Summer vacation is over, and the girls are back in school. Now that they’re gone, I find myself spending time with the dog that I used to spend with them: for instance, instead of going bike riding with the girls, I take Moose Mutt for a walk. Or I should say we mutually walk each other. If I want to go straight but the dog wants to turn (usually because he sees something to chase) we turn. Like this morning, we’re walking through the “old” section of town (there’s some beautiful 19th century houses there) and all of the sudden I get jerked to the right. The leash, instead of staying on my wrist where it belongs, is now flapping merrily behind a high-speed hyperactive dog who’s chasing a rabbit into someone’s garden. The homeowners are outside, and they’re chuckling at me chasing up the alley yelling for the dog and trying to grab his leash. I catch him, apologize profusely to the homeowners (who are still laughing) and drag him away. I kept BOTH hands on the leash for the rest of the walk. At least when I shout at my girls to stop, they’ll stop but then turn around and ask “Why?” in that “don’t irritate us, Mom” voice.
So the day progresses, and I’m home watching the mid-day news when I hear the dog barking madly in his “stranger approaching” voice. This is not abnormal except for the fact that the sound is NOT coming from the back yard (where the dog’s supposed to be) but from the garage. I go out the front door and there’s my poor mailman Jeff, face to face with my dog whose back is bristling like a Fuller brush. I call the dog into the house and am forced to apologize profusely to Jeff, whose arms are loaded with letters, newspapers, and a package. (And it’s a hot, humid day.) I get my mail, go into the house, and ask the dog how he got out of the yard and into the garage. Of course the dog says nothing but gives me that “Are you going to feed me now?” look. Arg. I take the dog outside and check all the doors and gates. All locked. Hmmm. Well, by this time now I’m hot, humiliated and frustrated and all I can think of is to take it out on the dog. So I did. I got out the poochie shampoo and the garden hose and gave him a bath. Now, he really needed one, but like all dogs, he hates the garden hose. Well, tough luck, mutt. You stink, plus I’m mad at you, so you’re getting a bath. Bathing my dog isn’t difficult even though he is so big – you just have to stand on his leash and learn to pivot with him when he moves. Now he’s clean and I’m tired, so I’m going to finish my blog and get an ice cold Pepsi from the fridge. See you later!