I finally got Diego signed up for puppy obedience class thanks in huge part to the fabulous Stephanie Brown who did most of the work for me (she even showed up for the first night of class with MY DOG'S vaccine records in hand to present to the instructor... although I AM a little afraid to show my face at the vet's again since apparently she called pretending to be me to get the info... they thought it was a little odd when she kept insisting her last name was "Harkness," and then "oops, she forgot her name changed when she got married, like, 7 years ago...").
Anyway. Last week, Thursday, was the first day of actual class that the dog comes along to. I figured it would be... bad. Stephanie is re-taking the class with HER 1yr old lab, Buddy, because "it will be fun to not have the bad one in the class this time around..."
Stoopid labs and their infinite energy levels.
Which brings me to the part about my ass chapping.
Journey back with me to my psychotic single parenting week last week. I was actually looking forward to Thursday knowing my parents would be with the kids and I had a water tight strategy to catch a glimpse of the daylight outside the confines of my own
This is the part where the entire theater audience is booing and hissing at my complete ignorance while I am walking straight into a deadly trap. But alas, little red riding hood set off basking in oblivion down the sunny lane with her 2 little blonde darlings and one little black darling in
If there’s ONE good thing I can say about that dog, its that he does pretty well as far as not running away. He stays close by off leash, and comes when you call him back. So, I didn't think twice about letting him go right away as usual when we got to the park... (BOOOOOO!!! ITS A TRAPPPPP!!! HISSSSS!!!)
We walked around for a bit, I threw the stick... yada, yada, yawn, boring... Then, Dawson requests to go to the 'camping forts.' The 'camping forts' are the brain child of some adolescent neighbor boys who essentially hand dug trenches in the back of the park with their dad's shovels, covered the holes with plywood, and then threw down the hugest air soft battle in the history of atascaderian-kind (judging by the number of pellets that can be found in this sacred place). Its 3 year old boy heaven.
I obliged right away since we had nothing but (now t minus 40 minutes, but who's counting...?) of bonding time to kill. We had only been there an instant when suddenly I realized... it was more quiet than it should be.
"Diego!" *whistles, pats leg, whistles... shakes fist at God for creating 4 legged beasts...*
Nope. No Diego.
Its only been a couple minutes tops, and I know the general direction he has to be in. I start towards the creek that borders the back side of the park whistling and calling and looking over my shoulder at the kids and swearing and... oh... here he comes, awesome.
"Good boy, Diego...good come...good..."
"Oh, what’s that you were playing in, Diego? The creek bed, you say? Just thar yonder, thru the thicket of glistening poison oak patch sparkling in its bright, fresh, oily oozing glory in the peak of full spring weathered bloom? WoNDErfuL!!!!!"
You probably already know this about me if you care enough to humor me and read my blogs on a regular basis... but poison oak is my wicked arch enemy. I think I had calamine lotion (not so) inconspicuously swabbed all over my swollen little face for at LEAST the first 3 years of my elementary school picture days. Because, as I remember anyway, I literally had it THAT often as a kid.
When I first started grade school, we lived in Cambria and our entire back yard was beautifully landscaped with poison oak. My lovely cat, Moonshadow (named for the Cat Stevens song, because I was a classy toddler like that) would frolic among the butterflies and poison patches by day, and then slip thru the kitty door at night to snuggle up on my pillow and infect me with evil curses as I dreamt. And to this very day... sometimes late at night when the rest of the house is fast asleep... if I lay really still and dont make a sound, I swear I can still hear purring in my ear...
Then there was 6th grade camp, which COULD have been a lovely tale of a young girl's coming of age, exploring the wilderness with her best friends, and vying for the attention of the masses of mysterious wilderness boys from far away lands. Instead... well, let me just say the boys noticed me all right. Its hard to miss the "girl with the deformed chin" as my best friend Chelsea still delights in reminding me every opportunity. That was the year I had spontaneously reoccurring poison oak that I still have no idea how I could have gotten to begin with.
