Category Archives: dogs

Spencer The Fearless

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spencer the fearless

He looks brave, doesn’t he?

It was one of those days. I woke up knowing it was one of those days. Truth be told, I wake up every day knowing it’s one of those days. I just never know what is going to happen to make it one of those days.

I get up and remind the kid to let the dogs out. I remind the other kid to feed the dogs. Then I yell at the dogs for good measure and out the door I go to take the kids to school. This particular day, I come home and start working on the hor d’oeuvres for that evening. I volunteered to make hors d’oeuvres for our local theater company’s open night. Silly me. The dogs do not like it when I cook because they are barred from the kitchen which is their favorite place to be what with all the food falling or just sitting idly on counters waiting to be stolen.

Anyway, the kids come home. I drop one off to a friend’s house and come home to continue my hors d’oeuvres crafting. I pop the stuffed mushrooms in the oven and run the two younger kids to karate. I come back and I notice there is smoke coming from the oven. This isn’t the most unusual thing I have ever seen, so I just wait and watch. I open the oven door and smoke rolls out in great waves. But being a relatively mellow person, I simply shut the oven door again and wait. For what I am not yet sure.

I do this open and close with the oven door a few more times and my anxiety level starts to rise as does the smoke level in the kitchen. I start to get nervous about the fire alarm going off because it is connected to my security system and I don’t remember any passwords or numbers to
punch in. I have no idea what I will do if it…..SHIT! The alarm goes off!!!!

Now, the sensible thing for me to do would have been to shut the oven off. But who can be sensible when there is this nuclear bell ringing and the dogs have broken down the barricade and are now practically up my butt. I run to the key pad and start punching in random numbers….nothing. Except now Spencer has started pawing at my thighs as if that will help me to shut the alarm off.

My leg is bleeding and the alarm is going off, the smoke is still happening, and the phone is ringing. I run into the dark living room to the only phone that is currently working. The dogs are both trying to hang on to my legs as I run. Worse than scared children. I am tripping and kicking them as I go.

I answer the phone and it is the securities lady. I can’t hear her with the alarm going off, but I manage to give her my password and I hear her say something about a code I can punch in and that the fire department has already been dispatched. I thank her, hang up, turn around and step right in a HUGE pile of dog poop compliments of Spencer the fearless.

I go hopping back into the kitchen with the dogs still trying to jump into my arms. I punch in the code and the main alarm stops. I still have the voice saying “Fire. First floor. Oven” and it won’t shut up. That’s just humiliating. I am still not sure if it was a voice in my head or if it was coming from the alarm system. It very well may have been Spencer.

I hop over to the sink and scrub my foot off. I finally shut the oven off and
open the windows. I grab plastic bags and walk back to where the poop is
waiting, cleaning up all the little turds along the way. I do this with a
quickness as the fire department could be there any second!! At this point,
Spencer has given up on me and is trying to save himself. He is at the backdoor, on his hind legs trying to punch through the glass. Emma, the good dog, is sitting between me and Spencer waiting to see which one of us will survive and then she will decide where her loyalties lie.

I check the time and see I am now 10 minutes late picking up the kids from
karate. So, I leave a note on the front door : Hi Firemen, Nothing on fire here. Went to pick up kids. Be right back!! Spencer gave up trying to bust out the glass and is now concentrating on the door knob, cursing his lack of thumbs.

I get back and still no firemen. It had been over 20 minutes at that point. I am hoping that the security lady canceled them and it wasn’t personal thing (it’s a small town, you never know). Now, with all of this commotion, I am scattered. I have to regroup and figure out what I need to get done so that I can get these hors d’oeuvres to the show. What needs to be kept warm and what needs to be kept cold on the 45 minute ride to the theater. On a good day this is difficult because I have to think ahead so that Spencer doesn’t nab my food on the way out the door.

And he is still trying to escape the house. I am walking things from the fridge to the car, and he is trying his damnedest to push past me and get out. He’s such a drama queen. The smoke had cleared, the alarm was off. But he insists on acting the part of scared dog. He doesn’t know when to quit.

