- The dog’s favorite place to be (besides running free throughout the neighborhood)
Ahh, the first day back from Christmas break. We had the usual—great times with family, nail-biting games of Life, hunting expeditions for lost Lego pieces of newly opened Christmas gifts. There were, however, several episodes that I will share, because I have no shame. I’ve gone ahead and stashed these in the “Things that would only happen to me (and Liz Lemon)” file. (It’s getting quite thick.)
We’ll start with just one story to whet your appetite. Don’t worry, there are more to come this week.
Remember that dog that I’ve told you about a few times? Yeah, the one that bit me the week before Christmas, that’s the one. Well, he’s still here awaiting trial. Or until I can find him another home. The morning of Christmas Eve was actually going fairly smoothly. But I made the mistake of specifically noting this to myself. That’s when it all went bad.
Boys #1 and #2 were helping by carrying gifts out to the van. We were heading to my parents’ house for brunch and boisterous gift-unwrapping. We were actually making good time, too, which should’ve been my first clue that something was about to go down. As I stood in the doorway, making sure Boy #2 could get to the van safely with his basket of presents, I felt something brush by my leg, and my stomach dropped. I looked out just in time to see a streak of fur tearing through the snow.
Yes, I had let the dog out.
Needless to say, the good mood and glad tidings that had previously lingered in my house immediately evaporated. I was mad at myself, but apparently not as mad as Husband was at me, as he continued to ask me the same question: “WHY did you stand with the door open? What were you thinking?”
Now, tell me how I’m supposed to answer that question. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking, at least about what I should’ve been thinking about, which is where my dog might be lurking waiting for that perfect opportunity for another jailbreak. It wasn’t until we were leaving a Christmas dinner two days later when Husband backed into his brother’s van, which was parked DIRECTLY BEHIND us, IN CLEAR SIGHT, and I continued to ask him, “WHY did you back into his van? WHY? What were you thinking?” that I think he began to understand the futility of his question. But I digress.
So we continued to load the van while we watched the dog prance through the snow and gallavant throughout the neighborhood. We knew it would do no good to chase him; he’s way too fast. And he knows every trick we try to lure him in. Despite this, I tried leaving the front door open and hiding behind it, peeking through the crack to see if he’d come inside his warm home if he didn’t think we were around. He didn’t fall for it.
I also tried leaving a trail of treats leading up to the house. He just ate them and ran. We then got in the van and drove around and around the neighborhood, periodically opening the van door and asking, “Wanna go for a ride?” The dog would psych us out for a minute, acting like he just might fall for it, and then he’d dash off to terrorize some dog stuck behind a fence.
This literally went on for an hour and a half. Sometimes the dog would stand in the front yard and me in the doorway, and we’d have a staredown. He always won.
Finally, I heard the dog barking from the house behind us, and I knew my neighbors had let him outside. I realized this may be my only chance to save Christmas, since we were basically prisoners at home until the dog came inside. We couldn’t leave him because it was so cold and knowing that he had just bit me. We couldn’t chance him running loose.
So I grabbed a blanket and tromped through the knee-high snow to the wooden fence behind our house. Sure enough, the dog was running the fence with the neighbor dog, barking like crazy. Even though he was focused on the other dog, he’s smart enough to still pay attention to what I was doing, and every time he’d run near me, he’d arc out JUST enough that I missed him when I tried to grab. But I had a plan.
Slowly I inched toward the corner of the house, knowing that trapping him may be my only hope. He took the bait and I finally had my chance. Quickly, I threw the blanket over him and pounced. (Yes, I literally pounced.) Needless to say, the dog was not happy to have been caught in a blanket trap, although I think secretly he was a little bit happy because he had ice and snow frozen onto his beard and I’m sure he was a wee bit cold. He snarled and tried to bite me, as I knew he would, but I just kept him wrapped in the blanket and carried the 20+ pound dog through the snow into the house. There was NO WAY I was letting go, no matter what he did to me. After all, Christmas was at stake!
After coming into the house, making sure all the doors were shut tight, and depositing the dog-in-a-blanket onto the kitchen floor, I picked up my phone and dialed Husband, who had been in the van with the boys for nearly 30 minutes.
“The eagle has landed,” I said (or rather, panted) when Husband said hello.
“Huh?” he asked. Apparently he didn’t get my spy humor.
“I caught the dog,” I said.
“Oh,” he said.
And we were off, me out of breath, my hair and makeup ruined and wearing jeans that were sopping wet from the knees down. We were about 45 minutes late for brunch, but we did make it. And that, my friends, was a Christmas miracle.