The Sunday after July 4th, that would be July 6th for those of you who don't like to do math, was a nice, calm, lazy day I enjoyed very much.
Of course the house was Chaos all day, but that's the way it is when you have a three and a half year old and an 11 month old who likes to crawl, stand, climb, explore and chew on stuff.
As a Dad of some experience now, I know how to relax in that environment. Its been a long time coming though, a really long time.
My wife likes to go out. I suppose she's like most wives. Like most husbands I want to sit around the house and tinker with my hobbies. Wife asked if we could go for a walk after dinner and I said, "Sure," not because I wanted to, but because I know how important it is to her.
During dinner my wife pointed out a huge dog in the neighbor's lawn across the street and said, "I didn't know they had a big dog. I thought they just had ankle biters." I replied that I didn't either and went back to daydreaming. I daydream roughly 25 percent of my conscious day. That's way down from when I was a kid when that total was probably in excess of 90 percent. Food was the only thing that kept me from daydreaming for long when I was a kid. Oh, and television was a daydreaming substitute.
Heck I'm doing it now, reminiscing about my childhood when I should be telling this story.
I'm not sure there's much difference between daydreaming and watching TV. You may think that watching TV doesn't require imagination, but I assure you the way I watch TV requires a great deal. I always fill in the story and rewrite it when I don't like it. Heck I used to do that with my dreams. But I'm diverging again...
After dinner, we spent the requisite thirty minutes preparing the kids to go for a walk and then plopped the eleven month old in the BOB stroller and walked out the front door.
The big dog, with the blue collar, jumped up when he saw us. We walked out to the side walk and the big dog crossed the street and greeted us.
For those of you who don't have children, when a ninety pound, unleashed, dog walks toward your thirty-three pound, three year old daughter you get a bit concerned, to put it mildly.
But both my wife and I realized quite quickly that he's a good dog.
He was very gentle with her and she LOVED him.
We started walking down the street and he wandered off. We began to get a sense that he didn't actually belong to the people across the street. Then as we turned the first corner he caught up to us and began to tail us. I joked with my wife that we'd grown a "tail with a tail."
We were headed to a neighbor's house about four blocks up the hill. This neighbor had a miniature horse and miniature donkey whom my wife and daughter refer to affectionately as, "Brownie-Pie" and "Ears."
The black faced, bespeckled lab mix followed us the whole way there. He even said hello to Brownie-Pie. Ears couldn't be bothered because he was already laying down for the evening. Typical Donkey attitude, I bet.
We walked home and he followed us the whole way. He was insanely friendly to everyone and every once in a while he'd run up to some person and we'd have to explain quickly that he was friendly and not ours and that we had no control over his enthusiasm.
We also took a route home on a busy road and he nearly got hit twice. We wish we'd thought our route through before we took it.
We thought the entire walk that sooner or later he'd recognize where he is and go home, but he didn't. He followed us back to our house and even waited to go in the front door. He wanted to adopt us.
He's a sweet, lovable, good natured, mutt whom under any other circumstances I would love to have. But we already have two cats we found feral or lost and we don't need another animal to bring extra chaos to our lives. When we found the "Frankenstein Kitten" a few years ago my wife and I made a deal to not get any more pets, ever.
But we couldn't leave him outside. He'd get hit by a car for sure.
He turned down some water I offered him, so he wasn't thirsty. That means he wasn't far from home unless someone dropped him off. I suspect that's what happened. I have this whole theory that there are people who adopt puppies and or kittens and then raise them until they are eighteen months old and then dump them some place because they aren't cute any more. I'm pretty sure that's what happened to Maurice, my luna-cat (whom I got when I ran him over with my car).
Lets get back to the original plot here.
The ninety pound stray lab mix is on my front lawn playing with the thirty-three pound overly energetic daughter. I'm supervising, eleven month old son is snoozing in BOB stroller in the house's entryway and wife is on computer finding places to take strays on Sunday Night at 9:45 PM.
While dog is lying on lawn, and daughter is petting him, Maurice the eight pound fixed domestic long hair saunters onto the lawn from under a set of bushes. I see him and say, "Um, Maurice, that's a big stray dog there, hadn't you noticed?"
Big stray dog jumps up at the site of the little cat and cat leaps under bush and crawls through fence to safety. Big stray dog sniffs and looks and then comes back to lawn, lays down and rolls around. Damn, he's a good dog.
Daughter LOVES Big Stray Dog, but never even thinks to ask if she can keep him. Thank God for ignorance! (never conceived a situation where I'd say that!)
Finally, wife finds out that Local Pound is open till 10:30 PM. She gets directions, opens garage door, gets cat leash (best we can do on short notice, by the way cat+leash = FAIL) and I clip tiny little flimsy leash on giant ninety pound dog's blue collar (read high probability of FAIL) and try to convince dog to go in my car's back seat.
He's baffled by the whole car thing, clearly never been in one before. I lift him up onto the seat. Did I mention he's at least ninety pounds of muscle and gristle? Poor guy whines like I'm hurting him but doesn't get upset with me. Damn he's a good dog.
Finally I pull out and drive to the pound.
My ex had a lovely lab mix named Rashereeny (or something like that) so I know dogs. I roll down the window and he manages to fall down only once in a while. He learns quickly and lays down during the braking and acceleration phases of city driving.
I arrive at the empty public building amid the blinking lights of half a dozen city cop cars just two doors down. Honestly, that was weird. I'm not positive their lights were flashing mind you, but it doesn't matter, when one sees that many cop cars, one quite easily imagines their lights are flashing.
I think I'm back to that 90% daydreaming topic again. Sorry about that.
Big dog comes out of car with absolute full trust in me. Damn, he's a good dog.
I lead him to building, press the night drop off call button and wait while the teenie bopper (okay not teenie bopper but still young enough compared to me) with the low cut top and frilly exposed bra shows up.
I attempt to lead him in, but he stops and the teeny tiny leash pulls the big blue collar off his neck.
Images of him running around the streets of San Jose while cars zip by filled my mind with sheer terror and I push down on his head. He lays down and the young woman says, "wait, I'll go get a real leash."
She slips the noose, um, I mean the choker rope around his neck and pulls him through the front door.
She says, "They all seem to dislike doors and they don't like the smell of the pound."
I fill out some paper work while she attempts to get her Windows 2000 computer to boot. (D.G.M.S.).
Big Stray Dog jumps into her lap and licks her face. "Wow!" She says, "he's really friendly." Damn, what a good dog.
Another young woman, of the low cut top with frilly bra persuasion, appears at a back door and walks to another chair nearby and sits down. Big Stray Dog jumps into her lap and licks her face. "Woe! Big Boy!" she says. "He's super friendly, isn't he?"
"What kind of dog do you think he is?" Asks the first young woman.
"Australian Shepherd or New Zealand (something or other)," says the second.
"I knew you were going to say that," says the first.
I ask, "but he's a mix though right? Black lab?"
"Sure, but we always classify a dog's type by their behavior and not their looks anyway: its easier to match people to the dog that way."
"He's a really good dog," I say telling the story of how I found him. "Any chance he'll be adopted?"
"We can't promise anything but he sure is friendly, which gives him a good chance."
Well, yesterday he went home with his new family. Damn, he's a lucky dog.
Causes Brian McKee Supports
I support the cause of peace via peaceful means.