So. SO. This has been...A DAY. Let me explain.
Greg left for Mexico for a few days this morning for work. Yeah, MEXICO (nice, right?). Now, we aren't work travelers - I used to have to do a tiny bit for my previous job but now I don't at all, but Greg, who is self-employed, has been ramping up his travel a bit. My point is, we don't have a typical routine for when one of us is not home for a stretch, and, frankly, it blows. Not only will I miss him to help me out with the two idiot dogs and Jane, but I'll just....miss him. You know?
So off he went at 5 a.m., and shortly after, I started getting everyone up and ready for the day. Me: showered, hair, makeup, dressed; Jane, breakfast, dressed, properly-entertained whilst I do my preparations; dogs, breakfast, trip outside. We have an invisible fence in our yard, which is a beautiful, amazing thing. On those cold, rainy mornings, you don't have to stand there with your dogs on leashes as they ponder, very thoroughly and with great deliberation, where they are going to, you know, crap.
Yes, it is an amazing thing. Until it doesn't work.
At about 7:10 a.m., I was proud that we were making very good time. I would even have time, after daycare drop-off, to grab coffee before work. Perfect. Just before I get dressed, I open the door to let the dogs in. In comes Jimmy, and he gets his tick-check (once you have Lyme Disease, you become obsessive about ticks. TRUST ME). Strangely, Junior doesn't trail behind, so I go out and call for him.
Sidenote on Junior: If you are new to this blog, Junior is my beloved Great Dane. We have had him for over 8 years, which makes him extremely senior in the world of big dogs. See those big paws up on the masthead for this blog? Junior's. He is my first born dog-child, my love.
And, on occasion, the most monumental pain in the ass. This morning was one of those times.
I look around the yard, expecting to find him somewhere. And even when I realize he's not in the yard, I don't totally panic. The dogs have escaped the fence before - not a lot, but if lightning hits the wires underground, or the batteries in their collars are dead, they will sometimes realize they can meander past the zapping line. But they don't usually go very far.
Because I didn't want to leave Jane back in the house alone, I had to rush her into the car, strap her in, grab a box of bones, and start my drive around the block, arm hanging out the window shaking the box of bones, screaming "JUNIOR!! JUNIOR!!" and trying not to scare Jane.
A couple of trips around the block, and I started to panic. I headed back to the house to check the yard again. By this point, Jimmy was losing his shit in the yard, so once I determined Junior wasn't back there, I put Jimmy in the car, thinking maybe he would bark if he saw Junior (because he's useful like Lassie, right? Except, never). I quickly posted on Facebook that Junior was missing and if anyone was in the area and could they please look for him, and started around the neighborhood again.
Now, I really want you to picture this: at this point my voice is going hoarse from screaming. I am also really starting to cry, but trying not to, because I don't want to scare Jane, who has picked up on the mood and is now semi-crying too, telling me I should call Daddy. Jimmy is full-out HOWLING at this point, like the half-beagle he is, hanging out the window. I still am shaking my box of bones out my window, careening all over the road while looking for Junior, tears dripping down my face.
At this point, I have been looking for him for about 30 minutes. I don't know what to do. A friend of mine who lives nearby saw my message on Facebook and dispatched her husband to look for him as well. I realize I should call animal control. I stop in front of my house, pull out my phone, dial half the number, look up...
And there the douchebag is, in my neighbor's yard, about four doors down.
So I blow down the street, stop my car in front of the house, leave the driver's door open and car running, grab my box of bones and run to get him. Of course, despite the fact that he is approx 1 million years old in dog years, he starts leaping like a goddamned gazelle all over the yard. I finally catch him and grab him by his collar, and....
this is when he decides he is going to sit.
Junior is a 120-pound dog. Now, I do outweigh him, and I'm no wimp, but he is a strong son of a bitch when he wants to be. And he wanted to be. I COULD NOT MOVE HIM. I tried dragging him but was afraid of hurting his neck. After a while, I stopped worrying about his neck and tried to drag as hard as I could. Nothing.
So, now I am standing in my neighbor's yard. Flip-flops, muddy feet, old yoga pants, a tank top that is now covered in dog drool and snot, mascara running down my face from crying, with my car running down the road a little with my other dog and daughter inside. And this was my mantra, on a loop:
JUNIOR LET'S GO I HAVE TO GO TO WORK
Jane! It's OK! Mommy's coming!!!
JIMMY DO NOT GET OUT OF THE CAR
Can anyone help me?
Seriously, I was semi-yelling to see if any of my neighbors would come out to help me. My street is full of very very old people - although there are some younger people filling in here and there, which makes me very happy - and maybe because the weather was cold and their windows were shut, or maybe because they were scared of my big dog, or maybe because they were afraid of the crazy lady out in the street screaming - no one came out to help.
So I figured that my friend, the one who was out looking for my dog, would drive by at some point. So I stood there, holding Junior's collar. And stood there. And stood there. For, like, 15 minutes.
FINALLY, a (younger) neighbor from up the street drove by, saw the scene, and stopped. I begged her to help, which she very nicely did. She held Junior by the collar while I drove my car back home (just a couple of houses, remember), unloaded Jimmy and Jane, went inside to get cheese and Junior's leash, and ran back down to the scene of the crime to relieve my neighbor (who I now really have to bake cookies for).
And after a few minutes of desperately trying to show Junior who's boss (SPOILER ALERT: not me!), I got him to go home. And I got dressed. And I got Jane to daycare. And I was only 10 minutes late to work.
And that was my morning.
PS It seems that the fence is down; must've been hit by lightning again. Ah, just another couple hundred bucks to get fixed!
Anyone want a free, slightly-used dog?