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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chronicles of a Cocker Gone Wrong

Needing a good laugh? Can't remember the last time you rolled on the floor laughing, to the point you almost peed your pants? Then read on . . .

Although I didn't post this here, some of you will be aware that we have had a couple bizarre incidents with our dog, Rudy, lately. The poor dog was our first "baby". By the time Rudy's first birthday rolled around, we were weeks away from giving birth to Peter. King Rudy got bumped down the totem pole a little bit, and didn't love losing his position in the hierarchy one bit. Then came David. Then came Leah. You get the picture, right?

So a number of weeks ago we were urging David to go to the bathroom on the potty. We took his pants and diaper off for a little while, so he could run and just go whenever he wanted. No big deal, normally. It was Sunday evening and all of us were sitting in the living room hanging out and relaxing. David walks out of the kitchen, comes to sit with me on the couch and says, "hey, I pooped". I thought he was joking, then this feeling of instant horror swept over me. I looked at Paul and my eyes opened as wide as saucers . . . or more like frisbees. I flew into the kitchen (not an easy task for a large 8-month pregnant lady) and quickly began putting the pieces together. The dog and I both eyed the brown lump on the kitchen floor at the exact same time. With lightening speed we both went for it. I was so stunned, I truly didn't know whether to reach for the dog or the poop. But super cocker beat me to it, slurping up my two year old son's human feces in a millisecond. I dove on top of the dog, trying to pry it from his mouth, but it had indeed been swallowed whole.

Paul and I were devastated. This just didn't seem *right*. My stomach still turns as I type out the story.

A week or two later the dog got out of the yard (he is normally on a long leash in the back yard), on a freezing cold evening at supper time. I prayed he would just come back when I called, but as luck would have it, he wanted to make like a tree and leave. I knew I was screwed, I was 38 weeks pregnant, Paul was not home from work and P&D were hungry for supper. I called my mother-in-law to come over and watch the boys while I searched the neighbourhood for Rudy. In January. In the freezing cold, ice and snow. Having contractions the entire time. He was gone for 90 minutes. I thought I'd never see him again. I had tears frozen to my face because I was so upset. He came back later, waltzed up to the front door and walked right in like he owned the place.

I was devastated - again. Why the heck would he want to run away? Who wants to escape from a life where you're fed $50 dog food and organic dog treats? Are things here *that* bad?

Fast forward to last night. I wake up to nurse Leah, and the dog jumps up (from OUR bed where he insists on sleeping) and goes to the back door. I figure he must have to pee pretty badly, because he never asks to be let out at night (it is 2:30 a.m.). In a moment of complete and utter stupidity, I popped him out the back door without his leash. In seconds the dog is gone. I can't believe it. I'm stunned by the dog once again. Tears well up as I realize the severity of the situation. I am sooooooooooooooooooooo screwed.

It is snowing . . . hard. I have to get out and find the dog before Paul wakes up. I put Leah back in the play pen in our room and hope she doesn't wake Paul up (who will ask me WHY WHY WHY did I not tie him on the leash?????????). I grab my coat and throw on my ankle length boots (even though I own higher boots and it IS snowing out), and run to follow the footsteps the dog has left in the snow. For a second I feel like I may outsmart him, and I am proud of my Sherlock Holmes line of thinking.

The footsteps disappear under our six foot hedge. There are snow banks everywhere and there is no way I can follow him out of our yard, it is fenced on that side. I realize he has gone into the neighbour's yard so I run around to the other side, out front and sprint across our front lawn to their driveway. Except we have four feet of snow in our yard so the wet crunchy snow is up to my waist. And I don't have socks on. And I'm wearing PJs.

I soon realize my Italian neighbours have their back yard sheltered like Fort Knox. There is NO WAY IN. I continue calling the dog and offer him cookies, treats, even a BBQ steak if he will just come back. No way. I grow increasingly frustrated as I realize that he MUST be back there and is therefore just ignoring me. I soon decide to dive through a slim part of the hedge and into their back yard. I shimmy down the narrow pathway between our hedge and their car port, to the back yard. Here the snow is slightly higher than my waist, so it is nearly impossible to walk but the thought of dying right there, so close to my warm bed, fueled me to keep going. I burst out of the snow bank and into their yard.

All their motion sensor lights are on, and a few lights in their house are now on, so I assume someone is likely watching this whole charade as it unfolds. I find Rudy, digging at the garbage they have left outside their back door. He has torn through the bag and pulled out a styrofoam tray dripping with remnants of ground beef. I now *get* why he is back here and am almost ready to forgive him . . . until I call to him from two feet away, he looks me straight in the eye and proceeds to run away AGAIN. He bolts to the other side of their yard and under the next hedge. By now I am chasing him all over their back yard and am ready to lose my mind because he won't come to me. I notice him squat to poop, so I ran and grabbed him. Then I realized I can't leave my dog's poop in their backyard, so because I'm tired and a bit delirious I actually put snow in my hand, and pick up the dog's poop WITH MY HANDS to throw it in the hedge and get rid of it.

I then carry our 30 lb cocker spaniel back through the obstacle course I had just traveled to get into their yard. When I get home and in the door with the dog, Paul is of course awake and holding the baby. He says he "heard something outside" and thought I was in a fight with someone out there. As I explained that my legs were blue from standing in ice and snow for the past 15 minutes, he became quite sympathetic. The dog does not sleep with us for the rest of the night, I lock him out.

Of course we eventually both had to laugh. Hysterically. Over and over and over again. And we make a resolution to call the nearest dog whisperer around ;-)


dougnlarry said...

Shan, I can't believe that. I think at 2:30 in the morning when it was snowing, I would leave the dog out there. I hope you were able to warm up quickly and that he doesn't run off anymore.

Donna M said...

Rudy wins again! I can see that whole chasing the dog in the middle of the night thing and chuckle out loud.

I have two words for your: electronic collar!

Liz said...

OMG- you cracked me up. I died laughing!!! Well, I didn't die but you get it... at first I thought "leave the damned dog" then realized the thought of dog-sicle in the morning is a horrible picture- so I would have done the same thing. Hope your neighbors are understanding too.

lexa said...

I heard about the kitchen poop incident from your mother awhile back. I have to watch our dog -- if she can get access to the litter box she goes looking for nuggets. (She can't get to the litter box unless someone forgets to shut the door.)

Anonymous said...

OMG. I would have wanted to murder your dog. That would be me. My animals are always my babies too, and I would let my feet and legs turn blue to rescue the stupid animal that doesn't want to be rescued. I'm glad you got a good laugh out of that later. It made me laugh--tee hee!!!

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