It’s a bummer when…

…You wake up and look in the mirror, only to find that Mt. Vesuvius has relocated…right between your eyes.  SIGH.  It’s a problem.  When you are 37 and you are still breaking out, it could be time to consider some Proactive formula.  I don’t know…I curse the monthly hormone surge!!! 

Anyway, I’m sorry, I just had to get that out of my system.  I’ve been annoyed by it ALL stinkin’ day!

So, and I know this could be shocking, we are still enjoying some nice temps around here in the Midwest (7:30 PM and it’s still 56 degrees).  No spring blizzards to report.  You might think I harp on this topic too much, but when you are Southern born and raised and you’ve got that thin blood coursing through your veins, it’s a topic that is never too far removed from your thoughts.  Season changes are a big topic of conversation out here.   When we get to July, we will be talking about how tall the corn is, but for now, it’s the temps.

 And speaking of July, I think I need to talk about my crazy dog a little bit today.  But first, let me take you back…back to the Year of Our Lord 2000.  The month of July.  My children, then ages 3 and 6, drag me into the local Petland pet store.  Keep in mind, my son had been begging us for a dog for some time.  Begging, to no avail.  We had been very successful in blowing him off.  So, reluctantly, against my better judgement, we go into the Petland, to “look” at the cute doggies.  We leave, an hour later, having played with this adorable Westie puppy.  We go back that night, with Daddy, and get home with that adorable, 6 week old Westie puppy.  She was ALL ours.  Her and her crate, food and water bowls, food, collar, papers, etc.  All of it.  We had made an impulsive decision, but we couldn’t turn back.

We had officially entered the land of the “dog owners.”  A land many of our friends had entered long before us.  In fact, many of our friends had opted to go the pre-children dog route.  A test run of sorts, I suppose.  But personally, I had never been a big fan of the dog first, kids later plan.  And once we had the dog, named “Jiffy” by our son Jacob (don’t ask where the name came from, don’t know), I then came to realize that having a dog was like having a newborn who never grows up.  Plus, they NEVER learn to go to the bathroom by themselves (though they generally do learn that the living room floor is NOT the place to do it).  You always have to let them out to do their business.  Forever.   

But here’s a perk, you can cage the dog for hours on end.  And that is something that is generally frowned upon when it comes to your children.

And then there is the picking up of the poop.  We don’t really have to go there, do we?  I mean, the whole inside-out-baggie deal and the careful tying of the baggie so as not to contaminate yourself.  You dog owners know what I’m talking about!  It’s work.  Am I wrong?

So, it’s work to have a dog, we’ve established that.  But, I feel that Jiffy requires more work than most.  You see, in our house, we like to say that Jiffy is an “escape artist.”  That girl is always looking for an opportunity to get out of the house and have a little game she likes to call “chase.”  That dog, who, by the way,  is faster than a speeding bullet and harder to catch than a greased pig, is what we call a “stinker-pot.”  She’s been called worse by the hubby and me, but I digress…She will squeeze her way out of a door crack about 4 inches wide and run.  Run, run, run like a maniac.  She looks like a torpedo going at warp speed.  No destination, really, but she doesn’t care.  It’s the game that matters.  She will cover the entire neighborhood.  And when she has the occasion to notice that you are within a 10 foot radius, she will look at you and grin (yes, dogs can grin) and be off like a shot!!!   OH she’s a bad girl.  Now, hopefully, you have a few helpers with you.  Because then, you can “run her down”, as my hubby calls it, and close in on her.  Then she gets tired and gives up.  She will sort of cower down and crawl to you.  If you are lucky.

Now, if this had only happened a couple of times, that would be one thing.  And you would think she would learn her lesson after a while–that playing a game of chase doesn’t get you any treats or “ooohhhhh, what a gooooood girl”.  No, instead, it gets her locked up in the laundry room…a doggie time out, if you will.  And it gets her a bad rep.  She is known throughout the neighborhood.  People see you chasing the white bullet and just watch you go by.  They watch you dash through their backyards and up around their bushes as you apologetically smile and wave and say “just chasing my dog, sorry.”  I’ll never forget the time that hubby was washing Jiffy, aka “bad girl”, in the front yard.  We were using this blue shampoo that is specially made for white dogs, to keep them nice and pearly white.  It’s still a mystery how, but during the bath, Jiffy escaped.  And instead of the white bullet, a bright blue bullet was running amok in the neighborhood.  Our neighbors still talk about us chasing “the blue dog” to this day…and we moved away from there nearly 4 years ago.  It is still mentioned whenever we see or talk to them.  Sad really.

So, who’s being had here??  We have wondered if Cesar Milan makes trips to the Midwest.  Seems to me from the show, and believe me, we have watched it MANY times hoping to glean some helpful doggie hints, but seems to me he doesn’t leave California.  Anybody else think that?  I don’t know.  Cesar always says it’s the owners who need “retraining”.  I’m sure he’s right.  But it’s a chronic problem.  The escapes are much farther apart than they used to be (she is 6, and nearly a senior citizen now after all), but they can be time consuming if you are the only one pursuing her–refer to the aforementioned “helpers”.  And they seem to happen at the most inconvenient times, like when you need to be leaving to go to work, for example.

It all comes down to this:  As I have said to my hubby many a time, it’s her cuteness that saves her from going to the pound.  In spite of her occasional romps around the ‘hood, she’s a great dog.  A little neurotic about the bunnies and chipmunks and birds, but a great dog.  Great with our kids, other kids and adults and other dogs.  I mean, tell me, when you look into those big brown eyes and those little ears and that curious tilting head, what are you gonna do??  You’ve gotta love her.



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