Thursday, April 20, 2017

The New Dog That Wasn't

Do I know how to set up a cliffhanger or what? Not intentionally, though. I just got busy with our wild spring break at Blackrock* and never sat down to tell you about the dog.

Now I will.

A. took all three boys for a walk on Friday after dinner while I was doing the dishes, and when they came home, Cubby burst in to announce that a brown dog had followed them home. The brown dog was shortly thereafter in my house, because Charlie let it in.

Woah there, cowboys. What just happened here?

What just happened was that this lab/pit bull-ish mutt more or less moved into the family.

We assumed it was a stray. It wasn't wearing a collar. It had been running on a road near us literally on the Canadian border that's pretty unpopulated. We thought it had been dumped.

The dog certainly was happy to be part of our crew. It played with the kids as long as they were outside before bed, so we had the opportunity to note that it wasn't aggressive in the least, which was good. When the kids came in for bed, it sat on our front steps for a couple of hours, then started scratching at the door.

A. felt sorry for it--"it" was actually a female, so "she"--and gave her some dinner. When it was time for us to go to bed, A. decided to put her in his garage/office, because it was going to be near freezing and the dog didn't have much of a coat.

The next morning, I let her out hoping it would find her way home, if home was nearby.

She didn't.

I made up some "Found Dog" signs and posted them at the dump, the post office, and the general store. We knocked on a few doors on the road the dog had been on, but there was no one home anywhere. When it was time for us to leave at 3 p.m. for Blackrock, no one had called, the dog seemed unwilling to go anywhere, and A. didn't want to leave her to fend for itself.

So we brought her along to Blackrock. By this time, the children had named her Friday. Because she was found on Good Friday. Also, like Robinson Crusoe, though they didn't get the literary reference. What are they teaching kids in school these days?

Friday the dog seemed quite happy at Blackrock, as all dogs are. She and Sky became fast friends and played non-stop. She found some ancient deer bones to gnaw on and sniffed out some rabbits in the hollow.

And then, on Monday, her owner called.

Turns out he lives on the road she was found on. He said the dog runs off a lot (which begs the question of why the hell he doesn't put a collar with tags on her). And then A. had to tell him that yes, we still have your dog, but, uh, we're 250 miles away. And we took her with us.

Kind of embarrassing.

Anyway. Friday's name was really Emma. The children were sad to hear that Emma-Friday would not be a permanent member of our family. I was not too sad when her owner came to pick her up after we got home today. I really don't feel the need for another dog at this moment. Although I'm afraid this whole episode may have accelerated our timeframe for getting another dog.

But at the moment, I'm enjoying the peace of having only one old dog to deal with. And the old dog is pretty happy about that, too.

* It really was wild. One night A. and I left the kids with the MiL and went to dinner at a Turkish restaurant. At this stage of our lives, that's equivalent to tequila shots in Rocky Point.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter at the Madhouse

Happy belated Easter, my lovelies! Did you all have a pleasant day filled with chocolate bunnies, hysterical children, and even more hysterical dogs? No? Just me then.

I do not have photos (sorry, Mary in MN and Mom), but let me paint you a word picture and you will perhaps understand why.

We acquired a new dog on Good Friday. This is a long story that will be told soon, but the end result was that we made the 250-mile drive to Blackrock on Saturday in a minivan crammed with two adults, three small children, and two dogs. Because of some work A. was frantically trying to finish up, we didn't end up leaving until mid-afternoon, which means we arrived at Blackrock around 9 p.m.

After throwing the children in bed, I assembled Easter baskets--the contents of which were brought in the Minivan of Insanity, with additional items provided by the MiL--and fell into bed at 10:30 p.m.

At 6 a.m. the next morning, A. got up to go to an early Mass in the Small City and I got up to hide the Easter eggs that the MiL had kindly purchased, boiled, and dyed for me.

I mean, that the Easter Bunny had left.

But then I did a mental full stop. Because how was I supposed to hide the eggs outside with three dogs running around out there, all of whom were hungry and would probably very much appreciate a hard-boiled egg breakfast? But if I didn't do it soon, the kids would be awake. But maybe they would sleep in (HAHAHAHA--I'm so amusingly optimistic sometimes) and then if I shut the dogs up to hide the eggs they would have to stay shut up for too long.

The mental effort of thinking about all this made me too tired, so I didn't do anything. Except I did put the eggs in the shop so I could sneakily grab them at some later point and hide them when the kids were distracted and the dogs were inside.

Is this sounding far too complicated for a simple Easter egg hunt for 11 dyed eggs? Yes. Yes, it was.

In the end, the kids woke up 10 minutes after A. left (OF COURSE) and I didn't hide the eggs until they were getting ready to go outside awhile later. The MiL was preparing to feed the dogs, which meant they were all inside, so I ran out to the shop and grabbed the eggs. Jack followed me out, letting the new dog out as well.

I herded them both back inside and told Jack to help Grandma feed the dogs. Then I ran back to the shop to get the eggs again.

Charlie came out next, letting Mia out at the same time. I shooed them both back in and told Charlie to help Grandma feed the dogs. And I grabbed the eggs yet again.

This time I managed to frantically throw some eggs around the flower beds before racing back inside to intercept the children and casually mention that hey! You think there are any eggs outside?

And just as I was getting everyone's shoes on to go outside, there was a dog fight in the kitchen (my fault--I hadn't told the MiL not to feed our two dogs in the same place) and poor old dog Mia ended up with a bloody ear.

Anyway. The children found the eggs, and while they were showing Grandma their eggs outside, I hid their Easter baskets inside. And cleaned up the drops of blood on the kitchen floor.

So that was our Easter morning. You can maybe see why I wasn't prancing around happily snapping photos of our photo-worthy egg hunt.

Holidays at Blackrock may be crazy, but they're never boring.