August 9, 2007

You guys cracked me up with your responses on the last post, but if you think I’m clicking ANY of your illustrative links, you’re out of your goddamned mind. Especially when the URL is accompanied by a comment like “This one made MY skin crawl and I LIKE spiders!”

Yeah. Right. Because I want to wake up screaming every night for a MONTH.

I had hoped our Giant House Spider visitation was an anomaly, but JB claims he’s seen at least four (!!!!) in the garage, and he killed one in the bathtub the other morning. I didn’t ask him how, because if he squished it against the tub and didn’t clean the remnants and later that night I unwittingly took a nice warm bubble-and-spider-goo bath, well . . . you know how they say knowledge is power? Sometimes that is just so not true.

Now I’m almost constantly paranoid, of course. I do a visual sweep before cautiously entering a room, and whenever I see something remotely arachnid-like (read: anything smaller than a loaf of bread) I announce my presence with a high, ululating scream of terror. I feel this helps inform any potential spider occupants that they should remove themselves to a less offensive location, such as on the surface of Mars where they belong.

In other news, we had a bad scare with Dog the other day. When JB and I came home on Tuesday, she was gone, having escaped from the backyard some hours before. The construction on the house was particularly loud that day, with sheet rock going in and saws blaring, so we guessed the noise just frightened her enough to squeeze under the temporary makeshift fence back there.

Her custom-made collar with our contact information stamped onto the tag? Just lying there on the patio table, because we’ve grown lazy about putting her collar on before leaving for the day.

JB drove around looking for her, while I trundled around the neighborhood with the stroller trying not to feel foolish about yelling “HERE GIRL! HERE!” into people’s yards. But no dice. Dog was gone.

Our annoying next door neighbor told us she’d seen Dog running loose, but was in “too much of a hurry” to stop and do anything. Thanks, lady. Remind me to crash your next party. With a Molotov cocktail.

Since the local animal rescue offices were closed, as a last ditch effort I printed up some lost dog flyers and posted them on nearby mailboxes and stop signs (is that illegal, posting stuff on stop signs? If so: oops). We spent the evening moping around the house, occasionally stepping outside and yelling Dog’s name. I felt so horrible, because it was entirely our fault, from the hoopty fence to the AWOL collar. I thought of all the times I’ve been impatient with her, booting her out of the way when she was underfoot, pushing her aside when she tries to horn in on some of the affection we give Riley, yelling at her when all she was doing was licking herself.

O, the guilt.

JB made the dire prediction that we had seen the very last of her, and I’m sure he would be really pissed at me if I confided to you that I saw his eyes watering, so let’s just say that sheet rock dust sure can trigger some allergies.

Thankfully, there is a happy ending: a neighbor several blocks away called us late Wednesday morning, having taken Dog in the night before (apparently she was just hanging out on these people’s front door step, waiting to be let in) and discovered one of our flyers the next day. She came home no worse for wear, only slightly muddy from befouling this kind family’s backyard pond.

The fence has been fortified, and Dog’s collar is now permanently in place. Boy, there’s nothing like being threatened with the loss of your pet to re-appreciate their presence. All those little Dog annoyances—the scritch scritch scritch of her toenails and she pads up and down the hallways, the slup . . . slup . . . slup of her self-cleaning tongue baths, the way she lies directly against the couch and breathes Death Lab Halitosis up at me while I’m watching Battlestar Galactica—all of those things now seem like glorious reminders that she’s here with us and not smashed up on the side of a highway.

Hell, I’ve even decided not to get bent out of shape when I vacuum the entire floor and five minutes later it looks like this:


Well. Okay, that DOES still suck, but I can deal. Long live Dog! (So say we all!)


48 Responses to “Missed”

  1. Zoot on August 9th, 2007 12:52 pm

    After my oldest was born, I would yell at my dog anytime she licked him because I was overprotective. (Before my son was born – my dog was my LIFE.) She ended up getting hit by a car and I’m telling you – the guilt still haunts me 12 years later. Give DOG a hug and a kiss for me too.

  2. Rumblelizard on August 9th, 2007 12:53 pm

    Awww…yeah, my Chip (miniature pinscher) pulled a Great Escape a few weeks ago and I’m still eeky about it. I also still pine for my little basset hound that died of cancer last year, and feel sorry for all the times I yelled at her for licking her ass on the carpet. When they’re gone, you miss them, no matter how annoying some of the things they do now seem….appreciate your puppies, folks. They won’t be around forever. :(

  3. Rumblelizard on August 9th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Oh, uh, I found Chip about 30 minutes after she went missing. Phew!

  4. JennB on August 9th, 2007 12:56 pm

    Oh, I need to go an hug my doggers right this instant! It’s true – when our dogs take off after a deer (I know! I hate when they do that!) or some other critter into the woods I immediately start to think the worst case scenario…. Glad she made it home ok.

  5. wealhtheow on August 9th, 2007 1:31 pm

    Yay, I’m glad Dog is safe and sound and back where she belongs.

