Wednesday, October 05, 2011

lost and found.

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?

I digress.

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:

Jane! It's OK! Mommy's coming!!!
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?


Shane said...

This sounds like a traumatic experience, and is precisely the reason that we are going to get a real fence instead of an invisible fence.

Also, this makes me appreciate the fact that I can scoop up my dogs one-handed and carry them if necessary.

Perhaps you should have asked Jane to ride Junior home instead. That seems like the simple solution.

lgaumond said...

Oh dear. My chest got tight reading that.

I get so mad at Molly when she takes off and always foolishly scream "Don't you know I'm just trying to make sure you're safe!?!" Why haven't dogs learned to understand the English language yet?

I'm glad you found him!

HeatherMeH said...

Bravo for only being 10 minutes late to work. And, for the record, I've always been suspicious of those invisible fences.

Dwayne "The Train" said...

so my blog comment post was going to be a curriculum vitae of sorts, detailing all the reasons i am qualified to take ownership of the great dane junior; however, i got bored with my own brilliance and got distracted by all the learning i am doing in class right now.

instead, here are some of my class notes happening right now:

the guy in front of me is watching a bunch of videos of lassi hurskainen doing some pretty sweet tricks. must remember to check this out later.

this other guy in front of my is playing solitaire, and he's very bad at it.

do our brands define us or do we define brands?

oh shit…why is everyone getting pens out…what is happening…do i even have a pen…

we talk a lot of "B2B" in these courses, i should probably figure out what that means at some point.

oh shit, the security guard from downstairs just came up and is looking for someone. this never happens. i hope someone's car is on fire.

the girl next to me saved me six dollars be sharing the case with me…i wonder if she wants to have sex with me…

steve jobs has died.

this one chick has been in several of my classes, and she never ceases to annoy the shit out of me.

steve jobs has died. this news is quietly spreading throughout the classroom…it's very interesting to watch.

the chick next to me may or may not be crying.

i think my feet stink.

steve jobs has died.


oh shit, the security guard from downstairs just came up and is looking for someone. this never happens. i hope someone's car is on fire.

i need to pee.

i need more coffee.

change versus stability.


Dwayne "The Train" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dwayne "The Train" said...

also, dear guy in the pink shirt: the narwhal bacons at midnight.

Flann said...

Junior no! I was also holding my breath. I mean, I knew it had a happy ending, but still scary!

There is nothing like the pitch of the voice of an owner calling after a fleeing/missing dog. I almost made my neighbor pee his pants once when Munchie dropped her shoulder, slipped her harness, and took off after him while I shrieked "MUNCHIE!!!!"

Stereo said...

I can't do it! I just can't do it. This is why pets and I don't seem to mix and until the day I purchase my Husky and become a "dog person", I will marvel at the patience of you pet owners and commend you wholeheartedly.

Jen said...

Bad Junior. Riley will be very disappointed to hear that he misbehaved. She seriously thinks that Junior is the greatest dog ever. (Except Shelby...but Riley knows Shelby is really, really dumb, so she doesn't expect perfect behavior out of her.)

Brandeewine said...

We have a yard that is VERY tough to get out of, thankfully. I would have performed exACTLY the same way...complete with muddy flip flops and running mascara. I'm so glad that the dumb dog...and since I have two at my house, I am comfortable using that name, came back.

And by the way...Dwayne "The Train" is a pretty funny guy.

Erin Murphy said...

Mine have escaped several times, except if one goes the other is sure to follow. I feel your pain as I have chased after them screaming my head off waving cheese around and they are quick little shits. I hope you have a better week.

Kim said...


You are a brave lady, and the fact that you were only ten minutes late makes you also a hero with a tesseract in your pocket.