Meanwhile, my mean cat Cecelia, who has been gone for 4 days, shows up at the door. Cecelia is the meanest cat alive and no one understands why I keep her. But this is why. When my dog, who is supposed to be my best friend and loyal to the end is confronted with a bit of smoke and a fire alarm, he poops knowing I will step in it with my bare feet and then tries to break down the back door and save himself. Cecelia, on the other hand, who will never allow us to pet her, or even look at her, hears the alarm and decides she best come home and see if there is anything she can do for us.

Nature vs. nurture. Spencer has withdrawn his application for fire dog as of
yesterday.

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Dear Diary, It’s A Lovely day In The Neighborhood

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This is why I can't pay my bills.

This is why I can’t pay my bills.

Except that it is 11 degrees, the snow has melted to reveal the massive amounts of dog poop on my front walk and I jammed my ring finger toe on the step stool in the bathroom. Let’s begin with the 11 degrees thing…

It’s March. It’s the end of March. This should be sweatshirt weather. Instead, we are still hunting for hats and mittens. One of the perks of living where I live is the changing seasons. So, when winter decides to not leave when it is supposed to we feel jipped. Or maybe righteously pissed off is a better phrase. But it has been sunny! Which has helped all the snow to melt. Which means the dog poop is all exposed.

See, it has been so cold that my kid has been just opening the front door and letting the dog do his thing while she stands inside. So, “his things” are all over my front walk. This was a non issue when we had snow covering it up. I have to wonder about the food I feed this dog. I feed him the higher end stuff that supposedly has no chemicals or fillers… then why the hell doesn’t his poop disintegrate? If the sun is strong enough to melt the snow and ice, I have to conclude that it should be warm enough to melt the poop.

The mail lady left a note in my box that I had to go to the post office to get the mail because the front walk wasn’t shoveled. I think that is just a nice way of telling me she doesn’t want to walk through the mine field of  dog turds. I don’t blame her. I also am not going to the post office to get my mail because, why bother? I’m not going to make an effort to go collect bills and collection agency notices and bounced check alerts. It’s just depressing.

So, let’s look at this in the positive. It’s March and 11 degrees which means I don’t have to look at my fat arms in a tank top for at least another two months and the dog poop has successfully kept all of my bills at bay! Really, what do I have to complain about? Nothing!

Except my toe. How does it happen that you see the step stool, you are walking in what you deem (at 41 years of age, having at least 40 years of walking experience) a reasonable distance from the step stool and yet you pick up your foot, sort of lift it up behind you and then SLAM it into the stool you are looking RIGHT AT. How does that happen? Of course it is the most pain I have ever experience in my life including child birth and the canker sore.

Now I am not one of those high drama people like my bff who sounds like she just discovered a dead body when she stubs her toe. No, I am more of an immediately violent person. I want to smack someone and I spill swear words that even I have never heard before. Then I walk it off, laughing because I don’t want to cry. What the hell is that about? It’s like biting my tongue. I have had the same tongue in the same place for 41 years. How the hell can I accidentally bite it. And bite it so hard it bleeds. Or missing the last step of the staircase in the house where you have lived for 8 years. Same amount of stairs, nothing has moved and at least once a month I just forget that there is that last step and give myself a minor heart attack.

All in all, I suppose it’s not a horrible day. Then again, it’s only mid-afternoon.

Sometimes I get water up my nose in the shower through my eye. That is never as fun as it sounds like it would be.

This is what the first day of spring looked like here. It looks like bullshit to me.

This is what the first day of spring looked like here. It looks like bullshit to me.

Spencer And The Snowstorm

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Happy Mutts

Happy Mutts

We got over a foot and a half of snow last night. Spencer is about a foot and a
half tall. So, when I let him out this morning he went sledding down the back
stairs and belly flopped into the snow where he was immediately covered by the
avalanche from the roof because I slammed the door. Oh it was funny!!! I laughed
and laughed at him!! He crawled out and walked in a circle 3 times and then
stood still. I assume he was peeing but all I could see of him was his head and
the top of his back. He may have just been contemplating the best revenge for me
laughing at him.

