Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Step Right Up!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Beardie Fans of all ages step right up to the Greatest Oconomowoc. Appearing for one morning only, the Amazing Issabella and her jester foster mom.

It was bound to happen and I was glad it finally did and we got that out of the way.

Bella is growing increasingly wary of being outside. Scott thinks it's because all of the leaves have changed and fallen down and every day there is something new laying in the yards, crunching underfoot. She also does NOT like to go outside via the garage door.

Yesterday morning I went to take the dogs for our usual am walk. And as usual, Bella fought me on going outside using the garage door. Sadly, her fear mechanism kicked in and she pooped on the way out the door and then she pooped again in the garage. Afterwhich, she rocketed out of the garage like some sort of ICBM.

I've learned, the hard way with this dog, that she doesn't like the sound of the garage door going up. So I was going to outsmart her, yesterday morning. I took the opener out of the car and...left it on the counter. Oh, yeah, I was smart allright. Didn't realize that I didn't have the opener til I was halfway down the drive and I pushed the button cell phone.

Back up the driveway we went. Bella straining on the harness that keeps her with me. Ooh, gotta be careful with that or she's gonna slip of these days.

After I got the door down, we had relatively smooth sailing til we walked through the new construction in the subdivision behind us. Let's just add pneumatic nail guns and bumpy hammery sounds to the list of things that freak her out. Check.

Yesterday morning I walked the dogs after I had breakfast. (Did a lot of things wrong yesterday morning if you haven't picked up on that yet.) We were about halfway through our walk when my always efficient kidneys and kicked in.

"Hey girls, we're cuttin' this here walk short. I gotta PEE."

So home we went and I remembered with one toe over the driveway threshold, that I was going to have a problem with the garage door. I was going to carry Bella up the drive and hold her while I opened the door but she slipped away from me on the length of the retractable leash and wound up near the front door. Ok, so I'll tie her to the bench on my front porch. That'll work. I am often amazed at my own ingenuity.

I opened the garage door, skinnied under the opening portal and ran for the house door. Avoiding the treasure left on the inside of the door from the beginning of the walk, I ran to the front door. As I opened the front door, it spooked Bella and she jumped off the front porch and into the grass. Or rather the grass that was colored with shades of Wisconsin autumn. This freaked her out and she backed up more. Not understanding why she wasn't moving faster away from me clomping thru the front door, she pulled REALLY HARD.

She moved the bench. It made a HORRIFIC noise. She pulled again. And again. And again, this time with a shoulder roll. And she popped out of the harness like that greased pig somebody let go in the school hallway when I was a senior.


I am unable to type those words that ran through my head. My lips, I don't think, ever moved. The whole crazy thing happened like it was in slow motion and I was moving like those actors you see in similar scary situations on TV.

By the time I was able to function again, Bella was on the move past the side of my house. She did some squiggly lines through the back yard, over the wood pile (she's very agile) and she picked her way over the ten THOUSAND leaves between us and the neighbor.

I played race and chase and peek-a-boo and ring-around-the-rosy with her through my neighbor's backyard. Mocha and Te'a were of no help. They thought the whole thing was some big fun game and they just ran around too, biting and snarling and playing with each other. I sure hope my neighbor, with the nine week old baby was laying down with the white noise machine on so she couldn't hear me begging my dog to come back. Or me yelling at my own chocolate lab to NOT run through the smushy, icky smelly swamp. Yup, sure hope she was doing something else - maybe like running the vaccuum. Yeah...

I thought about calling Lori as I had my cell phone in my jacket pocket. And oh, yeah, what was I going to say? "Oh, hi Lori? Yeah, uh..listen...Bella slipped her harness and I'm chasing around the neighbor's backyard and...uh-huh...(oh cra*)...could you come over and help?....Please?"

Nah, I just pulled up my big girl panties and kept chasing Bella around their backyard. At some point Mocha and Te'a got a clue and decided that I was dangerously close to having a stroke. They understood that they would have to drag me to the car to go to the hospital if they didn't do something soon. So as I'm calling Bella's name, Mocha came over. Out of habit, I started petting her and scratching her head. Ah...this got Bella's attention. "C'mere Mocha - siddown".

Mocha sat and Bella continued to make herding circles around us, each time growing smaller and smaller and smaller. Until at last I was able to grab her collar and scoop her up and hold her to me. Honestly, I can't say who was more relieved, her or me.

I carried her across their lawn and walked very gingerly over the leaves that we have let collect there in "no-man's-land". It's a good spot for all of our dogs to take care of business. Into the house we finally went. I set Bella down and went in search of a poop sack to clean up by the door.

When I called Lori to tell her I needed a different harness, she channelled my mom who has been gone ten years. She told me that all the running around was good for me. She told me it was good exercise. It was good to hear from my mom again. XXOO.

What a crazy bunch of stuff that happened yesterday morning.

This morning was better. I leashed up my dogs and opened the garage door. I grabbed the garage door remote and jammed it in my pocket. I leashed Bella, scooped her up and carried her over the threshold out into the garage. I grabbed Mocha and Te'a's leashes and we all walked down the drive together. At the end of the drive, I hit the button and the garage door closed.

As we walked our route in the pre-dawn darkness, I heard a funny noise. Hmm...wonder what that was? Hopefully it wasn't coyotes again. They are usually out chasing deer around at "rut" time. Oh, joy. Wonder what sort of adventure that will bring...tomorrow morning.


Thank you for reading. Please pass this along and come back soon!


Anonymous said...

Hi - I've been following all of the blogs since the link was posted on the Beardie List. I also have a Beardie that is afraid of the world (noise - trucks, construction, cars idling etc. etc. etc) and what I've done is double collar him - I have his regular collar then a show lead on him (a continous nylon lead) that is knotted with his leash - that way if he breaks away from his collar - he can't run away because the other collar is still on him - just a thought for you & Bella.

Kris said...

Shelly you are by far and away the funniest writer in the world! I laughed so hard I had to run to the bathroom! I was going to suggest a double leash, one on the collar one on th harness. Great to know we have someone reading about the Beardie Adventures outside the circle of our own friends and Fluffy Dog! Wow Dudes our dog's are famous, next will be a Reality Show....How to Cope with Crazy Beardies!

Mark and Judy said...

I...cough...just...snort...finished...wheeze...reading this. (chortle, gurgle, gufaw...)I really AM going to have to start getting up at 5 and hiding with my camera on your street.

Heee Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

The Wolfe Den said...

That was a hilarious story. I was laughing out loud at work. It reminded me of the good ole days with Kaiah.