Thursday, January 28, 2016

Gone Again!

Not So Innocent Anne
Dog Camp was up early at 5:30 AM, with all dogs dancing the ‘I gotta pee” jig at the back door. AnnBanan was first in line, but the brakes were immediately applied when the door opened to a cold, winter rain pouring down outside. Hesitantly they descended the deck stairs in search of the perfect spot to relieve their full bladders, with Anne leading the pack. I closed the door as it was definitely my turn in the loo. In just several minutes, the familiar scratching at the door alerted me that they were finished, and ready to come back inside. All dogs, except? Well, you guessed it, Anne. Often times she is the lagger, so the door was closed and breakfast was started.

Looking out the back window whenever I walked by, and wondering what was taking her so long. She's not particularly fond of the rain. I turned on the front deck light and looked out into the dark for any movement of her blonde wigglebutt scurrying down the driveway. Deciding she will be here when she’s ready, I continued my morning routine of getting dressed, brushing my teeth, combing my hair,  and preparing the much sought after doggie eggs. Occasionally I would go to the door and open the treat jar to play a familiar song out into the darkness: “who let the dogs out.” If she is within hearing range, that always gets her running home, but not today. Where could she be in this weather? Probably up to no good, but there is always the remote possibility that she ran into a coyote or a mama moose. Not a thought we like to entertain at dog camp, but a nagging worry, nonetheless.

Since it has almost been an hour, I grab my vest and run to the car. . . in the rain. Driving the neighborhood, resisting taking the noisy treat jar this early as the houses are still dark, and the street is completely silent—no movement anywhere. Okay, so where the hell is she? Back home, I continue the morning routine, opening the front door to shake the kibble around in a metal bowl. Still nothing; this is an exasperating drill that we do at least once every other month. I don’t know where she goes, or what she does in the dark, but it causes me major anxiety until she shows up at the back door.

The dogs are now ready to eat with RockDog and DoDog going to the bathroom, as they are the chowhounds and will gulp their food, and then search for any dog bowl that is not empty. They are required to eat alone so the other dogs can enjoy their meals. Anne is in this club, but she is now obviously missing breakfast. I put my vest back on to cruise the neighborhood again—the neighbors across the street have just pulled out of their driveway so if she is anywhere near their house, she will be running home in fear of being busted at whatever it is she is doing. It’s now close to 7 AM so it should be okay to sound the treat jar from Sooby the Subaru. 

RockDog Wants the Real Story
Running out the door, I almost trip over a rain-drenched wigglebutt looking up at me wondering, “What?” as she runs inside. I’m shocked, relieved, and pissed off, in that order. “Where have you been, Anne?” Her ears are pulled back, her chocolate-brown eyes bigger than normal, and her thick coat is plastered to her body. She is dripping with rain, as she rolls over to show me her belly—a submissive move to hopefully get her out of the trouble she knows she’s in. She’s a smart one, and really, I am so relieved that I do what she wants, reach down and scratch her tummy. I know, I know. . . rewarding her bad behavior. 

I let the dogs out of the bathroom so I can grab a towel to dry her off. But her interest is on the breakfast she is now due, and she looks at me inquisitively with “where’s mine?” written all over her face. Before she gets it, I pick her up to smell her breath for any evidence of eating something gross out in the wild. But, she’s all clear—no weird smells in her mouth, or on her coat. It’s a good thing, because having to bathe her before my coffee would have definitely put me over the edge. 

Exhausted and Sated
Who knows where the hell she goes, or what she does, but we are delighted that she has once again returned home. She scarfed down her breakfast, and is now asleep on her favorite couch pillow. I’m ready for a yoga class to center myself. Anne is indeed my muse. She is always up to something that has me wondering, worried, then pissed off—and  I write about it. Her tilted head with the curly cocker crown, and her adorable little face, make it difficult to be angry. One look at her, and I’m over it. And yes, she definitely has my number, and she knows it. Silly Girl!

Woof! Woof!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


And so it goes. . . 

A blonde dogsitter extraordinaire and her pack of nine amazing dogs, slept soundly until around 9 A.M. on a snowy Sunday morning, venturing downstairs completely rested and ready for the day to begin. The dogs had emptied the upstairs water bowl during the night, and went straight for the full one in the kitchen. Strange, she thought—they seem unusually thirsty.

She went to open the curtains on the sliding glass door before starting the breakfast routine, subconsciously noticing the clothes basket full of dog coats and sweaters on the bar stool next to the counter. Oddly there was an item that didn’t look quite right, buried beneath the winter clothes. Barely visible to her eye, she gently pulled it out of the pile to have a closer look. It didn’t resemble anything wearable, and she was now perplexed over this wet, slimy, unrecognizable, thing in her hand. Turning it over again, it slowly dawned on her that it looked like the cloth food bag, turned inside-out, that had been on the counter containing at least 2 pounds of dog kibble, belonging to none other than a yellow lab called Forty West, RockDog’s bestie. Scanning the counter, she confirmed her suspicions—the bag that had once been full of dog food, was indeed missing. What the hell? She can only surmise what might have happened the night before. . .and she still can’t believe it.

