Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tru-Green Tales

Is it possible to be black-balled from Tru-Green?

If so, I think we’re doomed.  I mean, we’ve had incidents with the Tru-Green guy before but I’m pretty sure today takes the cake.

Here’s what happened:

I was upstairs smack in the middle of a remodeling project (more on THAT later) and the door bell rang. I thought it was just the mailman dropping off a package so I ignored it until it rang again a few seconds later.

So, a veritable vision of annoyed, paint-covered, sweaty glory, I went down, threw open the door and found myself face-to-face with a slightly hysterical Tru-Green employee.

“Ma’am, your dog’s in the yard right now.” He said, looking a little wild around the eyes.

That probably should have been all the explanation that I needed. But I’d been breathing in paint fumes for several hours and I was a little distracted by the fact that my other dog was running around my feet barking like a maniac. So, for a minute, I thought he meant that Bub hadn’t been in the yard a few minutes earlier. That Bub had escaped and had been wandering around the neighborhood like an intrepid explorer dog and this this guy had found him and returned him to the yard and now wanted some sort of reward.

Which was very confusing because Bubba has never gotten out of the yard, he doesn’t even try to leave the yard when the gate’s open and he wouldn’t let some stranger touch him for all the dog biscuits at the Milk Bone factory.

And then it hit me.

“Oh!” I said. “You’re here to fertilize the yard!”

“Yes,” he agreed. “And your dog…he, well he won’t let me.”

“So he saw you try to get in the yard?”

“He saw me!” The guy agreed. “He definitely saw me.”

“Well, this is going to be a pain.” I said.

And sure enough, when I went out back, Bubba was in full-on patrol mode. He was running from one gate to the other, barking, lunging at the fence, and basically trying to convince the neighborhood that he was a ferocious, crazed beast.

When I tried to get him to come in the house, he looked at me like I’d gone insane then included me in his patrol, running to one gate, running around me in a circle, then running to the other gate—completely ignoring commands, shouts and treat bribes.

“This is no time for eating!” Bubba told me. “There’s an intruder in the vicinity—we’re on red alert here!”

This is not why we’re going to be blackballed from Tru-Green. I’m sure that they encounter dogs all the time. They don’t, however, encounter ME all the time.

Especially not an irritated, over dramatic me.

See, just when I thought I finally had Bubba convinced that the danger was gone and he could come inside, the Tru-Green guy peeked around the side of the house to check on my progress.

This, of course, convinced Bubba that the threat level had just been raised to DEFCON 1.

“Resume your positions!” Bubba screamed, charging the fence. “Maximum readiness, we’re at maximum readiness here!”

If I could have gotten past the dog, I might have beaten the Tru Green guy to death with the leash. 

Instead, I went in the house then out the front door and walked around to where the Tru Green guy was still hovering.

“Dude,” I said (which is the most embarrassing part of the story—I actually said dude). “You need to move. You need to be somewhere this dog can’t see you.”

And he looked at me like I was crazy (why does everyone give me that look? It's a real mystery.)

Which is when I slipped into full-on Kimbo mode. “This is a very protective dog!” I shouted, waving my hands in the air “He has killed squirrels and moles by the dozen! He has come face to face with a skunk and lived to tell the tale! And he will die before he lets some stranger in the yard! He won’t let me face that kind of peril alone—it’s too perilous! You need to get out of his sight! And you need to do it NOW!”

I’m not really sure which of us scared the poor guy more, me or Bub. But he went over and got in his truck (pretty sure I saw him on his cell phone and I suspect that the conversation wasn’t about how much he loved his job) and I managed to drag Bubba back in the house.

So, in sum, this was the fastest fertilization our lawn has ever had, Bubba has lowered the threat level to DEFCON 4 but he’s still on hyper-alert sentry duty, and I think I know why we never seem to have the same Tru Green guy twice in a row.

This dog doesn't look scary, does he?