I was all ready to start snow blowing. I was still in my PJ’s but I had on my
scarf, hat, gloves and boots. I knew this was not going to be a fun project. My
car was buried and my driveway is on an incline. And it is single wide meaning
that only one car can fit down or up the driveway. I do have a turn around area.
I knew I would have to snowblow the turn around also because there was no way I
could back up and out of the driveway. Ok, so, now I was procrastinating,
wondering how a plow guy could do it…where I should start…wondering if my
neighbors will totally laugh at me snow blowing in my PJ’s and wondering if I
care if they do….Meanwhile, Spencer is doing his damndest to get back up the
stairs.

To his credit, he was trying to dig around where he thought the stair was. He
knew that I was going to be of NO help as I stood there giggling at him. He was
mumbling under his breath as he dug. But really, it’s not like he was going to
put his superior digging skills to use for MY sake. He was not going to help me
dig out the car. He finally realized that he does not have the ability to stand
on one stair and dig on the next, so he starts barking at me.

I did all the dumb things I did when he got himself stuck upstairs. I tried
encouraging him, I tried dragging him, I thought about trying to carry him. I
was trying to avoid shoveling. I had to have a goal if I was going to get thru
this snow hell and my goal was to not use a shovel, only the snow blower.
Spencer was not going to ruin my goal before I even got started. Who’s the
evolved one here? I went up the stairs kicking snow out of the way, now both of
us are muttering under our breath.

Spencer is back inside now and Emma, the smartest one in the family, had refused
to come out at all. She rather pee on the rug than slide down the stairs. Who
can blame her, really? Ok, now I am ready to snow blow. First task was to find
the snow blower which was buried completely under all the snow. I started
kicking and digging around where I think I had left it. Score! And it starts!!
So far so good! But this is really wet, heavy snow and I kept getting stuck. As
I have no upper body strength, I have to put my hips into it, with a rocking
motion. I am sure this looks like some fetish video. Being in my PJ’s with an
assortment of winter accessories on I think makes the entire thing hysterical.
Now, I am snow blowing, getting stuck, doing my snow blower dance and laughing
hysterically by myself.Oh and talking to the snow blower. It started stalling
out so I would then say “Come ON! You’re a snow blower, this is what you DO!
What you were built for!! You can do it! It’s your moment to shine!!!” It
crossed my mind to actually cross the street to the neighbors to see if they
were finding this as funny as I was…

I got one pass done and I turn around and there is Spencer, pooping on the
cleared 1 foot by 1 foot area of driveway. I was astonished to see him
there,looking right at me, pooping where I had just snow blowed. And he was
laughing too. Like that was his revenge. Whatever. I kept going which kind of
scared him. He didn’t know which way to go. He knew I was watching so he
shouldn’t go up the driveway, but that was really the only way to go as I hadn’t
snowblowed anything else yet. He turned in a few circles and then went up the
stairs and ran through the door, which had blown open. I was still laughing at
the hilarity of the situation. Me and my goofiness and Spencer and his choice of
space to poop. Ha ha ha!

My second thought was “I better remember the poop is there because I don’t want
to step in it or snow blow it and have poopcicles fly all over the yard. That
would be just my luck! That is what happened every time I used the weed wacker!!
Oh spring…I can’t wait till…POOP!!!!” And yes, not only had I snow blowed the
fresh poop, but then I stepped in it. Just in case you had ever wondered, dog
poop smell overpowers exhaust fumes. And apparently chilled fresh dog poop stick
to boots better than even room temperature dog poop. Pretty sure I didn’t
needed to know that. Spencer’s revenge was sweet, in a sense. No kids, that is NOT
chocolate snow…..

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Dog

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Who's the manipulator here????

Who’s the manipulator here????

Most Sunday mornings I am on our local Native American land at a meeting. When the weather is nice, we sit outside in a circle, enjoying nature. The Rez  is a beautiful place. Our meeting is held on school grounds so there is a building, a field and surrounding woods for miles. We see hawks and deer and dogs. Lots of dogs. We have had dogs wander into our circle and bask in the love. We have had a mama trailing puppies who stopped to nurse right in the middle of our circle. I think it’s pretty neat stuff.

