Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lucy, I'm Home!

I must really love my sister a lot. Only for her would I drive to her house in the next town at 8:00 at night to let her dumb dog out.

I'm not an animal hater. Lucy, a big rotweiler mix puppy, is not that bright. She's one of those dogs that would probably lick an intruder to death.

First of all, I couldn't get in the house. There's a code to get in and I had the right code but wasn't pressing the buttons hard enough or something... and then I had to figure out how to clear out the sequence so I could start over. The lighted keypad kept blinking at me, and I hoped there wasn't a limit on tries. I was afraid a silent alarm was being sent to the Sheriff's office that some goofball was outside pushing buttons.

As I called my sister's cell phone, the garage door started to rise. I hung up. My six-year-old son went in with me. I had flipped a coin to see which child was staying with Dad and which was going with me. So, without forethought, I took the child with me who is afraid of and allergic to dogs.

It occured to me as I entered the house, that I didn't know where they keep her cage. Shortly after our arrival, however, I heard, "Bang, bang, bang," and a high pitched whine. As soon as I let the dog out she jumped on me. I knew Lucy did this, but I didn't plan on it. "Where's the spray bottle?" I shouted to my son. He was perched on the back of a couch in the living room and gave me a frightened shrug. I spotted it on the kitchen counter and make a beeline for it, Lucy jumping on me the whole way. I grabbed it, pointed at her face and shot. A fine mist covered both of us.

The water helped, though, and I was able to get her to go outside. Then she waited on the deck stairs as if she needed an escort. I never did actually see her go... but I left her out for a few minutes before she pawed the sliding door to come back in. Meanwhile, I set the spray bottle to "stun."

I was able to sit down on the couch and with a few squirts of water had her sitting on the floor beside me. I praised her, rubbing her face. She kept putting her paws on my leg until I realized she wanted a belly rub. As my son watched a cartoon on TV, I make sure Lucy remembered where her food and water was. I let her back outside one more time.

The cartoon ended, and I say, "C'mon Lucy, time to go in your cage!" My neighbor's dog does it. Not Lucy. I cajoled. I bribed. I pushed. I pulled. I raised my voice. Nothing was convincing this dog to return to her plastic dungeon. After about 10 minutes, I tried to call my sister and got a "the wireless customer you have called is not available" message. I walked back to the cage and tried again. As if she knew I was going to tell on her, Lucy went straight into her cage without a struggle. I rewarded her with some praise and food. Maybe she's not such a dumb dog after all!

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