I was enjoying my coffee in the heated and vibrating recliner before my kids came home from school and mutilated any chance of silence for the rest of the day. We needed to get into the car and go to my favorite addiction in store form, A.C. Moore, so that the kids could pick out a craft project to make for my husband’s 40th birthday tomorrow.
Drowning in sensory overload as my kids played video games, played with puppets and sang made-up songs (badly), I decided that it was now a good time to go. Just as I unglued my glutes from the chair I heard a faint dog bark as if it were coming from within the house. I then added freaked-out to that list of overload! The reason is; we recently had to put our black lab to sleep due to a tumor and the family (especially my husband) hasn’t been the same since.
There was no dog on the video game that the kids were playing so I made a crazy face and thought nothing else of it. Then I heard it again!! So I confirmed with my youngest son, Jax, that there wasn’t a barking dog in the video game that my son Boston was energetically playing. ”There it is again!” I thought to myself.
Hearing the bark himself, Jax gets up and goes to the front door. “Mom! It’s Hercules…he’s not dead, he’s at the door!” he says. ”Noooo, he’s not silly.” is what I wanted to say but, instead, a blank, “WTF?!” stare came over my face. It was all that I was able to do considering the thought of my dog-angel suddenly returning home (and barking at the same time he barks every night for his Kibbles-n-Bits) had now caused me to have temporary paralysis.
“Come look! It is Hercules!” Jax said as-a-matter-of-factly. But I was not getting up . I changed my mind…I didn’t hear a thing! After recently being told that one of my bff’s houses is believed to be haunted, my nerves couldn’t take it (nor could my electric bill from leaving all of the lights on)! The bark, then, became louder and more clear. ”Ok, Joan…you’ve got to get it together fruit cake; be the example.” I thought to myself. ”You must show your kids that there is nothing to be afraid of; Hercules is not chillin on the front porch between the mums and the pumpkins as if he just took a few days off and was now returning from a much needed vacation away from our crazy family. Then, when all is said and done, the kids will have gotten an added bonus on how to make a tropical martini as an inevitable means to an end. Now, go and check the porch just as you do when you’re expecting the FedEx dude to bring you something you shouldn’t have bought in the first place.”
I managed to draw up enough courage to creep around the living-room wall to peek through the glass of the front door. The feeling of my heart beat in the center of my throat was like base coming through a speaker. A sudden flash of heat that would have my Grandmother ask me if I was going through “The Change”, flushed through me. What if it was Hercules? What was I going to do? How was I going to explain this to the kids. I just got them to understand Hercules’ death without a game of 20 questions in return. I don’t want them thinking everything that leaves comes back (because then my daughter would be looking for that ugly, floosie-of-a-doll that mysteriously (read: purposely) disappeared to, one day, reappear, barking outside the front door too).
Squinting my eyes, I leaned my head closer to the glass of the door in slow motion. In sort of a mirror-like effect, what seemed to be the big black head of a dog, leaned slowly towards me. *truestory* I felt like I was watching a bad episode of ‘Scooby Doo‘ and should start yelling, “IT’S NOT A GHOST SCOOB! It’s your neighbor, Mr. Parker, who is trying to scare you and your medeling kids into moving. He’s tired of you leaving your trash cans at the curb a day later than everyone else!” I opened my eyes a little more because now I needed to prove to myself that I hadn’t lost my mind. As if on cue, a dog jumped, then stood there with its tongue out; drooling all over my orange and green pumpkin shaped welcome mat.
Hhhhhh. I breathed a half-ass sigh of relief when I realized that it was just that damn dog who likes to roam the neighborhood freely holding us, and our neighbors, hostage in our own homes! He’s black and stocky with a silver bike-like chain around his neck as an added touch of intimidation. I went to the bay window where my cat, Xena, was sleeping in her basket. She, though, was totally not effected by the black mutt with the big balls that was trying to get her attention (I mean balls as in bold enough to just walk onto my porch when he normally just marks his territory around the parameter of my home. Get your head out of the gutter long enough to finish reading my horrific story please and thank you). As a matter of fact, Xena, who couldn’t care less about what was pretentiously going on around her, just stretched then turned her back to this ridiculous display of Narcissism and returned to her slumber.
Noticing that the dog’s tail was wagging rapidly, I remembered that Moose A. Moose, in Noggin’s ‘Pet Safety’ video, said that you can tell that a dog is friendly because it will wag it’s tail. So, I start talking to the dog through the window. He wags his tail faster. I then tell the kids that he’s friendly (because Moose A. Moose knows his stuff). Then Jax runs to the door to open it. ”NO!” I yell. ”You don’t know that dog. Remember what Moose A. Moose said about petting a dog that you don’t know? You have to ask the owner for “Puppy Petting Permission”. #duh.
I further explained that they should never approach a dog that is not on a leash and/or with an owner. I then sat back down at my computer to tell you all about this crazy day in the life of a crazy bacon-loving author.
*knock knock* ”Jax…did someone just knock on the door?”… www.joaniplenty.com/blog/boo