This morning, I sat down on the damp grass and looked out across the mowed field to the edge of the forest. About 2 acres away from where I was sitting was a dog, a perfect looking Husky. Perfect coloring and tail, standing as if he was guarding something a little deeper in the clump of trees. I shifted my gaze and saw some movement. I couldn’t really make out what it was exactly that was moving so slightly. I squinted and strained but all I could make out was a reddish shape and a blondish shape. I stared for a few more minutes willing myself to be able to see what the shape was. I was trying to force my brain to make sense of what I was seeing.

So, my brain said it was a reddish dog having puppies and a blondish goat standing behind it. That didn’t make a whole lotta sense.I had never seen a wild goat on the Rez…then again, what do I know? The shapes started to move a bit more. This was after about 10 minutes of them moving but basically in place. I was concentrating so hard on trying to figure out what the heck was going on in this clump of trees with these animals I think I drooled a little. Thinkin is hard work sumtimes.

After about 20 minutes I could finally make out that it was two dogs…butt to butt…and the reddish one seemed to be pushing the blondish one…like the blondish one was facing up the hill and the reddish one was facing down the hill and the reddish one was backing up as the blondish one was moving forward…what????? This made even less sense than a dog giving birth with a goat in attendance as like a midwife type role…So, this is going on and the husky is just watching from the sidelines. Now, my first thought is Oh NO! These poor dogs have been tied together, maybe their back legs…maybe some mean kid did it or maybe the dogs found some handcuffs and were playing and accidentally handcuffed themselves together…I’ve seen that happen in cartoons…

My second thought was the husky was going to try to eat them because they were sick and dying or had been hit and crawled off to die….And as the two slowly disappeared into the woods, the husky followed and I sat there and thinking about the circle of life, of what I know about dogs, about Emma and Spencer and their natural decline, about how a goat could survive in the wild or if there might be a goat gang living deep in the forest and how they might be harassing the homeless dogs. Goat gangs in Upstate NY…I haven’t heard that covered on NPR…

I saw some movement on the other side of the wooded clump and out trounced the reddish dog…up the hill and into the forest proper. More movement and there was the husky, butt to butt with the blondish dog pushing it up the hill. The husky took over for the reddish dog! About 10 minutes into it, the husky stood still, the blondish dog laid down and the husky went back into the clump. The blondish dog laid there, looking around, watching a big hawk fly over head.

I was stunned, I could not believe what I was seeing. I was so wrong in my assumption, in the story I was telling myself! The poor blondish dog needed help! Blondish dog was obviously old or sick or hurt. Reddish dog took the first shift, going butt to butt to help blondish dog though the small clump of trees and small hill. Then the husky took over and helped blondish dog up the steeper hill, butt to butt the same way the reddish dog had done. Poor poor blondish dog!!! But how lucky blondish dog was to have two such wonderful friends!!! What a heartwarming thing to observe. Nature, not being cruel or harsh, but being kind and gentle! So, as I sat there and marveled at the determination of the husky and reddish dog and grieved for the obviously sick blondish dog and wonder if maybe I was wrong about the goats being a mean gang and possibly being like nurses who could take care of poor blondish dog….the huskey came galloping out of the clump, and stoped next to blondish dog, Blondish dog got to his feet, huskey went ahead up the hill in a jog. Poor blondish dog…ditched by both of his friends. They were probably sick of pushing him up hills…blondish dog can’t count on anyone ever….blondish dog is probably crying, (I can’t tell because I am too far away, but I just have a feeling) WAIT! LOOK AT THIS!!!! Blondish dog is UP…blondish dog is trotting up the hill all on her own!!!!! Oh happy day!!! It’s a miracle!!!

No, it’s not a miracle. Blondish dog is a faker. Blondish dog is simply lazy and had manipulated his friends into butt pushing him through woods and up hills. Blondish dog is a total jerk!

Moral of the story: Never butt push someone up a hill who doesn’t absolutely need it.

Or maybe the moral is : Never assume to know the story from a distance.

Or possibly : Goat gangs exist.

