stray dog

Bras, Cops, and Stray Dogs

“I had to put my bra on before the cops came this morning.”  Yes, I promised to explain this, but this was actually near the very end of the story, so let’s back up.

I have a puppy.  He’s adorable, wonderful, cute, sweet, fun… and occasionally for sale.  Said puppy, Maximus Somethingus, does not allow me to make coffee, smoke, or even pee in the morning before I MUST take him outside or pay the consequences.  As such, I’ve gotten in the habit of leaving a pair of shorts on the chair that is pushed against the gate and locks him and his little bladder in the kitchen at night.  I put the shorts on, then move the chair and gate, and immediately open the back door to greet the world with one eye open and no glasses on yet to even help that bloodshot orb.

On this particular morning, Max thought it would be a good time to chase those damn birds… no wait, a bunny!… no, look-a squirrel!!  Have I mentioned that puppy has ADD? Yeah. So off down the alley he goes. Running after him with no shoes, no glasses, and let’s not forget no coffee, I take off—screaming his name the entire time, trying to get his attention. And yes, at this point, I should publicly apologize to anyone and everyone that I woke up at 5am that morning.

Get the puppy, scold the puppy, fall under the spell of puppy’s eyes and decide not to put puppy on a leash up front with a ‘free to good home’ sign and go back in to make coffee.  Some coffee and several smokes later, hubby wakes up.  Does his rumble through the house thing and heads to work.  And there’s my cue.  See, because I had the day off.  So the second he leaves for work, and remember my kids are off camping, I whip out the laptop for some much desired alone time.  A whole day to myself to work.  Joy.

Oh yeah, I have a puppy.

I play with puppy and his squeaky, furry duck in hopes of wearing him out, until I realize that he has far more energy than me and he will win this contest.  It’s a beautiful morning and I decide that he and the adult dog, Moose, can be in the kennel.  So out they go.  The cats are AWOL, as usual. I imagine they were having a powwow upstairs trying to figure out just what step they need to sleep on so I don’t see them and they can take me out in the morning by sending me shooting down the flight of narrow stairs and out through the lead-glass front door.  Ok, so the hubby is gone and the pets are happy.  Now then, laptop.

Cue the phone.

I should have known there was a problem when I saw the caller ID.  Jenny-from-the-block [I have a lot of Jennys in my world, they all have nicknames] never, and by that I mean never, gets up before nine.  We call her princess sleeps-a-lot.  But there she is, on my caller ID.  I answer the phone to incoherent screaming and run to the bathroom to see if her house is on fire—she’s across the alley from me.  Nope, no fire.

“What?”  I shout into the phone just as I realize that the streak that went through the alley was her… in a tank top and her thong.  Apparently, she does not have shorts on a chair by the kitchen for just these occasions.

“That damn, good for nothing, my husband is so going to shoot it, freaking dog is back!”


See, we have this stray dog.  He’s very nice and very pretty—golden lab I’d say but he’s very tall so I think there’s a mix of something in there.  And he’s been roaming the neighborhood.  He’s been roaming it for weeks.  And if it weren’t for the fact that he craps wherever he wants, shreds our garbage cans every week [thus we’ve dubbed him Oscar] and has gotten into my garage a few times, I would let him be.  But we can’t.  Our husbands are armed and angry and we just can’t have that.

“Rotten bastard shredded my garbage again.  He was just in my yard. I saw him doing it!”

So now I’m looking out the window to see if I can see said stray dog.  And lo and behold, Oscar is pissing on my dogs’ kennel.  Bastard.  Now you’ve gone too far.  You are not allowed to mark my dogs’ territory when they are trapped inside the kennel.  That’s just rude.

“He’s in my yard.”

“I’ll catch him, you call Kali!!”  Kali would be our humane officer.  I have her on speed dial.  Don’t ask.

“I have a tie out on the tree in the back—”  And the phone goes dead.  I still don’t know if she hung up or just threw it to the side to chase the dog.

Of course, Kali picks up on the first ring.  And informs me she’s on vacation.  “Call the sheriff.  They’ll come get him and put him at the kennel until I get back.”  Ok, fine.  But first, I should probably put a bra on before the cops get here. [ta da! There it is.] Quick throw a bra on and grab shoes.  Cell phone in hand, smokes in short’s pocket, I head outside as I dial.

No Jenny by the back tree.

And another streak goes by.  She’s chasing Oscar up and down the alley.  She now has shorts on, and he thinks it’s a game.  If dogs could giggle, let me tell you…


“Yes, we have a stray dog that we need picked up.  I called Kali, she’s off and said to call you guys.”

“And your name?”  Which I answered, as well as my address, social security number, shoe size, gross yearly income and highest level of education completed.

I hear, “Got him” as I cross the alley into Jenny’s yard.

“We’ve captured him for you.  But now we’re across the alley,” and I give her Jenny’s address, shoe size and favorite movie.  “He’s tied to the porch with a—”

What is that?  Jenny doesn’t have a dog, so it’s not a leash.

Jenny looks up at me, all proud of herself and says, “Extension cord, baby.”

“Ok, we’ve got him secured with… with an extension cord.”

At which point Jenny yells into the phone, “It’s not plugged in!”

Dispatch now thinks we’re nuts and promises to send someone over. I can hear what I swear is her flipping through a rolodex, as she’s looking up the number for the men in white coats.

Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Friendly shows up.  He not only believes that Oscar has been roaming for weeks, he tells us that he has had other calls from around here, and that just half an hour beforehand, on his way into work, he saw the dog cross the street and head this way.  He informs us that they’ll house the dog and when he’s claimed, the owner will get a fine for “animal at large.”  Great.  Take him now. Please.  I have an empty house and a laptop and a big scary Lumpy that will beat me come Necon if I can’t look him in the eye and say I’ve finished this novella…

But of course, Jenny was up now.  Long before she should have been.  So there was coffee and smokes and lots of chuckles about her streaking through the alley half naked with an extension cord.  I finally got back to the laptop to have an epiphany about the novella hiccup and deal with two short story rejections.  Stray dog completely forgotten until I shared my morning with someone else, who giggled and said it sounded like an opening for a chick lit book.

I fully expect Oscar to return next Tuesday, just in time for the garbage to be put out again.  I think I’ll remind Jenny to leave shorts on a chair.

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