I lost my keys the other day as I walked into Petsmart.
Not like an, "Oh, crap...I-put-them-in-some-obscure-compartment-in-my-hpurse-so-now-I-have-to-seriously-dig-to-find-but-oh-yes-they-will-be-found."
It was a, "My keys have completely disappeared, **poof**, into thin air. They are no where, no where, to be found. They are gone. Gone."
Chris was pissed, but secretly I think that it is just a little bit his fault that he makes me carry the keys anyway because I NEVER can find my keys when we come out of a store. He can put them in his shorts pocket (he wears CARGO shorts, for goodness sake!) and he would know EXACTLY where they were.
Instead he always is like, "Got the keys?"
And I am always like,"Sh**, no, I don't," as I am carrying the baby.
Then I start digging through my purse.
I purchased a hobo bag that is a bottomless pit, and is by no means a fashion statement. It was a stupid purchase. It's not even cute. It is where items: wallet, checkbook, pens, lipstick, gum, etc., are dropped to be lost into an abyss. I envision they fall, fall, fall...sort of like Alice, down the rabbit's hole.
I wonder if I stuffed screaming toddlers, whiny nine year olds or annoying husbands they would disappear, too? Hmmmmmmmm.....
So, we usually end up standing in the boiling heat of a Florida parking lot. I dig, dig, dig some more. Impatience oozes from him. Honestly, I can feel it.
"Patience is a damn virtue," I say in my head (I say lots and lots of really, really nasty things in my head sometimes. I confess. Usually it is at Walfart.).
"It's a freaking fruit of the spirit. So is kindness, goodness and self-fracking control." My keys gets the blood pressure rising every single time.
This particular afternoon at Petsmart was Really Super-Duper Unfortunate. It must be capitalized because it really was so.
I will get to the reason we were at Petsmart in a short moment, because we are truly not Petsmart people.
It was so dire that we had to call a friend to come pick Chris up (eeek, he was mad at me), take him home (oops), pick up the spare key(**cough) and come back to get us the heck out of that parking lot. By the time all that hadoccurred, the parking lot was no less than Hades.
HADES, I tell you.
"I have a busy day," he said again.
"I don't have time for this. Look in your purse again."
I pulled out a lip gloss (Buxom Bare Minerals gloss in Sugar, LOOOOVE it), my wallet, some gum (huh! didn't know I had that!), my checkbook (not balanced), my Ipod, my phone, a pen, another pen, adoption papers. Notoriously missing: keys.
In the backseat of the car, we had a crying nine year old, a crying two year old and a puppy, who SHOULD have been the one crying. But was oddly NOT crying. It was boiling hot back there.
"Wait," you exclaim. "What happened to Sven, the Cairn Terrier? The one who licked his butt all day long?"
If you have read my blogs, you knew that Sven ran away. Like, all the time.
He a crazy ninja eye on all doors at all times and if any possibility at all presented itself, he would tear out of our house like a bat out of hell and rejoice in our inability to catch him.
He had a unique contempt for us. We knew he did. He hated us. We saw it in his eyes.
So, with our move to a house closer to a busier road, he escaped exactly three times in forty-eight hours. Those last three escapes were harrowing, because I watched the traffic halted on the road behind our house, Sven weaved in and out of traffic, and bounced merrily down the middle of the road.
I was so incredibly mortified and frustrated.
Moreover, I was terrified ~ TERRIFIED ~ that he was going to kill someone trying to avoid running over him. I had the entire scenario played out in my mind that some innocent individual would be driving down the road on his/her way to work, when an crazy Cairn Terrier would dart out in front of him. S/He would swerve, directly into oncoming traffic and either s/he, or someone in the other car would die or be seriously hurt or maimed.
And if you know anything about Florida, you know there is no shortage of car dealerships or attorneys. He had become a serious liability.
The last time Sven escaped, Chris gave him to the people who caught him on the road.
They were visiting the area and proudly told Chris they had a farm with dogs and cats and goats. And the goats were (***cough) allowed in the house, too. God bless 'em, and God bless America. Happy trails, Sven.
We had been doing research about dogs.
