Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Gutsy Dog

Meet Zephyr. I love her, probably more than a person ought to love a dog, because she is our first "child." I am angry with her because, for the last hour and half, she has run me through the ringer.

I am a woman of routines. If I find a schedule that works and makes my household happy, I stick to it. Thus, in the mornings, I tend to run on autopilot. Before I get Jillsie from her crib, I go downstairs with the dogs (Zephyr and her sidekick Tiller), put them outside on their lines, and flick on my espresso maker.

After sharing some time with Jillsie, nursing and snuggling, it is time for the high chair and Jillsie's breakfast. Afterwards, the doggies are usually asking to come in for their breakfast, Jillson starts playing with her toys, and I make my own breakfast. This morning I was feeling like a horrible dog mom since we were so low on food I had to augment the dogs' breakfasts with broken up dog bones. When I went to the back to let the dogs in, there was Tilly waiting to come in, but no sign of Zephyr. Her line was there, trailing off into the yard, with no dog on the end. It wasn't busted or cut or ripped out or anything. Simply missing a dog.

What's a woman in her pajamas to do? After a brief panic, I got dressed (sans bra since times a wastin'), stuffed Jillsie into a snow suit (frost on the grass=cold), tossed her into the backpack, hooked Tilly up to her leash, and traipsed out into the fields.

Have I mentioned how stinky the fields are right now? The Eau de Manure was so strong that it cut our family walk short last evening. Now I was in it up to my ankles. Tiller was delighted.

I thought Tilly might lead us to Zephie. After hobbling through the fields for nearly an hour, calling for Zephyr, cursing myself for not putting on a bra, and trying not to cry or envision Zephie on the side of the road, I gave up. I had to go home. Jillsie was getting restless in the backpack (it was also naptime, of course), my back was hurting (did I mention yesterday's rather zealous weight-lifting workout?), and I had to come up with a new plan of attack for finding my wayward dog.

I called my husband; no answer. I texted him; no answer. I decided to leave Tilly at home, and Jillsie and I headed out the front door to look for Zephie in the streets. Jillson was so tired that she kept leaning her head into my neck to gum my hair, blow raspberries, or say "eye-ya-ya-ya," which means "Mommy, can't you tell that I am sleepy, so why are we headed away from the house?" Luckily, when we got to the end of the front drive, around the corner came Zephie, doot-d'-doo, just walking along with a big old grin on her face.

I love her so much for coming home and putting me out of my misery. However.

I have since removed not one, not two, but ELEVEN ticks from her hide, and I am sure there are more to come.

I am going to have to bathe her once again, since she reeks of manure. You can practically see the odor wafting off of her. And I am not going to be able to do this until this evening, as I have to leave to go to a meeting in about a half an hour. This means whatever ticks are left on her, along with the incredible stink, will be awaiting my return, on or off Zephyr.

Here's to nightly familial tick-checks for the rest of the week.

And here's to a dog who is smart enough to come home before the Gutsy Mom reached total meltdown.

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