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?
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!