The tale of the early morning escape artist

Herky and otto

Well, hello, Before-Buttcrack-of-Dawn. We meet again.

This time, it’s 4:17 a.m. And I’m up for one of my two reasons: dogs or anxiety. Or sometimes it’s melded into one–dog anxiety.

This was one of those times.

Because Herky, the little Boston Terrier who is going-on-9, is a sneaky little bastard. You heard me. I said bastard.

It all started when one of the dogs was whining in the bedroom. This was a normal occurrence. I believe it was Otto, the big German Wirehaired Pointer. Because God forbid they could go all night without going to the bathroom. (I shouldn’t talk. Neither can I.)

So I stumble, literally, in the dark over a mix of clean and dirty clothes on my bedroom floor, and my foot manages to also find a licked-clean can of chicken that Otto carried into the bedroom, as well as a fork. This always feels good on the bare feet.

Mind you, I am not wearing my usual muumuu that I got in Florida last summer. (THE most comfortable nightgown you will ever find.) Why? I’m just gonna be honest. I put it on and went pee before bed, and before I realized what was happening, the back of the nightgown fell into the toilet. “That’s okay, I haven’t peed yet,” I told myself. “It’ll dry.” Fortunately, a little voice told me I’d better check the toilet anyway, and sure enough, someone else had peed before me and not flushed. So I quickly ripped that muumuu off and instead I threw on a tank top but couldn’t find shorts, so I’m literally wearing a tank top that barely covers my underwear. And even though you may think this SOUNDS kind of sexy, believe me, it was not a good look on a 48-year-old woman with oodles of cellulite.

So back to 4:17 a.m. I stumble through the minefield that is my bedroom and head to the living room, where I open the front door and grab the tie-out for Otto.

And all of a sudden I realize Herky, who was just beside me, has vanished.

Surely he didn’t sneak out AGAIN, for the SECOND MORNING IN A ROW. Surely he didn’t take advantage of the fact that I wasn’t even half awake to brush by me while I’m most vulnerable, crouched down in my BEACH DAY EVERY DAY short tank top that clings where it really shouldn’t be clinging as I’m standing in the front doorway.

Surely you know the answer to this question by now.

What alerted me first to the fact that Herky had escaped was the barking that was echoing throughout the neighborhood, coming not from Herky, but from Otto, who was less than pleased that his brother had flown the coop. Now I’m not sure if his barking really did grow 1500 decibels this morning or the fact that it was 4:17 a.m. when everyone else is QUIET that made it seem so, but Otto was beyond loud. Like CALL 9-1-1 THIS IS A FREAKING EMERGENCY, PEOPLE loud.

I looked around the house, just to make sure Herky hadn’t snuck back to bed instead of out the front door, where he literally had to brush past my legs, which apparently were still asleep and had no feeling. And then out of the corner of my eye I caught a black and white streak dashing across the empty lot across the street. OF COURSE.

Now this is the dog who I thought a few weeks ago was not going to make it, and still is having issues. In non-technical terms, he has a growth by his butthole. I don’t know what the technical terms are. It could be a tumor. It probably is a tumor. But when you and your husband are both teachers raising three kids, you can’t afford a colonoscopy or any type of cancer treatment for your dog if that’s what it is, so you settle for antibiotics and steroids, along with soft food that’s easy to poop out. And fortunately that’s been working, and he’s been feeling more himself.

Hence, the escaping.

Now, remember, I had on no pants. So first I had to bring Otto inside before he woke the entire neighborhood with what had to be the loudest barking anyone has ever heard. Then I had to go find pants. THEN I could commence with the search-and-rescue mission that has become a little too familiar lately.

Let’s just say it involves me driving around waving a raw hot dog out the window. I have long relinquished my pride to the practicality and feasibility of enticing a reluctant dog into the car. I’ll do whatever it takes.

And once again, the hot dog trick worked. I slowed down, opened the door and Herky got close enough that I could grab his collar. Then he proceeded to not only eat the hot dog I was holding in my hand, but also take small bites out of my fingers while doing it. Thanks, dude. That’s the icing on the cake at 4:17 a.m. when you’re riding around with a raw hot dog and angry bags under your eyes.

Now what happens to your body after going on such an adventure as this is that your adrenalin kicks in. (Thanks, adrenal glands!) So going back to sleep is not really an option. Lying in bed and TRYING to go back to sleep is an option, but I have given up on that this summer. Instead, I just get up for the day and try to accomplish something, even if it’s just cussing out my dog.

This morning, I am trying to accomplish contributing to this sad, neglected blog.

And look at that–it’s 6:23 a.m. already! Time flies when you’re having fun! But hey, the good news is, Herky is apparently EXHAUSTED from his adventure and is sleeping soundly in the chair beside me. And Otto, tuckered out from his ear-piercing screams for his brother to come home, is sacked out on the couch.

But whoever said life is fair has never had dogs like mine.

Good morning, friends! Have a great day!


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