  6. Josh on August 9th, 2007 1:39 pm

    I want to be very careful not to sound like a souless uncaring bastard here, but I’ve never understood why people get so attached to pets. I have two, a cat and a snake, and if either one of them went missing, it wouldn’t really bother me. Well, I would have to check around for the snake cause he’s way too big to be wandering around our house with cats garnishing the floor, possibly sneaking up on me in my sleep. Cause if he kiled my roomates pets, or suprised me with a bite I would have to terminate him, and I think he’s cool. But I just don’t get people who grow so attached to their pets that they treat them like their own children, and fall apart when they are missing/dead. I know a LOT of people who care very very much for their pets, but to me they are just animals that are cool to have around. Could anyone explain either:
    A – why so many people grow human like relationships with their pets, or …
    B – is there something weird with me that I don’t consider animals very important.

  7. Josh on August 9th, 2007 1:40 pm

    Oh yeah, I’m glad dog is back. Long live dog.

  8. stephanie brown on August 9th, 2007 1:40 pm

    I seem to remember the same thing happening with Cat at some point in the last 6 months?
    ;) just jokin’ with ya!

  9. Nora on August 9th, 2007 1:40 pm

    So, I am confident that this is a dumb question but are Dog and Cat’s names really Dog and Cat? I know JB’s is not really JB, so I just want to confirm. If so, how did you write up the lost dog flyer – answers to…Dog? I think the names are hilarious, by the way.

  10. sundry on August 9th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Josh: I don’t think it’s one of those things that can be explained, my friend. Also wtf kind of snake do you have, anyway? I mean, HOW BIG?

    Stephanie: I know! This totally happened with Cat, except she was gone for days on end. We are bad pet owners.

    Nora: No, their official names are Ashley (Dog) (I didn’t name her, she came that way) and Meercat (uh, Cat). We almost always call them Cat and Dog, though.

  11. stephanie brown on August 9th, 2007 1:50 pm

    nah, you are great pet owners. see, cause they always come back. it’s just like teenagers. they go away for awhile…but then they always realize the grass is not always greener on the other side.
    to be honest with you though, i think they just miss riley :P

  12. hello insomnia on August 9th, 2007 1:50 pm

    I can’t read any of the spider comments and accompanying links because I revert back to a crying child at the sight of those things.

    And live long and prosper, Dog.

  13. Lisa on August 9th, 2007 1:54 pm

    Hello…is that a picture of my floor? Now I feel bad for the all the times I’ve secretly wished my dog would run away. I know I’ll be sad when he is gone, but right now he is such a pain in the butt that I can’t take it much more!

    I’m glad that dog made it home safely to you and JB. (want another?!) :)

  14. canknitian on August 9th, 2007 2:04 pm

    Long live Dog!

  15. MRW on August 9th, 2007 2:06 pm

    Our dog had what we now refer to as “Ursa’ Big Adventure” when she was just over a year old. We were staying at a beach house and she got out of the yard and ran off. We were in a panic because of course her collar had our home phone number on it, but we weren’t at home. We walked and drove all over the area and were really starting to panic when we found her hanging out at the beauty salon. They had given her some water and love, but I also note that even though they said she’d been there for quite awhile, when we got home, there was no message on our answering machine saying someone found our dog – so I’ve always suspected they might have kept her. She IS cute. She’s an old dog now, but I’ve never forgotten that feeling of fear that something awful would happen to her or that we’d never see her again. So glad Dog was found!

  16. Becky on August 9th, 2007 2:23 pm

    So happy that DOG is at home!!!!!

  17. Mandy on August 9th, 2007 2:34 pm

    I am so glad there was a happy ending! Thank goodness for nice neighbors. After a recent rash of burglaries in our neighborhood my big fear now is not that someone will break in and take all of our valuables (practically non-existent), but that they’ll break in and leave a door open and our dogs will get out. Even with a 3 year old son now, I still love my annoying little dogs beyond measure.

  18. Deanna on August 9th, 2007 2:36 pm

    Oh Dog! I’m so glad she found her way home. I can’t imagine how awful it felt, thinking you had lost her. Give her an extra rub from me.

  19. manda on August 9th, 2007 2:48 pm

    my floor soooo looks just like that five minutes after I clean. it’s like an endless floor-dirtying cycle.

  20. Emma on August 9th, 2007 3:13 pm

    Lord! When I first started reading this entry and then noticed the entry title, I nearly lost it – I thought Dog had reached the great kennel in the sky and that she would be missed!

    Let Dog have a fruitful life ahead of her; filled with old slippers, overflowing food bowls and dubious muddy puddles to roll in.

  21. Leah on August 9th, 2007 3:16 pm

    Dog’s name is Ashley?! My universe just cracked down the middle.

    Glad she’s home and that not all of your neighbors are dicks.

  22. Audrey on August 9th, 2007 3:31 pm

    They say knowledge is power … but they also say ignorance is bliss!

    We had a little scare once where we thought we’d lost our (white) dog in the middle of a snow storm. After several minutes of calling him from the back door, I grudgingly put shoes on and went outside to discover the gate was open and his little paw prints in the snow were headed right out of the yard. Luckily there were paw prints to follow, and when we followed them they just led around the house to the front door where he was sitting, patiently waiting to be let in. It was like he thought “Damn! It’s cold! If they won’t let me in this back door, maybe I’ll go try the front!”

