10.15.2010

Ann, I am sorry

The last two weeks have been maddening in the Barks household.  There has been a wedding of friends, family visits, stomach bugs, lots of work for the both of us not to mention getting ready for a family visit to tackle another little DIY project which has required not one, but two trips to the permit office (more on that later).  All this to say, there are a lot of things I could write about.  I have lots of pictures and highlights from the flurry of activity.  I could talk about pregnancy and how worn out I am all the time.  Or, maybe I could write about Henry and how he is developing his own little language that we can't seem to decipher.  Despite all these things, there is only one thing I want to talk about . . . Ann. Or better yes,  the lack of Ann. You see we left her in South Carolina when we went to visit last weekend.   There are lots of reasons why we might have wanted to leave that dog somewhere.  Reasons that would have caused sane people to give her away years ago.  Things like her numerous escapes attempts and the countless things she has destroyed - books, dvds, shoes, roses, basil plants. But, it was none of these things that pushed us to force Ann to take a puppy sabbatical.  It was a little tussle with a Chihuahua.

Now, I know that no one is going to believe me, but the Chihuahua started it.  Yes, that is right, I just said that a 5 pound dog instigated a fight with  my 60lb hound.  I standby this statement.  Henry and I had ran out to the car to get something last Wednesday as I was getting ready for work.  As I opened the door to come in the house a lady just happened to be walking her little dog on the sidewalk in front of my house.  When she saw Ann she started to yell and her dog started to bark.  That was all Ann needed. She almost clobbered Henry and I to get to that dog.  They started making the most terrible racket and thrashing each other around.  I tossed Henry in the house, I have no front yard to speak of so the house was the safest place for him, which he didn't like. So to add to the chaos of the dogs, you can hear Henry screaming and beating on the door.  So here I am in my PJs trying to break up a dog fight, with my toddler pitching a holy fit in the house.  Luckily my neighbor heard the whole debacle, how could he not? He hastily came to my aid.  The women who owned the Chihuahua was freaking out. She was just screaming and wouldn't pick up her dog.  She still had a hold of the leash.  The neighbor jumped in, grabbed the leash from her and scooped up her dog.  We got Ann settled and the lady started to walk home. Please note, I think I apologized exactly 1,000 times during this exchange and neither dog actually  drew blood. Ann was no longer barking up a storm but she was not to keen on coming into the house. I asked the neighbor to keep an eye on her while I checked on Henry, got her leash and called Jason.  As soon as I got in the house, Ann went nuts.  She took off after the women and her dog.  They had another little encounter on the corner.  This time, the women wasn't very nice.  Understandably so, she said some, well, not nice things about Ann. My neighbor got her calmed down again.  He was my hero. And no, I have no idea what his name is.  But, we did get him a thank you gift. So, this, this was the final straw.  As angry as I was at Ann, causing me once again to run around the neighborhood looking like an idiot, I was more concerned for her.  What if that women reported Ann?  What if animal control came to investigate?  I am positive that everyone on our block is aware of the fact that I can't control that dog. Not to mention the fact that one guy swears Ann tried to bite him.  Granted, he would get high and stick his fingers through the fence but still you wouldn't want him talking to animal control.  So, we decided that Ann needed to lay low. 

When it was time to leave South Carolina without Ann, it was heart breaking.  For all the insanity that dog brought, we love her so much.  We put so much time into that dog. Also, Henry loves Ann.  Ann was one of his first words.  I snapped this picture the morning we left for SC. Right after I snapped this Henry put both his arms around her neck and gave her a huge hug.

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When it came time to leave, Ann even tried to get in the car with us.  We cried as we drove away.  We got to the end of the road and turned around to come and get her. We stopped ourselves because we remembered it was for her own good. So we cried some more.  When we got home the very first thing Henry did after announcing we were home (he might be a home body, he yells HOME when we walk in the door) was to start walking around calling and looking for Ann.  Which meant more crying.  I know Ann is happy, Jason's parents live in the kind of place a dog like Ann should live.  Out in the country on acres of land.  The first few days I just missed her.  Now, I have started to see the benefit of not having a giant dog in your house.  Less dog hair, my books aren't getting eaten, Henry's toys aren't getting eaten, I don't have to worry that she is going bolt every time I open the door and I could actually have grass and flowers in my back yard.  Of course all of these thoughts just make me feel worse.  I feel guilty for feeling a since of relief that she isn't here. Our original plan was to leave her long term. Then, our plan was to pick her up in two weeks.  But, the truth is I am so afraid that we are going to get used to the perks of not having her around and that she is going to get used to country life.  I am worried that she may never come home.  That thought breaks my heart.  It makes me feel like such a failure as a pet parent. I know that Ann is too big for our tiny house and tiny yard but she has become so much a part of my life that I can't imagine not having her around anymore.  Just look through our post labled dogs.  Ann is everywhere.  And now, she is nowhere to be found. 

The irony of all this is . . . I used to hate pets. All pets. I always said I would never have a dog in the house. And now I am crying because my 60 pound house dog is gone.  Which is funny because I still have a little 11 pound house dog.  Prissy is currently snuggled against me on the couch as I type this.  My sister (hi Janine) always asks about her to make sure we still have her.  I never talk about her because she is the perfect house dog.  And, as we all know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and Ann is very squeaky. 

PS. I would like to say thank you SO MUCH to Grandma and Pawpa for taking in our little girl and taking such good care of her for us.  

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