I think my legs are a little itchy and my eyes are puffing shut just from writing this blog about 'that which must not be named...'
So needless to say... there in that park I melted into a puddle of panic faster than Alex Mack in the hot summer sun.
Predictably, I happened to be wearing shorts, flip flops, and a tank top. I have 2 toddlers who are in NO WAY going to make it easy for me to cut playtime short and just leave quietly without a struggle... I've promised them playtime and maternal bonding for heaven's sake, and they have every intention of taking advantage of what they are rightfully entitled to! Diego is stronger than a horny bull, even when he is co-operative (which has basically never happened)... there is absolutely NO.CHANCE.OF getting him home without having to touch him considering I have to wrestle him to the ground for co-operation on a good day, and "OOOOOOOHHHHHH gosh, I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die, I’m going to get poison venom in my tear ducts and down my throat and up my lady love.... and we don’t even have good health insurance at the moment, and who will run my daycare and wash behind the kid's ears and, and, and... how will my grieving family carry on without me when I die... because I’m gonna die...!!!!!!!...."
I looked up to the heavens to make one final deal with God when suddenly... behold. The clouds parted and I heard the voice of an angel coming from up the hill in the Hamilton's back yard. For there stood this beautiful heavenly being taking on the earthly form of glorious, wondrous, oh joyous day Kari Hamilton... with arms wide open... bidding me come hither thru the gates of majesty and into the haven of her dog bathing services in the cerebral mirage of her back yard.
If only it were possibly real and not just a delirious vision of a glimmer of hope...
It MUST be real, for if I had actually transcended into a deep level of subconscious dreamland where the entire world is la, la, la and worry free and cotton candy every day as it should be, I am ALMOST POSITIVE we would NOT have our children still among us to trouble us with pettiness like teeth brushing and 3 balanced meals a day... and she appears to be standing between her own personal brood of vipers, so....
Yes. I am almost certain now, this is REALLY happening.
"Go, Go Gadget LEGS!"
And then, somehow (and I still don’t know exactly how I maneuvered this one...) I managed to scurry UP the back of the cliff behind her house with 1 little black and 2 little blonde writhing maggots, errr... I mean darlings... where my lovely goddess of a friend then proceeded to offer to bathe my monstrous demon of darkness with her own 2 (apparently 'immune,' ptch!) hands to rid his glistening coat of the enemy oil for me.
Wow. SALVATION! I might be adding that story into to my personal testimony to draw some sort of religious parallel... ok. Maybe that’s one step too far, but in all honesty... she should get some kind of humanitarian award for her act of compassion and kindness that day. I really think I might be haunting my own funeral right about now if it weren’t for her.
I actually got right home after the ordeal and made it to puppy class in Paso ALMOST on time. And OHHH, lookie, I was right, Diego was a baaad boy... he managed to get loose in the first 5 minutes of introductions and cause all kinds of havoc among his peers. The teacher made several comments in my direction about 'having our work cut out for us.'
But in short... I was there. It could have been FAR worse. And back to that fabulous Stephanie Brown... well... I’m pretty sure in all her free time after working 10 hour days, attending night school, strictly abiding to her new diet and workout routine, and developing her new pro-bono party planning/ crafting 'side business,' she somehow also managed to teach her generally well behaved and highly trained dog to act out on command just to make me feel better for the sole purpose of this class. I’ve seen how mellow and sweet natured and controlled her dog usually is, and ... well... lets just say after watching Buddy in this first class I think Diego might have found himself a life partner. I mean soul mate (he's not ready to 'come-out' just yet).
I totally started this blog in particular for the purpose of ranting about how much I want to smother that dog and watch him die slowly or tie him up and back my car over him repeatedly at times (not that I’ve put much thought into it or anything....). But now, in conclusion, I think I’ve just managed to underline a few key players of the wonderful women powers that be in my tiny universe that make the little obstacles I face each day... manageable.
And just FYI... if obedience classes doesn’t offer any behavior improvement for our dear little Diego dog stat... I might be calling one of you in the near future to help me dig a biiig hole after sun down...