Chris has had his heart set on German Shepherds, because seriously. How cool are they? Some friends of ours are members of a group in which the puppies are trained in German. It's all just so bad ass, Chris was beside himself. I think it appeals to testosterone.
We searched on the Internet, did our research. Then earlier this week, I went to the humane society. And I came home with this:
Not really a German Shepherd...but he is mixed with Lab.
Chris wasn't exactly mad, but I made my friend Carmen call him from the parking lot of Flagler Humane Society to tell him what I had done. I took Carmen with me because she knows dogs. She knows dog training and rescues dogs from the streets. She knows animal control's phone number by heart and isn't afraid to use it. She knows what to look for in puppies. I don't.
I deferred to her.
I had already scoped the place out once before that day. I had heard that you could ask to be put on a waiting list if you were looking for a particular breed. I marched up to the front desk. "I would like to be put on a waiting list for a German Shepherd."
"There is a litter of German Shepherd/Lab mix puppies back there right now," she replied. "Look in number ten."
A couple of the puppies had the shepherd look. One was more brindle, but had magnificent blue eyes. One didn't get off of its bed to even bother to greet us.
We asked to see the blue eyed puppy. In the room, it promptly went for Maggie, tackled her and wouldn't let her get up. Probably not the one for us.
I called both Chris and Carmen. Carmen came back to the shelter with me first.
The puppy who didn't get up to greet us STILL didn't get up to greet us. Either it was sick, or it was uber laid back. But... I like laid back. I encouraged him come over to see me and he was immediately mauled by his brother and his sisters. He was super skinny and was a lot smaller than the others. We asked to see him.
He gently nuzzled Maggie and used one paw to get our attention. He got down on all fours in front of us when he greeted us. The kids hugged him and kissed him. He looked at me and I hugged him. He stank worse than Calvin after football practice.
I am not a Labrador person. But there was something special about him. Perhaps it was his gentleness. He looked wise, calm, intelligent.
The attendant began to put him back into his cage and I looked at the panicked look on the puppy's face. He looked at me and I couldn't do it.
"I'm taking him home."
"You're what," Carmen asked in her Long Island accent.
"I'm taking him home."
"Don't you want to call Chris?"
"You can call Chris from the parking lot for me, Carmen," I said to her, as she vehemently shook her head and wagged her finger at me. It's the Puerto Rican in her.
So, later, as we walked up to Petsmart I had a puppy, a nine year old, a two year old and my freaking keys. The keys disappeared somewhere between the car and the department store. So sue me.
Yes, I know this particular flip/panic button costs a ka-jillion dollars to replace.
Yes, I know my house key, as well as fifty other keys which I have no idea what they are for, are on it.
And yeah, I know that my gym membership card and the Winn Dixie card is on that key chain.
We have one key left to this car. It has a dead battery, so it will be like the old days when we have to manually unlock the damn car door. What a pain in the ass.
This key will be guarded with our lives.
Or by our bad ass guard dog. Except he doesn't even bark.
His name is Ragnar, which is a Viking name that means "Strong Army." Except he's totally not.
He sleeps all day under the kitchen table and is the laziest, calmest puppy I have ever encountered. I thought something could be wrong, except I took him to the vet this morning and they said he was perfectly healthy. He just has a chillaxed personality.
"That dog fits in with your family PERFECTLY," exclaimed my friend Meghan yesterday as we walked back to the cars as we were leaving the beach. I looked at "Ragnar," and he was walking calmly next to me.
I wanted to ask her more about why she said that, but their ADHD Siberian Husky, Bruschi, was doing backflips trying to get off of his leash and making noises that made conversation utterly impossible. Bruschi sort of fits in with their family perfectly, too....in sort of a high strung/on-the-go/schizophrenic (in a good way) sort of way.
"It is sort of like being reunited with an old girlfriend," Chris said the other night, as we were lying in bed.
"We had our freedom, and it was nice. Now we can't go anywhere or do anything. No Space-A trip to Europe to us this summer," he sighed. The ball and chain effect that comes with pet ownership is back.
Our home is now our vacation. The beach is good enough for me. Give me a margarita and I will happily sit out on our lanai with the kids, my husband and Ragnar.
My life is good; we are now the All American Family, dog (one that likes us) and all.