Saturday, August 22, 2009

Take Your Dog to the Beach Day is a Wash

My dog adores water.

Dribbler is Mr. Wild Child at the groomer's, until she sticks him in a tub. He loves to play ball with people in the swimming pool, and getting splashed in the face is his favorite part. Once when he was upset at the vet's, I suggested they stick him in a tub and he calmed right down.

<---What part of no don't you understand?

So for the last five years, we've talked about taking our Labrador up to Lake Michigan for the day, where he could romp in the waves to his heart's content. (We punish him if we catch him in the swimming pool, as dog hairs and filters/chlorine are natural enemies.) Today was the day we stopped talking about it, set our alarm clocks for 8 alarms on a Saturday (ugh) and loaded the dog in the back of the SUV.

We took more than four hours to get up there, thanks to whoever decided this morning was a great time to shut down I-65 and route all traffic into winding country roads. We paid $7 to park on an empty beach, got out of the car wearing jackets in the 65-degree breeze and led our water-logged lab to the edge of that rolling water. Wasn't it glorious? Wasn't he excited?

No. That dog ran in the opposite direction. He clung to our legs. The one time he got splashed, Dribbler went into a shaking meltdown. We tried a 30-minute dose of this torture before finally calling it quits. We meandered back home, taking frequent doggie bathroom breaks along the way.

So we couldn't figure out why he was so excited to get home. It's not as if we asked him to hold it or anything. He ran through the house to the back door and shot out with all the intense urgency of a dog on a mission. He flew past the flag he always stops and looks at without his usual salute. He ignored his ball, and the favorite piece of grass where he likes to squat.

He ran straight down the steps of the pool and into that forbidden zone, bold as you please with us standing right there watching.

Get outta here. Our big, highly anticipated day ended with us punishing a wet dog who had the nerve to look pleased with his little stunt. If I find out he's behind the interstate detour, he's going to get it all over again.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Trials of a Night Owl

It's amusing how many people call themselves night owls, but actually turn in at 11 p.m. or — gasp! — midnight.

When I say night owl, I mean I think about going to bed at 2 a.m., just as soon as I get done with my treadmill routine and the All My Children episode I Tivoed that day. Or after I fuss around with my latest scrapbook page or write an article due in the morning.

Which makes my average bed time between 3:30 and 4:00. In the morning.

A 3 a.m. production ----->

Now I realize this isn't in step with the rest of the world, even if we do have more restaurants like La Bomba staying open all night because bean burrito attacks are so important to address any time of the day. Sure, Kroger and some pharmacies also have their lights on and an employee or two on duty. But only a handful of us actually take advantages of these opportunities, compared to the 4 p.m. crowd. So if I need to be up and functioning for my job at 9 a.m., I suck it up and do it (and either go back to bed immediately or grab an afternoon nap).

But I do not consider answering telemarketer calls part of my job, and these bozos have been ringing my phone off the hook lately trying to sell me credit card protection. Nor was I happy with the 8:15 jingle this morning to let me know it's time to schedule my annual pap smear ... next March. I plan to return that call at HER 4 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Perhaps from my cell phone while buying a flea collar at CVS.