Saturday, April 30, 2016

Crime and Canines

My life is weird.

If you're reading this blog you probably have already realized this; however, some days really drive it home more than others. Thursday was one of those days.

It actually seemed to start pretty normally...just a woman and her dog heading out to get their routine beauty treatments.
Sassy to the groomers for a trim and a touch up to her trademark boot puffs. Me to the salon for a trim and a touch up to the irritating grays that come not from age but from living a weird life.

See?  A perfectly puffed pup!

I was running a touch behind, so I grabbed Sassy, ran to the car and hurried on our way without really looking around. A minute or so into the drive I realized that the overhead light was on. "That's odd," I thought. And then I saw all the junk from the glove compartment was on the passenger seat.

"Someone burgled the car!" I told myself, glancing around. "Just the tire pressure kit and a whopping seventy-five cents in change. Unless..."

And I put my hand down into the console where I usually keep a set of keys.

They were gone.

If you are anything like Opie, you are now saying  "You kept KEYS in your CAR?"

It is interesting to note that Opie did NOT say "I have asked you 500 times not to leave those damn keys in the car!" even though he has, in fact, asked me about 500 times not to leave my keys in the car.

Opie, you see, is a very wise man.

Besides, when I called him I was already well into a a panic attack. "I hardly ever use those keys, they're for the vacation place.  But I can't remember if I had house keys on the ring.  What if I had house keys on the ring? What if I had house keys on it and the thieves have been watching the house, waiting for me to leave so they can break into the house?  Do you think that Bubba would scare them off?"

"I'll take care of it," he sighed and hung up.

But I had already jumped on that train of thought and was following it all the way to crazy town. "The sketchy neighbors!" I shouted to myself in the car.  "What if it was the sketchy neighbors who broke into the car, specifically to get the keys, and were waiting for me to leave the house.  They know about Bubba. If they're planning to break in, they must have some sort of plan to subdue Bub!  What if the neighbors are planning to BREAK IN AND KILL BUBBA SO THEY CAN BURGLE THE HOUSE?!"

And just as I was trying to decide if I should go into the salon, continue hyperventilating in the car, or dash home and save the Bub, Opie texted to let me know that he had called Janet (a good neighbor) and asked her to put one of their cars in our driveway and keep a general eye on the house until I got back.

Seriously, the man is a genius.

My mom is also a genius because she suggested later that random thieves wouldn't keep keys they couldn't use and maybe they dropped them in the lawn or street or someplace...and she was right!  The lazy thieves hadn't even taken them out of the car; when I got out of the salon, I found the keys on the floor between the passenger seat and the door.

I'm not going to lie, I actually danced around the parking lot a little when I found them.

In any case, this should be enough drama for any one day but, as I said, my life is weird.

See, Opie and I both thought I should call the police and file a report, just to make sure they know about crime in the area. So I did as soon as I got home and they sent an officer over to take a statement.  He was pleasant, said he'd have the overnight shift up the patrols of the neighborhood, and that it was probably just kids.

Overall, he thought I could kiss my seventy-five cents goodbye.

If I had a normal life, we would have said our goodbyes and continued on our merry ways.

But the entire time we were talking, there was this huge brown dog running around the neighborhood like a maniac.

"Do you know who's dog that is?" The officer asked me, interrupting himself to turn around and stare at the dog.

"I've never seen it before," I said.

"I don't like the looks of it," he muttered..

"I don't think it has a collar," I said. "It's probably just a stray."

And then the dog ran across our lawn, loped across to the backyard, turned around, ran back across our yard and across the street.

"I really don't like the looks of that dog," the officer said. "We haven't had a case of rabies in years but did you see all the drool around its mouth?"

"Maybe it's part chow," I suggested.  "They're big droolers."

At least that's what I THOUGHT I said, what he apparently heard was "Yes, that dog looks 8 kinds of rabid! Come on, cop, what are you waiting for?  Protect and serve, mister, Protect and serve!"

