Some days I’m not sure why I bother. Some days I wonder why the things that are supposed to be simple, things that other human people seem to manage properly without much sweat or confusion, don’t come the same kind of easy for me. Some days I wonder how most put-together people go through most put-together days without worry or lost sleep, without poop on the floor, panicked hollers in the night, slow drives down a country road at dusk with binoculars, worried phone calls to neighbors or a wrestling match on the kitchen floor with your husband and that stupid black dog with a smooshy face and one eyeball that at one time three years ago you decided was a good idea.
No. Simple has never been a word in a vocabulary dominated by the words “where the hell are the dogs?”
Today was one of them.
Today is the day that I ask myself what my life would be like without the two stinky fur balls who have taken over my yard, my kitchen, my couch and my life. Today is the day I ask myself who I would be without them, what I would do with the extra time I would be gifted by not having to pick off their ticks, pluck porcupine quills from their noses, rescue them from the cows and drive over to my mom and pop’s to pick them up after their daily jaunts to visit their girlfriends.
Today is the day I contemplate this scenario because, well, I was nearly granted it.
A dog-free life.
Can you imagine?!
Maybe I should start from the beginning. See, its been on my radar for a while, the idea that these dogs of mine need to lead a much more civilized life. And by civilized I mean locked up behind bars in order to keep them from going wherever they have been going to snack on something rotten enough to cause gas emulsions that force husband and I out of our own home.
So when I received a call last week from a voice on the other end of the line telling me that two overly-friendly dogs had wandered three miles up the hill to an oil drilling site I did not hesitate to believe my ears. One whistle out the door revealed there were no dogs in site, so I pulled on my muck boots over the skinny jeans I wore to work and squished a beanie on my puffy town hair and drove my pissed off ass up to that site to retrieve them.
Now, a girl in skinny jeans and oversized boots with a Bozo-esque hairstyle in giant (but glamorous) sunglasses pulling onto a rig site is not a glimpse into womanhood these hard-hat wearing men see every day…nor was it a pretty glimpse. And if the outfit didn’t label me crazy, questioning these men in the middle of their work day about the whereabouts of a wandering one-eyed pug a giant brown lab sealed the deal.
Especially since not one of them knew what the hell I was talking about.
It wasn’t until I made my way back down the hill that I realized I should have probably checked mom and pops’ place for the dogs before subjecting myself to a situation in which I could be labeled “crazy lady” in bar room conversations. Hindsight was a clear 20/20 as I pulled into their drive to find that sure as shit they were there. And judging by the relocation of pops’ work boot collection on the front lawn, they had been there all day.
Flash forward to yesterday when I came home to discover the dogs were again missing in action.
“Typical hooligan behavior, low life, vagabond rascals, curse word, curse word, curse word,” I muttered to myself as I got back in my car and drove down the pink road to mom and pops’ to retrieve their wandering, misbehaving, rebel-dog asses. But when I pulled into the drive something seemed fishy. All of pops’ boots were in place, his two dogs were laying lazily out in the sun and my dogs? Well, they didn’t come running out of the trees to greet me.
I stopped cursing and then I said “What the hell?” (Ok, I stopped cursing for a second.)
The dogs were gone.
I headed back home slowly, windows open, whistling into the wind, hollering their names, squinting into the hills and the trees, waiting for them to come flying out of wherever that smelly dead thing they like so much is lying.
I parked in our driveway to find Husband home and soon my string of cursing blended in harmony with his.
But we weren’t worried yet. We were just pissed. There was still time for them to climb out of whatever stinky hole they had found themselves in on purpose and make an appearance.
So we had supper, whistled for them a bit more, called my pops to check the status, wandered around the yard and then went to bed.
I asked husband if I should worry. He told me it would be a waste to worry about two dogs who have stupidly escaped a life of luxury to roll around in cow shit, munch on rotting rabbits, dig giant holes, and chase innocent deer over miles of rolling landscape.
Husband told me that we could worry tomorrow if they don’t show up.
So we went to bed pissed.
And I woke up worried.
Because when I opened the door to the morning air there were no dogs waiting on my stoop. Just three hungry cats meowing for food when they should be mousing.
So I drove to work slowly with the windows open, whistling into the frosty air and stopping into mom and pops’ place just to be sure they didn’t shack up with their girlfriends’ last night.
I said a little prayer for the wanderers and went to work.
And when I got home the results were the same. No dogs and a pissed husband who hadn’t started worrying yet, but decided it might be time to go looking for them.
We got in the pickup and chose a direction, the first guess being a place where a pair of mis-fit dogs might wander in search of the affection and table scraps they have so unfortunately been denied in the home we’ve created for them.
So we headed to the drilling rig site a half mile from our house, a place I was fooled into thinking they were smart enough to avoid (But this time I wore a less ridiculous outfit, and brought a man with me.) When we pulled onto the site husband rolled down the window and asked one of the men if they have happened to see a couple canines roaming around.
I held my breath, certain I was going to get the same look I got last week when I asked the same question about the same damn dogs.
But I was pleasantly surprised when the man smiled and said something like “Oh, that round little black thing and a lab? Yeah? They’re around here somewhere. They’ve been here for a couple days. We’ve been feeding them. They should be over there….”
He pointed in the direction of three men working the platform of a giant piece of drilling equipment and our eyes followed the tip of his finger and settled angrily on the two banes of our existence who were staring up at the workers, tails wagging, ears perked, waiting for one of them to drop a piece of jerky or something.
Husband called out their names.
He moved closer, yelling a little louder.
Their stares were affixed.
He stormed toward them whistling.
The lab turned his head in acknowledgement.
Husband screamed their names.
The pug didn’t move.
He stomped his feet and clapped his hands.
The lab turned his head back toward the anticipated jerky….
And so you understand now, I hope, why I have been daydreaming about a simpler existence. An existence where I am not responsible for Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dumb and their appetite for adventure and tasty treats, but one where I am a proud owner of the more appealing and lower maintenance goldfish, small monkey or circus elephant.
But in my self-assessment about why and how I get myself into these situations when I am certain dog ownership isn’t as much of a debacle for regular human people as it is for me, I have come up with a solution that I am certain no regular human person would come up with.
And I’m open for business if anyone needs a rehab facility for their canines. There’s two overly friendly dogs waiting there to hand them their matching orange jumpsuits.