I don't quite know what to make of today. It's had a few unusual events already. I was sitting, sipping coffee and watching the news this morning when I noticed the neighbor's outrageously cute basset hound puppy playing in their yard. For those of you unfamiliar with Kentucky, we don't have fences as a general rule, not unless you have livestock. Our subdivision yards are a bit bigger than most of my California friends can relate to. I have a small lawn and it's half an acre. There is a home being built in the lot next to me and so our quiet cul-de-sac has lots of heavy equipment and delivery trucks going up and down most the day. We don't often get a lot of travelers and as I am the last house I seldom see this much traffic.
Just yesterday I was talking to the basset's young owner. I said to him that I wanted to meet his pup because I like animals but I told him not to bring the dog to me, I didn't want the pup to get hit being on the road. Kentucky folks let their animals wander, something I can't get used to. My dogs have an invisible fence and they stay behind the line- when they have their collars on. My particular fence works by first beeping a warning and then sending a low warning shock to the mutts. Lots of dog owners use these here as an alternative to chaining your dog up. At first I thought these were the cruelest devices and then realized having my little buddies on a chain or splattered on the road was exponentially worse than training them to respect the boundary to avoid being shocked. Training your dogs is the important part. You put little flags in the lawn all around the safe perimeter. Then you leash your dog, walk up to the line, let the collar beep and/or zap them while saying "Bad Flags!!" and running back toward your home. My older dog sort of gets it, the younger dog has it down pat. I can send her out without her collar and she will run full speed and lock up and stop at the perimeter line. My poor old Chet gets it most of the time but he's 14, has had a stroke and forgets.... or pretends to forget.
Anyway, while I was watching the news there was the basset, "Elvis Bob," playing on the neighbor's driveway some 100 yards away and across the street. Just as I giggled at him I saw him pick his head up, look toward the street and begin to gambol across his yard. To my horror the lumber and bricks the builders needed were coming up our street and to little Elvis, they seemed like great big playthings. I was up and running down the street in an instant, my old sleeping tee shirt on and with bare feet. The contractor was screaming and waving his hands to get drivers to stop and I am not sure if what he did worked or whether it was the sight of the short, fat, Italian woman running at them full speed ahead.... curly hair uncombed..... looking like a graying Medusa screaming "STOP!! ELVIS-BOB, STOP!!!!" that worked so well. The drivers slammed on their brakes, Elvis came running into my arms and that was too much for my dogs. Not closing the storm door all the way was what my dogs needed to be able to crash through to find out who the interloper was in their mom's arms. Elvis took one look at my charging duo and left me standing in the roadway, feeling nekkid and now having to chase after my dog.
Thibodeaux stopped at her boundary and Chet the Wonder Dog didn't have a collar on so he ran after Elvis like he was 'puparazzi' trying to get a pic of the new celeb that came to visit. Next there I was, chasing Chet who is chasing Elvis-Bob and now the contractor is chasing me telling me how "that pup is gunna get hisself hit an kilt" and how he can't want to be responsible for that.... I stopped short and wanted to ask him, "Is there something about me being out here in my jammies and barefoot chasing after two dogs that would lead you to believe I don't understand the seriousness of this situation????" Instead, using my best command presence voice taught to me at the CHP academy I yelled at Chet, "BAD FLAGS!!" The contractor looked at me like I was an alien and asked "You're the woman from California, right?" Chet turned around and ran to the house. Elvis-Bob stood in the street looking at me. "Did you just say, 'bad flags?'" The contractor was walking away from me before I could answer. Moments later Chet and Thibby were back in the house and Elvis-Bob came running into my arms when I used my best 'puppy voice' to call him back. I put a lead on him and walked him back to his house, waking his groggy but grateful mom.
My next adventure happened when I took my dogs to the vet to get their nails trimmed. With a disability in my hands and a dog that took 4 trained professionals to hold him down the first time they tried to trim his nails- it has seemed like a great investment to pay them to wrestle with this 15 pound dynamo. Neither of the dogs likes going to the vet but both of them have been compliant and not too dismayed. This was Chet's first return since his stroke. He's not been the same dog and that's OK with me as long as he is happy. Well, it appears my dog has developed some anxiety where the vet is concerned and that anxiety caused him to ...... well... relieve himself on the lobby floor.....all over the lobby floor. Great, Lord. Is this the sort of day I am going to have?
I got home and started reading for my next seminar which happens to be on hope. I came across this quote: "Despair looks on things with black spectacles and gives all up as lost. Hope is like the cork to the net which keeps the heart from sinking in despair." I am reminded that the worst day here is better than one second in hell. It's all good after salvation.
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.