Kennels fill up on holiday week-ends, and trusted neighbors are often out of town. So, we decided to take the dawgs with us to visit some family in South Carolina. Frequent stops were necessary. Most rest areas have a designated corner for walking pets. This is where dawgs go to exchange e-mails.
My mother was delighted to see the puppies, and the feeling was mutual. Mother has white plush carpet in her house, so Mother will be able to remember their visit for some time to come.
My sister lives on lake-front property, and insisted we bring the dawgs over there so they could run and play. We did. My sister’s dawg was not initially happy with the company. After extensive name-calling and some obvious insults, some kind of a game broke out. There were several turnovers in the game, but since all players were neuter, nobody scored.
Later, I took them down to the lake. So as not to be dragged into the water, I released them from leashes and the wild abandon romp of extreme dawg-happiness began.
Zipper ran down the boat ramp where the water went instantly from ankle deep to neck deep, then over his head. He surfaced quickly and let out some kind of “OOH! OOH! OOH!” sound to let me know the water was cold. Lila Bea began a crazy-eight running pattern at greyhound speeds. She thought it was Motocross–in and out of the water, through the mud, up and down slopes, and across a narrow pathway to a point that becomes an island when the water level is higher. Zipper went with her.
Out on the point, they found something to roll in that would be offensive to buzzards. Then, they made a cavalry charge right past me splashing water and slinging mud, and other foul stuff. The overcast winter sky and the color of the dawgs made the whole scene look like a black and white “Keystone Cops” movie–you know where the film speed is fast making the pandemonium seem funnier.
It began to rain, and was getting dark outside. Soon we were to go back to my Mother’s house. The thought of white plush carpet was giving me a headache. So, in the dark and the downpour, I turned on the garden hose. Holding each pup in turn by a hind leg, I scoured them with ice cold water to dislodge the mud and debris from under bellies, tails and feet. Both dawgs protested vehemently, but I stubbornly stayed on task. All three of us made utterances so blasphemous that demons grew tired of it.
Brenda came to the door with towels to perform the exorcism. During all of this, my sister’s dawg ran away wanting no part of what was going on. When the pups were dry enough, we went inside not realizing my sister’s cat was in the house.
The cat and the dawgs showed a great deal of surprise to see each other at such close quarters. The cat arched his back, and let out a “PHFFFFFTTT!” followed by a “”MEOWRRRR!” that would’ve caused a sensible dawg to put it in park. I do not have sensible dawgs. The chase was on echoing snarls, howls, spits, yowls, yelps and barks all over the house.
I tried to control them, but it would have been the same as trying to lead a herd of hungry wild jackasses through the produce department of a grocery store expecting them to all stay in line and behave politely. As the cat charged into my sister’s bedroom and under the bed, Brenda calmly closed the door, thus saving either the cat or Zipper, or both.
Sir Benson Zipper Dee Doo Dah didn’t notice the cat’s detour, so he went the other way. Rounding the corner into the hallway, he jumped onto a throw-rug and took a bobsled ride smack-dab into the back door. I think I heard him say: “Ugh!” Lila Bea went headstrong though the den, the music room, the dining room, the kitchen and back to the den yelling: “Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, ooh, ooh, ooh, hey, hey!”
I finally had to tackle her to re-attach the leash. Zipper, still numb from colliding with the door, was easier to restrain. It took awhile for the puppies to calm down enough to take them back over to my mother’s .
When we got there, we bedded them down for the night in a portable kennel out in the garage, and gave them a quilt to sleep on, which they ate. Though the dawgs were much calmer, I suspect my sister’s cat will never get over it, and some kind of punishment from the cat will be due to someone. You can bet on it.
Well, the New Year began that way. It is an omen. Luck will not change for those of us who live on the edge of chaos.
During the drive over, I’d considered some new goals to make life better this coming year. I even wrote some of them down. On the way home, I thought about the likelihood that the dawgs may outlive me. It is a good thing that I own a paper shredder. As soon as we got home, I was able to deal with my New Year’s resolutions all at one time!