Sometimes we think that crazy only happens to us. Ha! My friend Denise woke up one February morning, and eventually wished she’d never gotten out of bed. But she did get up, feeling only so-so. The night before she’d spent time with her husband in their new hot tub, even though the snow was flying. After all, if they didn’t use it, how would they ever get their money’s worth? Her first thought that morning was to make the coffee and read the morning paper.
The warm coffee soothed her throat and helped her little, nagging headache due to the dreaded “hot-tub-itis.” Her husband, John, already dressed for work, prepared for his day by going through his usual routine—opening the front door to get the newspaper, drinking a cup of coffee, having his breakfast, leaving for work.
Both of the family dogs, Dubya and Lucy, were back on the foot of Denise and John’s bed after having a quick trip outside to do their “thing.” As Denise picked up the paper, the security system chime went off indicating a door or window had opened. The dogs, those precious, high-spirited, high-energy, young, Jack Russell TERRORISTS, jumped off the bed to check it out. It was the front door, and it was standing wide open. The dogs were off like a shot!
Denise ran for the door and stood on the porch in her night gown. Watching the wild things running down the street, she innocently thought, “Surely, they’ll come back.” When the dogs rounded the corner at the end of the street, Denise retreated into the house, threw on some jeans and a t-shirt (no bra), in case she had to look for the two escapees. Back at the front door, no dogs were in sight. Yelling at Erin, their 9-year old daughter, and Erin’s friend who had spent the night that she would be right back, Denise grabbed the newspaper, got in the car, and set off on the trail of the miscreants.
A few streets over Denise caught a glimpse of a dog in someone’s yard. “Wow,” she thought, “those dogs are really traveling!” She drove over to the house and parked at the foot of the driveway where a man and his toddler were standing looking at Dubya and Lucy, Denise’s precious darlings. Getting out of the car, Denise called the dogs. They ran in the opposite direction. Denise jumped back in her car and followed the wild things to the end of the street. She got out of the car again and lovingly called the dogs by name through clenched teeth. The dogs ran back toward the man’s house, and Denise backed up the street.
By this time, she was angry and out of patience. She got out of the car again, exasperated by the dogs and the driveway guy who was “just standing there like a dope,” to quote Denise. “All he had to do was reach down and pick a dog up, and one problem would have been solved, but NO. He had left his front door standing wide open, and both dogs ran INTO HIS HOUSE, where his lovely wife was changing the very messy diaper of their newborn!”
Denise, with rolled newspaper in hand, had had a couple of hot flashes during the night, which resulted in some very wild hair. She hadn’t brushed her teeth, and the t-shirt she grabbed was one she had re-potted plants in the day before. Trying not to show her true south Arkansas colors, Denise started apologizing, as she dashed into the house following the dogs. The poor mother, probably in shock, didn’t know whether to throw herself over the still-messy baby or grab the baby and run. Denise tried to catch the dumb dogs in this stranger’s house, while the “bonehead mess of a man didn’t lift a finger.” All the while Denise was praying Dubya didn’t stop and lift his leg!
Finally, Denise was able to corner and grab BOTH dogs. She yelled goodbye to the wide-eyed couple and was trying to get the dogs in the car, which was on the street and still running with the door wide open. Unfortunately Lucy slipped out of Denise’s grasp and took off–again. With Dubya in the car, Denise backed up into the next driveway to turn around, when she spotted Lucy.
“I jammed the stick into park, jumped out of the car, slammed the door, and went after Lucy. The next thing I knew a Great Dane had come out of another house. Lucy, my 20-pound, idiot dog, started chasing this Great Dane into the next subdivision!” said Denise, who gave chase through hedges and yards, across driveways and over shrubs.
By now Denise was pretty far from home. The Great Dane then turned on Lucy and started snapping at her. Lucy finally realized she was out-sized, and she started yipping and running, and miraculously, the two dogs and Denise ended up back near her car.
“At this point I thought, ‘I’ll open the car door, and surely she’ll jump in!’ I went to open the door, and it was locked!!!!!” said Denise. “Dubya had stepped on the door lock in my running car that had less than a quarter tank of gas. The car was sitting in somebody’s driveway, and Lucy was running off in another direction!”
Going up to the house and ringing the doorbell, Denise explained the situation. The man who answered the door responded, “Do you need a ride somewhere?”
Denise wanted to scream, “No, Moron, do you need a brain transplant? My car is blocking your driveway. You can’t get out!” Instead she said, “No, thank you. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Semi-trotting. Denise made the long walk home to get the extra key, while praying that the car wouldn’t run out of gas. Finally at home she went to their key rack. The spare key wasn’t there. She looked and looked and finally discovered it had fallen behind the chest freezer! Good Lord, what else could happen?
Grunting and groaning, pushing and pulling on the freezer, Denise finally retrieved the key, then walked and ran back to her car. Luckily, it was still running, but she still had no Lucy. Defeated, she drove Dubya home, put him in the house, and went back out to the garage to go get gas and resume the search. Before Denise got the car door open, Lucy came screaming into the garage. Together dog and mistress went into the house.
By now it was 9:00 a.m. Denise’s mother called, and she told her mother the whole stupid story, which actually sounded funny once she decided not to cry. A little while later Denise’s sister Judy called and said she had a problem, and only Denise could help her. Judy said that her cat had gotten out of the house, jumped into her car, and pounced on the lock! Denise couldn’t believe it, and said, “Wow! The same thing happened to me just this morning!” Of course, Judy was lying through her teeth, as she had just gotten off the phone with their mother. Denise was amazed, and Judy was trying not to die from laughter.
“Anyway,” said Denise, as she finished telling me the story, “if you remember, I got our two dogs at the Memphis Flea Market which is back in town today. I’m going to go get a refund!”