 

Spencer Goes To The Dog Wash

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A new dog wash opened in a town a few miles from where I live. I was so excited when I saw this!! It is a dog/car wash. This sounds like the perfect solution to all of my dog washing issues. Neither Emma nor Spencer fit in the stand up shower, and it costs me 150 bucks to have them shaved. So, off to the dog wash we go!

dog wash sign

I pile Emma and Spencer into the car and which sounds like the easy part. Emma has to walk around the car at least 3 times before attempting the jump into the back seat. Sometimes she can’t decide which side of the backseat she wants to sit. I don’t see how it matters at all as she always ends up on the floor. I try the driver’s side back door…no go. The passenger side…nope. Back to the driver’s side…uh, no. Back to the passenger side…maybe….um…ok. And she’s in. Spencer gets his front paws onto the door jam and waits for one of us to lift his hind end into the car. It took me a few minutes to catch on to the fact that he was actually waiting for the rear end lift. He’s too proud to ask outright. I boost his butt into the car and he gets up on the seat waiting for me to roll down the window.

Emma is laying on the floor and Spencer is swaying with every turn of the car, knocking his head against the sides of the window. Every so often he falls on top of Emma and then steps all over her getting back up onto the seat. It’s just loads of fun.

dog wash shadow

We get there, to the dog wash, and unload. I didn’t know what to expect, but as I walk into the small room, I am so impressed!! It’s like what the real dog groomers use!!! A ramp, to a shallow tray that is waist-high, a hose that is connected to a machine that will do shampoo (oatmeal, flea and tick, or tearless) conditioner, fragrance and rinse. Then there is another hose that is a blow dryer!!! And yet another hose that is a vacuum with a comb attached so that you can actually vacuum the hair and water off the dog!!! So far, I am thinking that whoever devised this ingenious set up should be running the country!

I have seen the dogs on tv do this sort of thing….the run right up the ramp and then stand patiently as they are suds up and hosed down. Spencer immediately knows I am up to no good. He turns right around and stands patiently waiting for someone to open the door and let him out of this insanity. I turn him back around and try to encourage him to go up the ramp. Yeah, that’s not happening. Ramp walking is some sort of special skill that Spencer does not have. So, I help him. I put his front paws onto the ramp,and his backend immediately falls down. This is going to be a two person job, just getting him into the bath area. I grab the front, my kid grabs the back and we lift him onto the bath table. Spencer was amazed. He though for sure he was going to get out of this without getting bathed.spencer getting washed

Let the bathing begin! I even heard of a cool new trick where if you hold a dog’s snout they won’t shake!! I am totally feeling like a professional now!spencer getting washed 2

And on to the rinse….he is enjoying this, really…this is his happy face.spencer getting washed 3

The best part in my opinion (not necessarily Spencer’s) is the blow dry! Imagine, no wet dog smell!!!spencer getting washed 4

He is looking so handsome! And the best part is all of this washing and drying takes 8 minutes and costs 5 dollars!!!! Oh happy day! No more stinky mutts!!!

I think he looks devine…he thinks he has been through hell and he is NOT in the mood for picturesspencer not amused

Now, Emma has been watching this entire process. You would think she would have understood that she would also have to climb the ramp and get suds up, rinsed off and blown dry. Alas, Emma was simply enjoying watching the entertainment that is Spencer.

Giggling quietly to herself….

As we lift Emma up to the bath, I realize that maybe there is some merit to agility training. Time to get soapy Em! How come I always get stuck with the undercarriage?emma getting washed

And a rinse…emma wash 2

And the blow dry….emma getting dried

Over all, it was a good day at the dog wash!!! And we even made some new  friends!!! dog wash friend 2dog wash friends

Spencer Goes To A Birthday Party

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spencer goes to a birthday party He’s looking for the cake…

If any of you are doubting the truth of my stories of Spencer, I now have witnesses. I had my annual Holiday/birthday party for the kids. Lots of people, LOTS of kids and LOTS AND LOTS of food. Spencer was in heaven with the whole kid/food combination. I warned everyone who came in about Spencer and his thieving, and Cecelia and her sneak attacks. I told Spencer stories and he layed there basking in the attention…

Children love Spence. He is huge and smelly and awkward and very funny and he farts. He’s like a clown dog. And he tolerates little kids trying to ride him or crawl on him. He loves it. Rub his tummy and he smiles…teeth and all. But all the while, he is keeping one eye on any dropped or unattended food. He casually walks by the garbage can and takes a peek, snatches the plate of cake and walks on into the living room to eat while enjoying the tree and the little kids playing. Now if he could just get someone to bring him his smoking jacket and pipe he would be all set sitting regally on the blue velvet sofa. Ass.