After she left for dinner, leaving nine dogs home alone, apparently somehow, some way, someone jumped and grabbed the food bag off the counter, knocking it onto the floor, scattering kibble throughout the dining room for a free frawl scavenger hunt. Most likely instigated by two chowhounds (not mentioning any names), but probably all eight dogs had their noses deep into it. Only Billy Idol continued to snooze by the fire, oblivious to the commotion.

So that explains the unquenchable thirst and the need for extra trips outside for potty breaks. But the mystery remains. Why were there no holes in the bag? It was merely slobber-soaked, but otherwise intact. And, how on earth did they get the bag into the clothes basket that was sitting on a bar stool? Had they originally knocked the bag into the basket, it would have surely toppled onto the floor during their food frenzy. And, who was the clever dog that hid the evidence under the other clothes? That was obviously done on purpose. 

Of course another likely scenario could involve the lone, blonde cocker spaniel, the mischievous one that swipes wine every chance she gets, has been known to eat a Big Mac and jumbo fries in a nano-second, and then poop whole French fries for an entire day. Not to mention the bundt cake she gutted in mere seconds. The one that would have been completely gone had she not been caught devouring it on the bistro table that she had obviously leaped and landed on, quietly. The dogsitter was aghast to see crumbs flying around the table, and the other dogs catching them in midair below. This lone cocker jumps tall buildings for a single crumb, and is their hero. So, just maybe. . .

She leaped from the floor, landed in the clothes basket, pulled the bag of food off the counter into the nest  of sweaters, and proceeded to eat the entire contents while the other dogs watched from below, in amazement. Maybe she dropped some kibble for them. She then rooted around enough to cover the evidence and quietly jumped back into the pack with a perpetual smirk on here face, as seven other canines watched in awe. Whatever happened in those few hours, was carefully covered up and not obvious. And so, although suspicions are strong about this scenario based on previous incidents, the question has to remain—whodunit?

They (or she) almost committed the perfect snag. Had the dogsitter extraordinaire not noticed the corner of an unknown item in the clothes basket and investigated further, she wouldn’t have missed the bag of food belonging to Forty West, as he won’t be back in camp for a couple weeks. By that time, the rotter(s) would have been home free because who would have remembered the night in question?

And, the rub? Well, the dogsitter can’t accuse any dog of this heinous crime because there is no evidence; they were not caught in the act of swiping food off the counter. She knows they did it, they know they did it, but no one is talking. And, so it goes. . . 

Her life with dogs is never boring. . .  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Another Disappearing Act—NOT

AnnBanan is known for her mischievous antics—stealing a drink of wine, grabbing mascara and hiding it in her blanket, drinking my coffee,  and taking a longer than necessary stroll when she is distracted. This morning the herd of dogs scampered out for their morning pee and one-by-one returned for their much anticipated, breakfast. That is, everyone but Banan. We called and we called, until I finally resorted to driving the neighborhood with the windows rolled down and the treat jar ringing out her favorite tune (who let the dogs out). Nothing. . .I suspect she’s on a run or worse yet, nose-deep in a trash bag left out by an unsuspecting neighbor. But, everyone on Katie Jean Circle knows her capabilities and are careful not to leave anything lying around that might tempt her. The temperature is warmer than normal this morning and we have a dusting of new snow.  No real reason to hurry home when it’s so comfortable outside. Now, if it’s raining? Well, a quick pee and she’s back inside, pronto.

After well over an hour, I knew something was definitely up. I got dressed with the intent of cruising East Hill Road in the event she took a hike—last summer we found her scurrying up the highway, distraught. She had wandered so far that she became disoriented in search of home—that was when she was gone four hours! Because of her quirky behavior, it is suspected that this California girl, with the slightest head-tilt, may actually have a neurological issue. But, she is smarter and more conniving than the average dog so I have my doubts. It would be just like her to use this to her advantage, fooling us all. 

Ready to head out, I go upstairs to get my boots. Opening the closet door, I am shocked to see her sweet little face—not sure why I’m so surprised, this has happened more than once. Obviously, when I got up and grabbed my sweatshirt out of the closet, her nose lead her inside and the door was shut before she got out. She is now sitting pretty, looking up at me as if to say: ‘What took you so long, this time?’ Oh Anne, you are known to get locked in closets and remain totally silent while I run the neighborhood calling your name, pleading for you to come home, threatening you, if you don’t—basically, freaking out. The closet AGAIN, why didn’t I think of that?

We are so relieved to see your smiling face, especially the dogs! It means breakfast can finally be served at TBTB Dog Camp—where all dogs are special!  Woof! Woof!