Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dog LOST Dog Found

When we went to bed Friday night, Emma was missing. We have two dogs, Emma, a standard poodle, and a yellow labrador retriever... Buckshot. Poodle - female: lab - male = she should be birthing highly lucrative Labradoodles, right? INCORRECT. Emma the poodle and Buckshot the Lab, have NEVER done the deed. Believe me, we have done everything to enhance the experience. The one who cannot figure it out is Buckshot, the lab. Emma is a freakin' genius.

Early on, Emma figured out how to open a door handle that was a lever. THEN she figured out - painstakingly - how to open a door knob. I have watched her do it. I could literally leave her here to open the door for a repairman, but she can't write a check. She can use her nose to flip up a gate latch, she can smush herself flat and get under any fence. Electric fence? not so terribly shocking to her. She can hurdle over a three foot barrier and wiggle through a six inch gap. In short, she does whatever she feels like.
She's nothing if not stylish. She hates collars, but is willing to wear a hot pink bandana and sunglasses. And when BigD rubs her on her little skinny tummy, she pees. Friday night, she was nowhere to be found.

Now...this is the part where I am supposed to talk about how our precious dog is like one of our children, and I don't know how I am going to break the news to the children, and how it's all going to be about life lessons, and ....

OK, not so much. Emma IS most definitely a part of our family, but the story didn't go down as scripted a la Lifetime. The home-dwelling big children spent hours IN THE CAR driving around looking for the dog - in the gutter - hoping to make sure she wasn't - you know - lying in the street. They were way more worried about telling ME that she was lying in the gutter than they were about finding her there.

Our Young Son put Buckshot on a leash and took him for a walk to see if he could beckon Emma from someone's backyard.
YS: OK, Buck, let's find Emma.
Buck: Great idea, another walk tonight!
YS: Find Emma, Buck. Where's Emma?
Buck: OH, look, garbage bags full of leaves. I like to lift my leg and innocculate every single bag of leaves I see. This could be a loooooonng walk, bud.
YS: Buck, come on, we're looking for Emma. Call her. Tell her to come home.
Buck: I am busy peeing on every single object in sight.

At 1 AM I got a direct report from Pretty Pretty Princess and BigB that there was no sight of Emma, living or dead, healthy or injured. They'd been driving around in the car for at least and half an hour. Probably drinking beer. ROOT BEER, I meant to say.

Buckshot is Emma's COMPANION, her LIFE PARTNER. She is his DOMINATRIX. Buck went calmly to bed in his kitchen crate - until we all went to bed. Then we heard this lonesome 'woof'...pause 30 seconds .... 'woof' -Translation from dog language "Hey, in here, in the dark kitchen! Emma is not in here, and if she doesn't have to go to bed now, then I don't have to, so come open the damn door." Point taken.

This morning, this is where the children take markers and poster board and put signs up all over the neighborhood, right? Not so much. PPP sleeping. BigB also sleeping. Early on, our Young Son had taken another drive, no Emma. We called the Emergency Vet - no black poodle. Casually, I said - "What about Craig's list?" Within about 45 seconds our Young Son says...."Yep, here it is..."

Craig's list: Found - very mellow black dog. Respond to identify. Cannot keep"

No kidding, if only you knew the depths of meaning in the phrase 'cannot keep'. When she wants out, she gets out. Also - right here - very mellow - not words I have ever used to identify Emma, but BLACK works.

So, I emailed back "We have lost our black poodle, messy cut, female, tall but not heavy."

Their response - "Not sure this is your dog - attached are pictures."
Indeed, it was our dog. Looking pretty raggedy after her night on the town. Our Young Son took over, got the address and went over to pick her up. They brought her out on a leash - and our Young Son describes it "She kind of pranced up to me...bye y'all, thanks for having me over to spend the night, see you another time. She spent the night with Huskies."

She came dashing into the house, excited to see what had happened while she was gone! NOW we are supposed to be all about the sweet reunion scene in which the children are fulfilled and delighted and we are all remorseful about how we ever let her get out in the first place and without a collar. Sorry - most still sleeping.

We didn't LET her get out - she does whatever she feels like. If she wants out, she finds a way out. She HATES collars and will soon wriggle out of the one that PPP and our Young Son bought for her today, in their wave of responsible pet ownership. Along with the little blue tag.

Someday a valiant soul will call us and tell us sadly that they found a collar with tag, but no dog. The DOG will be on the couch, snoozing, having shed her collar during another wild outing. Bless our sweet neighbors who tolerate her waywardness and just bring her home when she tries to join them on a walk.

Back to the homecoming. Emma had spent the night in a home with other dogs. Thus, she did not smell right to her LIFE PARTNER Buckshot. He tried to restore her proper smell. She didn't like it. Joyful reunion? Snarling and growling actually.

Young Son: I hope he doesn't pee on her to make her smell right.

We think Buckshot did not pee on Emma (though that IS his technique for proper odor restoration when she goes to her hair stylist), however she DID turn on her Dominatrix mode with her own unique "I love you and you are mine" misconception of dog-mating that she uses to subdue the lab who weighs twice as much as she does. She has a woefully misplaced concept of dog-mating. Thus, no labra-doodle$.

Emma is absolutely the dog of our Young Son's childhood. I got her - from what I now realize was a PUPPY MILL - naivete at its best - in the spring of a particularly difficult second grade year for our YS. Not difficult because he struggled with the work, but difficult because he finished the whole week's worth of work by lunch on Monday. So he was bored. Harry Potter I and II in alternating weeks while the rest of his class was 'doing work.'

I brought Emma home on impulse - how one ends up impulsively in a trailer at a puppy-mill farm in Mississippi is probably another story. I picked her up and she sat on my hip like a 2 year old. I was hooked, since my baby was no longer a two-year old. Emma and YS love each other. She has a tendency to NIP when challenged - and her favorite food is a whole loaf of bread. Thus, the day The Sophisticate tried to retrieve a whole loaf of bread from the floor, Emma NIPPED - OK, she might have sort of bitten, and it left a bruise. SMALL bruise. In short, she's hard headed. Emma is.

But she's our hard headed nutsy dog. I'm not ready for the dog of our Young Son's childhood to be just a bunch of stories. I want her in the crate at night with our dumb-as-a-brick Lab.
Because SHE'S the only one who can manage him.

1 comment:

Leighann said...

She less like a dog and more like a cat... independent, stubborn, queen of the house.... perhaps that's the problem with getting the labridoodle$. :)