As I am standing in the kitchen talking with a friend, behind me Spencer is unattended in the dining room. And in front of at least 5 other people, Spencer takes a HUGE wedge of cake off a plate that was on the table and inhaled it. My friend tried to warn me. She pointed and yelled “DOG!! FOOD!!” and that was all she could get out before the cake was gone. The other guests were amazed at the gracefulness. He didn’ knock the plate off the table. They were impressed with his technique. That’s when he knew he had them all in the palm of his paw. Now he knew that they would bow down to honor him and treat him with the much lack respect previously afforded to such a funny fat smelly mutt. And he sashayed away with attitude…until he took one step on to the laminate flooring and his entire back end went down. And he kind of crawled/dragged himself to the rug, hoisted himself up, shook it off and turned left into the family room where he slid on his belly all the way to the couch. Impressed all the guests. But also made them feel compassion for this dog who is obviously on his last legs. He’s like a movie star past his prime but thinking he’s still got it.

Now, after the party I was cleaning up and putting away all the food. I took the garbage outside, did the dishes, wiped down the counters and let Spence catch the crumbs. After all, he put on a good show. But I either accidental left the fridge ajar or Spencer has another cool new trick. When I got up the next morning, all of my chicken wing dip was gone, half of a cheesecake, carton of eggnog pierced and spilled all over the floor. All of the saran wrap that I had used to cover the food was gone. And I haven’t seen it yet. And I kinda hope I never do.

So added to the list of Spencer tricks is refrigerator opening. I have to think he could be a very useful mutt. He could be trained to help people (lazy people like myself) Work for his meals. But his compulsion is so grand he wouldn’t be able to get me a snack without eating the entire thing before actually getting it to me.

I sat him down and explained the state of our economy and how it coincides with the diet that the vet wants to put him on. See I have no money to buy dog food and he needs to eat less. Serendipity!!

And for Christmas morning I will give him the gift of my grandmother’s cereal bowl for his new food portions and he will most likely give me back the saran wrap, used twice. We love each other and really think about a thoughtful gift for the Holiday. And if I am truly as loved as I think I am, he will leave it right where I will step in it with my bare feet. It’s love, dysfunctional love, but love none the less.

Spencer Goes to a BBQ

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spencer goes to a bbq
his “Westminster” pose…doesn’t LOOK like he’d be licking random grease traps does he?

It’s summer. Spencer is 13 years old. He has cloudy eyes and selective hearing. He has ruined every single one of my antique oriental rugs and now he’s working on ruining the hardwoods. He needs a full time nurse to help him wipe when he poops. And he cannot walk on the hardwoods because they are actually laminate and he just belly flops and can’t get up. Yeah, that’s my dog…He’s fallen and he can’t get up. Real funny except in the middle of the night when he falls in his own pee AND poop and then can’t get up. Cold showers at 3am but not for the same reason as they used to be.

I have made many concessions for this mutt. I have rolled up the rugs. I have spent a small fortune on baby gates. I have invested in dog beds…that’s right, beds. Because he’s a picky sleeper. I have barricaded the stairs so he cannot go upstairs because he throws himself down the stairs and I know he will break a hip one of these days. Basically, he is now confined to one room. The fancy livingroom (which isn’t so fancy anymore minus the rugs and plus the pee and poop).

Last fall I had new storm doors installed. I had my heart set on the full length screen door but I knew that would be a major temptation for Spence. He has never seen a screen door that he didn’t plow through. Still, I talked myself into the full length, stupid expensive, screen door. In the winter, it was a full length glass door that Spencer left nose prints all over. I changed it out, put the screen in, bought yet another heavy duty baby gate to go in front of it and figured I was brilliant…or at least smarter than Spencer.

I was wrong. Oh so wrong. First of all, to get out of my front door, you had to open the door, then the baby gate, then the screen door,go through, while holding the screen door open but closing the baby gate and/or the door all the time yelling at Spencer to “GIT” because he is deaf and trying to escape. It’s a process. One which I am sure the neighbors enjoy watching. Anyway, I have to be vigilant as Spencer loves to roam and the street is busy and the neighbors don’t care for him pooping in their yard and going thru their garbage. I don’t blame them. I don’t like it either.

