This is the second week in a row The Boy and I have been
left to our own devices. It has been... eventful.
The new dog (he doesn’t even rate initial caps yet)
continues to be a challenge. The other day, inside the house, he lifted his leg
and began peeing on a CD rack right in front of The Boy. Well the kid starts
yelling, I come running out, the dog retreats to his crate when I start
yelling… all kinds of bad wackiness ensues.
Later that day, I drop the ball and the new dog sneaks out
of the house while I’m on the phone with The Missus. The Boy goes, “Uh, Gizmo
is gone” in his best really-small voice. I drop the phone and go racing out of
the house. He’s gone. I hop in the car and go driving all over the
neighborhood, then remember a friend’s advice to use a hot dog as a lure. So I
race home to get a hot dog, and The Boy tells me he heard barking from just a
few doors down the street. Race back to the car, drive down the street and
there he is, just making the acquaintance of the neighborhood dogs through the
slats of their fully-enclosed back yard fences. I drop the car into park and
hop out, calling his name.
He gets one look at me and takes off. Exactly the same as he did on the very first day we brought him home, only this time he’s
low-running. He’s in full flight.
Even though he is technically retreating, somehow I don’t
feel like I’m winning.
All the neighbors are out on their stoops, listening to
shitty music as I go driving by, obviously in pursuit of a dog that doesn’t
want to be caught. I know I’ll have to drive past them going home, too, and
whether or not I have the dog with me, I’ll feel like an asshole.
The new dog is still running at a full sprint—really
stretching his legs. He gets to a big grassy berm that runs adjacent to the
busy freeway on the other side, and I realize that if he takes off to the other
side of the berm, the next sound I hear will probably be the squeal of brakes
Fortunately, he doesn’t. This stretch lasts several blocks,
and it’s here he—in mid-chase—stops to poop. “Now is my chance!” I kid myself.
I pull the car up ahead of him, slam it into park, fling the door open, the Starsky and Hutch theme song playing in my head, race toward him… and he
takes off. That was as close as I got to him again.
I ended up watching him disappear over the horizon, way
across the other side of the empty field where I taught The Boy to ride his
bike last summer. I called and called and he just wasn’t having any of it. He
I drove home—past all the neighbors again—without him, and
had to tell The Boy as well as The Missus, who was still on the phone. The new dog was
wearing a collar though and has been implanted with a GPS device or something,
so I assured the kids he would be back.
I finally get The Boy to bed, but in the wake of all the
drama, the last thing he wants to do is go to sleep. And good thing, too. Once
again, he was the one who heard the barking from down the street.
Knowing by now that the new dog is not gonna come to me,
even if by some miracle that is him we hear, I leash up The Large Dog and we tumble out of the house. I’m going full-steam to where I first sighted
the new dog with his best buddy in tow. But as I race past our non fully-fenced-in yard, I see movement in my peripheral vision. I glance over, and
there is the new dog, sitting in the side yard, chewing on a log like nothing
ever happened. We walk over and he comes when I call his name.
By this time, I have done a lot of running and jumping.
Every time I Starsky and Hutched the car, I did a lopsided chase scene with the
dog before retreating to the vehicle to give further hot pursuit. My appalled and
outraged 51-year-old body is still hurting in places it never occurred to me could
hurt before. What exactly did I do to so injure my right ass-cheek?
Now when either dog is going inside or outside, we implement security protocols so severe it makes a Hannibal Lecter prison transfer look
like a game of Red Rover, Red Rover.
So that’s how we went into the week and it’s been fairly
tough sledding since then. Our car’s minor fender-bender a while back chose
this week to become a crisis situation, with us learning that we’re in line to
receive about half the money we’ll need to replace the car, which was rendered “no longer drivable” while being examined to produce an estimate for the other party’s insurance company. We had to take a cab home after returning the rental. Today The
Boy and I went down and cleaned the old car out of all our personal effects. I felt like
we had brought the car in for a tonsillectomy and it died on the table while
undergoing a heart-and-lung transplant.
And the fucking new dog went on a hunger strike after
returning. I eventually had to cave on that one. Could not have The Missus
coming home to a dog that it would be hard to convince her I hadn’t
(I’m not saying the dog is evil, I’m just suggesting he may
be a conniving back-stabber.) And in addition to being smarter than I am overall, he is also clearly the better tactician.
Tried to take The Boy to the local glow-in-the-dark
miniature golf place, only to find that it has closed. And there are no other
miniature golf places around except for one we found at the nearby kids’ water
park and Mega-Fun Zone. We are going to try that tomorrow.
Also took The Boy to see the new Wolverine flick (not
age-appropriate as it turns out) and watched an excellent new straight-to-home
video Justice League movie that performed the neat trick of making third-tier
hero The Flash an interesting, viable character for 74 minutes. Oh, but the big
hit was “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.” Painful to sit through, but at least
there was the cold comfort of knowing that none of the talent have careers
anymore (sorry, Rick Moranis).
Yes, last week was definitely more fun so far. Too much heavy shit
this week. But we’re gonna try to make up for it in the couple of days we have
remaining. Front-loaded all my work this week so my time is mostly my own, and the only
obligations The Boy has are ones I have, too.
Oh but that new dog is going to be the death of me.