Saturday, September 29, 2007

Clara Plans, Dog Laughs

Quite recently, I found myself home alone for a week and a half while Mr. Clarateaches went on an all-expenses paid trip to Engineer Land to do God-knows-what. He tried to tell me, but the brain fog rolled in.

For the most part we functioned pretty well. Until the day the newly super-charged Lab/Border Collie became a Real Dog. Perhaps it was her new high-protein dog food. At any rate, Lola managed to catch one of the chipmunks that have been darting around. It must have been asleep at the wheel, because Lola can't even catch a squirrel, and the chipmunks are faster than the squirrels. So, she tossed it about, and shook its little lifeless body and pranced back and forth in front of the rest of the Neighborhood Dog Choir. They, of course, seethed with jealousy.

Amused, I promptly forgot all about it until the next evening, when Lola decided that the scent of decomposing chipmunk was too alluring to deny herself any longer. She rolled around happily in it when I sent her outside for what I thought was her last potty break of the night. Seems she didn't think I had quite enough to do. One whiff of her, and I sent her back outside while I worked on Gianna's bedtime routine. This typically looks like: Bath, Massage, Nurse and rock to music, Sleep for 30 minutes, Wake up to nurse again, and out by 11. I originally planned on scouring the dog during the half-hour rest.

Not this night. Gianna laughed and pinwheeled her arms and was very much awake. Lola mournfully barked at the door. However, as I learned when teaching, there is always a Plan B. So I plunked my little ten-week old party animal in her Neglect-O-Matic and went to fetch the dog. Lola happily trotted up the stairs until it dawned on her that a bath was in her future. She went into Passive Resistance Mode, ignoring my commands to get into the bath, pretending to be invisible by crouching flat on the floor and looking away from me, and finally laying on her bed while panting happily at me, saying, "Get in the bed? Okay!" I finally dragged her and her bed into the bathroom, while she quietly hummed, "We Shall Overcome." It took another few minutes to hoist her front paws into the tub. I shoved against the rest of her 70 pound body while telling her how FREAKING SERIOUS I was.

Gianna contemplated this new, odd addition to her bedtime routine while practicing her newest trick of cramming both hands into her mouth. She was becoming more awake as the clock ticked on. I scrubbed the stink-hound until she smelled more like an organic oatmeal and aloe covered rotten chipmunk. One hour later (and one scrub of the hair-covered tub later), the dog was completely taken care of. Gianna needed another hour after that to calm down from the insanity. After about a mile worth of pacing the floor in the light of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air on mute, she was finally out.

Too bad I was now wide awake. I think I have a new idea for a reality show.

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