But Spencer has gotten old. So old that his fur never grew back from his last trip to the groomers last year. He is now a short haired dog with some long hairs here and there. Kinda like an old man with the nose/ear hair growth…He was really acting as if he wasn’t all that interested in escaping or even doing his routine where he does a dive roll through the screen door. The baby gate was pretty secure. I became complacent. I thought he was too old for his antics of yesteryear. Can I be any wronger?

P1050432Emma: I’m sorry. Me: for what? Emma: for having a dumb brother.

The other day we were out and about and I had left the front door open with the baby gate closed and the screen door locked. I got a text from my neighbor who lives 5 house down that Spencer had just come up for a visit and he walked him home and shut the door. WHAT???? How is that possible????? I got home and there is Emma laying in the backyard waiting patiently for someone to let her in. No one knew she had also escaped because she is smart and simply went to the backyard to wait for us to come home. She looked like she knew she was in trouble but she is kind of the asskisser of the pack and was already acting all contrite and remorseful. And what did she do with her time alone outside in the big wide world? Nothing. She waited for us in the backyard. Spencer on the other hand just HAD to go visiting. Lucky for him he decided to visit the guys who like him, or at least tolerate him.

So, exasperated, I close the front door. I am beaten, I give up. Spencer wins. I can’t have nice things. No antique rugs, no full length screen doors.Wait a second… wait one gosh darn second… I am the human here… I am the grown up… I am THE MOM!!! I say open the front door and live life!! That damn dog is not allowed to rule this house!!! And for a few days, I think he understands that I am in charge and what I say goes and I say he is NOT allowed to go THROUGH the screen door ever again! Yeah, he gets it. And just incase he doesn’t I shut the front door every time we leave the house.

All is well…until today. I open the door, I give my warning (which even I am sick of hearing) about not leaving the house, to which Spencer just rolls his rheumy eyes, and I go upstairs. I get a text from my neighbor UP the street that she just sent Spencer home and he is at the front door. WHAT???? I know deja vu right? I run down stairs yelling at the kids that Spencer is outside and I open the baby gate and the screen door, (which now is really just a frame of a door with some screen kind of hanging from the corner), fully expecting to find the arrogant mutt waiting. He’s not there! I send the 8 year old down the street, the 12 year old up the street and I go to the back yard. He couldn’t have gotten far. It had literally been possibly 15 seconds from my neighbor’s text to me arriving outside. No Spencer. No Spencer anywhere. After 15 minutes I start to get worried. He is kind of blind and sometimes deaf and the roads are busy. I know all he wants is food or better yet garbage or nirvana would be something big and dead to roll in…half and hour, still no Spencer. The 12 year old thinks she has picked up his trail as she found a steaming pile of poop right in the middle of the sidewalk around the corner and down about a half a block. At this point, I am driving around, alerting all the responsible dog owners who are out walking their well behaved dogs on leashes. Imagining the worst, that he has been hit by a car and is being taken by ambulance to the ER and that he is uninsured, I drive slower and yell louder. I don’t know why I am yelling because he only hears what he wants to but that is what dog owners in the movies do when their dog is lost.

About 45 minutes and at least 10 trips around the neighborhood, I pull in to the driveway and see that Emma and my 8 year old are sitting on the sidewalk and my 12 year old is walking toward my neighbor who has Spencer by the collar. Relief. I wanted to hug him and kick him all at the same time (Spencer that is, not my neighbor). My neighbor had been driving around looking also and he decided to go home and check his yard again when he saw Spencer’s butt in his next door neighbor’s yard. As he rounded the corner he caught Spence in the grease pan of their grill licking away as if it were his job. My neighbor introduced Spencer to the new neighbor, making sure that the new neighbor understood that Spencer was harmless albeit annoying and then he hauled my dumb dog home.

Spencer was in the mood for some barbeque. It is summer after all. Turd.

P.S. for all of you who may think that I don’t feed Spencer enough please refer to http://ellie072.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/spencer-the-addict/ which will give you an idea of what Spencer is, which is not underfed!