Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Dichotomy of the Wise Pets

or "Everyone needs a Pet Adventure at 7 in the morning on on New Years Day, right?"

In our house, the pets go out in the morning because we have a noisy cat. I =hate= waking up to a series of 'Merows!' coming from the foot of my bed or the threshold of my bedroom door. But that's typically how it happens if my alarm clock doesn't wake me up first. As a result, I tend to claim having a cat alarm clock with no snooze option. So this morning, I gathered him up and let all four of our animals outside then crawled like the living dead back into bed because 7 am on New Years day is just too early to be awake when I didn't get into bed the first time until after 1 am to begin with.

In our house, the pets come in in the morning because we have noisy dogs. Sometimes, it's our brown dog Maggie saying, "Let me in!" Sometimes it's started raining or the temperature dropped. Sometimes it's squirrels. Today, it was a combination of two things. The first caused the second, but I'll share the second first (;

So the dogs are barking like mad-- excited barks. 'Look at this!' barks. 'Momma pay attention!' barks. (I admit it, I've learned that my dogs have different barks for different things.) The second one is what had me flying out of bed instead of just hollering through the window for them to hush. It's usually the bark reserved for "Mom! The cat is in a fight!" ...but I didn't hear any cat fighting. So I zipped around through the kitchen to the back door to look... and none of my dogs are in my yard. My back gate is wide open.

I fly back to the bedroom cussing, getting into real clothes and shoes, waking my husband in the process, who also begins getting into real clothes and shoes, figuring that we're about to have to drive around the neighborhood in search of our animals.

With one shoe on and one shoe mostly on, a thought occurs to me and I dash to the front door, flinging it open. I can see Maggie. Can't see the other two. And Peeve (the cat) is sitting by the door looking at me like, "So can I come in now?"

That's when I take a deep breath, and, as though nothing is out of the ordinary, call, "Inside, inside, critter, critter inside!"

And all three dogs come rushing in through the front door.

Thank goodness! I figure it worked for two reasons: 1. I hadn't fed them yet, so it was still time for breakfast. and 2. As silly as that call might seem, it's the one they're used to hearing when it's time to come in from the yard, so they're used to coming it when they hear it.

After giving my girls treats for being such good doggies and not making me start my New Year searching the neighborhood for them, I headed outside to see how the hell they'd gotten out in the first place.

See, the gate that was wide open is typically locked. So when I got over there, I saw that it was -still- locked. My dog Ruby had pulled the gate so hard that she turned the section that held the lock. As I'm staring at it trying to figure out what would make her want out so desperately, my neighbor calls their dog Peanut, who I watch leave my front yard not 5ft from where I'm standing. It's actually pretty easy not to see him in all the fallen leaves I need to rake up-- he's a chihuahua. And every now and then, they let him loose into the neighborhood. And every single time they do, he comes over to our yard to see my girls. Them on one side of the fence, him on the other. And that right there was the cause-- they wanted to get out to see Peanut. Sniff him. Bark at him. Play with him. Thankfully, 'eat him' wasn't on that list (;

So I twist the fence back in place, use wire to wrap the bottom and put a brick in front of it. Not once thinking, "Yup, this'll stop her." No, the thought accompanying all of this was, "Well, that should slow her down."

So anyway, here I am at almost 9 in the morning, thankful the first thing on New Year's Day that 1. My dogs told on themselves. and 2. They've trained me to come when they call...

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