Because as the dog made another dash across the lawn, THE OFFICER GOT OUT HIS GUN.

I will now pause and let the ramifications of THAT sink in....and I will repeat for emphasis.


Ever supportive of law enforcement, I did NOT scream "WTF are you doing?"  Instead I said, "You are NOT going to shoot that dog."

"I don't want to," he agreed.  "But if it's rabid..."

"It's not rabid," I assured him. "It's just hot from running around so much."

Oddly, the officer seemed unwilling to accept my diagnosis (he must not realize that I read A LOT of WebMD and therefore know all there is to know about rare illnesses). But the dog took off running again and, as the officer wasn't a lunatic, he obviously wasn't going to just spray the neighborhood with bullets...

Anyway, he put the gun away, called Animal Control to come deal with the dog, and suggested that I should go inside, just in case.

Which means that I had to spend an inordinate amount of time at our front window with my binoculars, looking for signs of a rabid dog and listening for gunshots.

I also had to spend a disturbing amount of time explaining to Bubba that he couldn't go into the backyard until I was sure the threat had passed. It is interesting to note that telling a whining dog "I'm saving your life, Bubba! Just like I've been doing all day!" and asking him "Do you want rabies,  Bubba?  DO YOU?!" does almost nothing to convince him the house is a better hangout than the backyard.

This is NOT the face of a dog who understands his peril.

So the long and the short of it is, my life is weird and our neighborhood has apparently become a seething hotbed of crime and questionable canines...and don't even get me started on the snakes!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Motivation to Move

We have to move.

I understand that this may seem sudden but once I have relayed the events of my day to you all, I think you will agree that it is time to drop everything and start researching realtors.

Here's what happened:

After a few days of rain, today was finally clear and since the ground is very soft at the moment, I decided that this would be the perfect time to go out and transplant this enormous shasta daisy that is taking over the rock garden. After moving it, I went back to smooth everything over etc. Unfortunately, while doing this I accidentally flipped over a rock and guess what was under it?

Another freaking snake, that's what!

One of those small snakes that for a hopeful minute I thought might just be the King Kong Godzilla Monster of earthworms but then, just like our last snake adventure, realized it was all coiled up, snake-like and evil.

And, of course, it had six inch fangs that were dripping blood and venom in copious amounts.

At this point, I screamed a very offensive curse word loudly enough that I'm pretty sure they could hear me at the church down the street.

My normal reaction would, obviously, be to run shrieking into the house....but Bubba was outside with me.  And because my life is one giant catastrophic coincidence after another, it was at this exact moment that a stray dog decided to meander up and bark at the dog next door.  Which means that Bubba ran over in a frenzy, jumping all over the exact same garden that had just given rise to the serpent from hell.

Therefore, I couldn't run inside because:

A. The snake could go slinking and sliming and slithering to some other spot in the yard, just waiting to jump out and attack another time.

B. I'm a firm believer in "No Dog Left Behind" and, since there is no calming Bubba when there is a stray dog in the vicinity and he was jumping around in a manner that just begged an evil predator to notice and attack, I knew I wouldn't get him in the house with me.

But I also couldn't just go into a frenzy of my own and started chopping the snake to pieces with my shovel like some whacked out snake serial killer because that's bad for my karma..

So, fueled by adrenaline and maternal instinct for the ridiculous dog next to me, I scooped up a huge shovelful of dirt with the snake on top, scurried to the other gate like a maniac, ran out to the front and flung the dirt and snake and rocks and whatnot into the street.

I'm not too proud to say I was crying and screaming all the curse words I've ever heard as I was running.

What the neighbors thought of this display is anyone's guess...but I suspect their opinion of me is none too flattering.

In summary, I have become the lunatic of the neighborhood, our rock garden is, apparently, a teeming hotbed of serpent activity, and I don't think I can live in these kind of conditions.