Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dog Days

Well, it isn't summer but today is a real dog! The Thorns household is the proud owner of two dogs. I am a cat person myself (we also have two of them) but my children always wanted dogs. I held out for years and years against it, exultantly exclaiming my running list of "Reasons to Never Own a Dog" anytime any of the Thorns children dared to broach the subject with me. Off the top of my head, far from complete, and in no particular order, here is a sampling of my list:
1. Dogs are gross because they....fill in the blank with your choice of... smell like dogs, have bad breath, lick themselves, sniff people and each other, they eat things that shouldn't be eaten, etc.
2. Dogs jump on people
3. Dogs cost money, a lot of money.
4. Dogs want to be near you all the time.
5. Dogs chew things like furniture.
6. Dogs scratch things like doors, door frames, siding of the house, etc.
7. Dogs jump through windows, breaking screens or glass.
8. Dogs dig holes for you to turn your ankle in.
9. Dogs leave presents for you to step in.
10. Dogs like to lick people...ewww
11. Dogs drool.
12. Dogs pant.
13. Dogs bark.
14. Dogs catch big things to leave on your doorstep after torturing them to death, and ripping limbs off...things like ground hogs and porcupines as opposed to cats who only leave itty bitty mice remains.
15. Dogs get separation anxiety.
16. Dogs bite.

I could keep going but you get the idea, I'm not a dog person. Honestly I'm less of a cat person than I ever was these days as well, I think a large brood of kids is enough animal behavior to have to manage for the time being.

Last night, in addition to the aforementioned list, one of my dogs decided to growl in the dead of night. Being an excessively stupid pooch who is very mild mannered, when he decides to growl he means it. Also being an excessively large pooch, he is to be taken seriously when he growls. Mr. Thorns is away on business so I was alone in the house. Being an insomniac, this is a recipe for disaster.

I heard the dog and came down stairs in the dead of night, alone, wondering what the dog would have cornered, INSIDE the house. I keep the dogs closed out of the living room because they would like to sleep on the furniture, and smelly beasts do not belong on the furniture, I was faced with opening a closed door to a huge, growling beast. To borrow a phrase from the teens in my house, "I was totally creeped out" at the thought of it, however I carried on. Despite my entering the dark room, the dog continued to growl. Then I worried was he now growling at me? I called him over and calmed him, then sent him off to lie down again. As soon as he was away from my side he resumed growling. I then put every light on and looked around. Thankfully there were no strangers in the house. Then I put on all the outside lights and peered out praying no one was peering back. Thankfully no one was out there either, at least no one I saw.

I sat up for over an hour with a growling dog, having no idea why he was growling, being terrified of actually finding out what was bothering him. Broken sleep in an insomniac who is home alone and spent an hour of terror in the dead of night yields a nearly sleepless night. I went to bed but couldn't sleep. I think I finally drifted off around 5ish, with my light and my glasses on, just in case someone came to 'murder us in our beds' at least I'd see them coming.

I awoke to one of my children announcing it was ten minutes past eight...oh no! I have one child in school because the first grade teacher is fantastic. Being a homeschooler I never thought I would utilise the school district, but there you have it. Said child ought to have been on the bus twenty minutes ago. Mr. Thorns is away, I have no car at the moment...the child missed school all because of the dumb mutt. To add insult to injury when I finally got around to calling the school at 9:10am, they inform me that the bus could come and get a child who misses their ride and can get to school no other way. I asked, "Isn't it too late?" The secretary informed me she would check and let me know. We rush around to get ready only to be told that it is in fact too late. If only I had known...did you know the school district would pick up a child who slept through the designated bus time? I didn't! My little tot could have made it to school after all!

*Note to self* Another item for the "Reasons To Never Own a Dog" list...dogs keep you up needlessly at night growling at figments of their imaginations. Oh, and they never do it when there is a big, strong man in the house to protect you. They only choose to indulge in this behavior when you are alone and able to be terrified out of a night's sleep and miss all the following day's appointments due to irritability and grogginess.


LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Is it a Rhodesian Ridgeback? I never wanted a dog but someone gave my son a RR and when he left home I got stuck with the dog. She has been so loyal and so protective, and she is very clean, and so obedient. I never wanted a dog but there were several incidences in my life where she made a difference.

Shelly said...

here's a comparison on my blog btwn the differences

deb said...

Perhaps the dog sensed something even if you could not tell what it was. It could have been a person passing through the edge of your property out of the reach of your outside lights or just an animal hiding in the darkness.

By the way, never turn on your inside lights to look outside. People can see in your house easier when you do.

Lily said...

Deb, Thanks for the advice, you probably would have handled things better than I did. I was more nervous about him growling inside the house, I thought something was inside! We live rurally and sometimes, when Mr. Thorns is away we forget to lock up.I was so afraid someone was inside I lit all the inside lights. But I cannot see outside if all the lights inside are lit, so I did shut them off to peer outside. Stupidly I did this all in the reverse of how I should have if I wasn't scared witless! The doors were all locked by the way, my son is better about remembering to lock up than I.

Lady Lydia, We don't really know what kind of mutt he is. They know he has some lab in him, but he hasthe body lines of a greyhound, larger bones due to the lab. His coloring isn't usually found in greyhounds or labs. He does get a ridge of hair that stands up on his back when he is on alert. Maybe he has some ridgeback in him. Are they very nervous...this dog is a bundle of nerves.

deb said...

Oh no. I didn't mean to imply that I would do things better then you. LOL. I have had my dog, especially my beagle, scare the living daylights out of me! He barks at everything including the phone ringing. lol

Lily said...

Anyone would have handled this situation better than I did. LOL I was not thinking rationally. Mama bear was trying her best to be brave and protect her cubs while Papa bear was away. I like it better when Mr. Thorns is home to protect us, he is much braver than I, and I think he keeps his wits better when things go bump in the night. After all he has much more experience, I wake him to investigate every little thing. Poor guy.