With hot weather in the Bay Area, it seemed like a good time to run down to the beach, plus the handy woman was available to come at the same time with her daughter. We had trees to plant, foxtails to pull, and a flat roof filled with pine needles to clean.
The dogs come with me, even though my son lives with me and could’ve watched them. He doesn’t want three dogs to care for, plus Pepper is a long-haired black lab, so she enjoys the thirty-degrees-cooler weather.
During the afternoon, I went out to the car on the shared driveway to get something, and a skunk came waddling toward me. I took a quick photo and ran to the other side of the car to give it a wide berth. It hurried into my neighbor’s yard, and I went inside.
After a long day that destroyed my back (another blog post), I wanted to sit down with an ice pack and watch mindless TV. But the handy woman wanted to be done with it all, so we carried two boxes (one heavy) out to my car around 10:00 p.m. On the way back inside the gate, Daisy saw the weak link in gate security (handy woman) and rushed past her and then me.
“Daisy, get back here!” the handy woman scolded.
“Daisy, do you want a treat?” I said in my happy voice, although I had no treat.
Daisy wasn’t fooled. She was off for a night run through the neighborhood.
Did I mention that we have mountain lions roaming the town, as seen on several security cameras? Would Daisy run into the mouth of a puma or get sprayed by that skunk?
I propped open the gate so that Daisy could get in (raccoons, too) and turned on the porch light.
As the clock ticked off the minutes, the handy woman threw a few more insults my way about my dog (“I’d give her back. She is stupid”). Then she offered to drive around to find her.
“She wouldn’t come to you,” I said. “You sound too angry.”
That set her off (we were both exhausted), and I gave up and went to bed. I did all my nightly ritual stuff, lay down, pulled up the blankets and then realized I wasn’t going to sleep a wink until the dog came back.
An hour went by. I texted my son and told him Daisy was AWOL. He suggested I open the front gate as well. I walked down the pitch-black driveway (about 100 feet) and realized a puma could get me, too.
Back inside, I was still texting with adult child when Daisy waltzed into my bedroom, filthy with black marks on her back and four black feet. Had she been running in mud puddles? the beach? I locked her into the bathroom as I tried to clean her up. She didn’t fight me. She, too, was exhausted.
“Bath tomorrow,” I said. “Let’s go to bed.”
But first, I had to go out and shut the gate and close up the dog door to keep out the raccoons and one skunk.
The date was June 26th, exactly four and a half years since I adopted her from ARF. It was her happy anniversary gift to me, coming back.