to get the dogs out of the room immediately because lots of the poop was right by the door - which was closed.  And I had to open it, thus spreading a rainbow of poop across the carpet, if I was going to get them out. Not to mention the fact that I had no way to pick up the poop in order to get out the door. 
I had to get out in order to get something to pick it up with. 
But... I needed to pick up the poop before I could open the door. 
See how that works?  And at 3:00am on snippets of broken sleep, that is a hard problem to solve. And there was only so long they were going to stand there among the poo-grenades before things got worse.  

Norman, for his part, was huddled in a far corner pointing at Oscar like "That was NOT ME, man!  It was him!  And I'd like to leave this room now....."

So I bit the bullet and opened the door - poop pile and all - and in nothing but my undies, dragged Norman, Oscar, and his poopy paws up the stairs, through the kitchen, and onto the porch where I left them so I could go about the business of a 3:00am deep-cleaning of my parent's basement. 

After a solid hour and a half of carpet-scrubbing, bed stripping, and multiple loads of laundry containing everything from bed sheets and comforters, to duffel and toiletries bags (because yes, he even managed to poop on the bag that contained my toothpaste and shampoo) I managed a shower, located a clean sheet, sent Mike a text about how OHMYGODIMIGHTKILLOSCAR and settled in on the basement couch.

Sleep was blissful.... for 30 minutes.  Which was when Oscar started barking from the porch. 

I ran upstairs - still in my undies, but grateful for a sheet - and let him outside again as he promptly disappeared into the fog of the neighbor's backyard.  When I caught him - running behind him wearing my sheet - he was busily pooing a pile in the middle of their yard as tall as my knee.  "HOW do you have ANY poop left in you?!" I hissed at him.  "I mean, GOOD LORD, DOG!!!  How much poo can your body hold?"  

All I could think about was getting him out of the neighbor's yard because the last thing I wanted was for someone to come investigate the commotion in their backyard at 5:00 a.m.   Can you imagine?  "Hi!  Don't mind me standing here in a sheet.  And this giant pile of poo?  It's cool.  I'll get it later.  Promise."  

Finally.....  Thank Heavens, finally.... he seemed to have nothing left.  So we wandered back up to the house and I put him back on the porch with Norman.  I stumbled back down to the basement and fell onto the couch where I slept until 8:00.... which is when, even through my slumber, I heard my mom utter the words "OH MY GAWD!"  

If you've ever taken the kids or the dogs to Grammie and Grampy's, and you are awakened by those words, you KNOW it has something to do with what you've brought into their house.  Because they don't wake up and just say stuff like that on a regular basis.  My mom doesn't make it a habit to wander into the kitchen and say "OH MY GAWD, this coffee you made is just fantastic, Bill!"  Right?  There's a tone to those words that you know is all you, and that you know is some giant mess just waiting for you to walk into.              

So as I hauled my sorry ass up the stairs one more time,  I see Oscar playing outside in the yard all by himself.  Which in itself would not be a big deal if he hadn't demolished the screen door of the porch to do it. 

I almost cried.   

Except, that face.  I mean, look at him.  He practically smiles. 

He has no idea how big a pain in the ass he is.  I love that face.  In spite of all his ridiculous antics -- or maybe because of them.  I don't know.   
What I do know is this:  I'm reminded regularly that I just HAD to have him.  But ultimately, I'm not sorry.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.   
(Also, I made sure to leave my credit card on file at my parent's house.)