    We had another scare a few months later when our house was robbed. When we came home to discover stuff missing, doors and gates open everywhere and we couldn’t immediately find the dog, we were terrified. Luckily, he was more terrified than us, and we eventually found him hiding under the bed. But, oh my god, I still feel sick thinking about what might have happened — especially if the bastards who broke into our house had hurt him in any way.

    Long live Dog! (Yours and mine! And everyone’s!)

  23. Andrea on August 9th, 2007 3:40 pm

    I am so happy to hear that the dog was returned safely. This has happened to us with our cats (supposed to be indoor only) and I will admit to shedding a tear and perhaps my husband came down with the same bout of allergies as jb ; ) Luckily we have also found them safe and sound within a day, or I should say they lazily wonder back home after a wild night on the town.

    The spiders are crazy big around here this year. I actually found one in the crib the other day and went into a frenzy. Spiders where my baby sleeps–not cool at all. I can’t bring myself to kill them, I hate the smooshing sound, so I’ve become great at releasing them into the wild. Far, far away from the house.

  24. Elizabeth on August 9th, 2007 3:44 pm

    I think you might need a can of this! (My grandma used to buy it for me and I’d bring it with me on camping trips and spray it randomly into the bushes.
    I’m sure that was effective. )

  25. Swistle on August 9th, 2007 4:13 pm

    Long Live Dog! Thinking of JB experiencing allergies made ME experience allergies.

  26. Jennifer on August 9th, 2007 4:24 pm

    Did Dog come home to affection-heaven? Did the whole family dote on her and shower treats and snuggles all night? Ahhh, she loves you guys so much. (And she also gets to go on cool backpacking trips to Oregon.)

    I saw the recent photo of Cat on Flickr. My GOSH! Can her feet even reach the floor anymore? :) I will say that Cat’s fur is very glossy and sleek.

  27. ShannonJ on August 9th, 2007 4:28 pm

    OK, so I won’t send anymore spider links. But mine’s funny…really it is.

    I can sympathize with the dog annoyance issue. My not-yet-husband got him when he (the dog) was a year old. Not my decision, although I put up with him (the dog) okay. He was, and still is, a little too big and rambunctious for my taste. We had him for 5 years before our first kid was born. He quickly became more like a household pest (almost as bad as a spider!) And after our second kid, he’s gone from being like a spider to like a squirrel in the house – just doesn’t fit in at all. The licking, GOD, the licking sound. And the wet licky drool spots on our couch from where he’s lain there all day while we’re at work. Ugh. But, he is a nice watchdog when I’m home alone. I’m sure I’ll be a little sad when he goes, though. Maybe.

  28. Mom101 on August 9th, 2007 4:54 pm

    My cat died today and it definitely puts the cleaning up of all the clumps of nasty ass hair in a different light. Oh geez – I didn’t mean to come here and get morose. Sorry. What I meant to say is

    Hey! Glad you found Dog. Also, did you hear the one about the nun and the six spiders…?

  29. Niki P. on August 9th, 2007 6:18 pm

    > I had my Dog (black lab) put to sleep a few weeks ago and I just got teary eyed at the thought of your missing Dog. So glad she is home again! >

  30. Allie on August 9th, 2007 7:52 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that Dog made it home okay! YAY! Long live Dog!

    I remember two times when I thought I had lost my beloved cat and cried and cried all day long until I found her two houses down sitting on the porch more then likely wondering where the hell I was! Those were the worst 12 hours of my life, I tell ya. The second time, she was sleeping in a closet and no matter how many times I called her name or shook her food dish the little brat just slept on and I never thought to check that closet because she’s never even walked near it. She finally came out at 2 am though and yes, I cried again, tears of relief. Pets… they may be pests at times but we love them!

  31. H on August 9th, 2007 8:15 pm

    Years ago, our first beagle escaped a few times. When our son was 4 or 5, I remember him sitting in the back seat of the car, tears running down his cheeks, while my husband drove around the neighborhood calling her name. Oh, how our son loved her. She reappeared within an hour, thank goodness.

    Another time she ran out the front door and across the street to the cemetery during a graveside service, presumably to greet everyone. Apparently the deceased was a veteran and fortunately the 21 gun salute began just as she made it to the boulevard. She was terribly afraid of loud noises so the first shot sent her back home!

    I’m so glad Dog is home!

  32. samantha jo campen on August 9th, 2007 9:18 pm

    I got a little teary thinking of Dog out there all alone (maybe I have some of those allergies you were talking about)! SOOOO glad she’s home safe and sound! Whew!

  33. adoring fan on August 9th, 2007 9:28 pm

    I love dog to pieces.

  34. Meg on August 10th, 2007 12:39 am

    Oh my god, I’m so glad she’s okay and home!

  35. Eric's Mommy on August 10th, 2007 4:13 am

    Wow, good thing she was found and is home safe and sound now! One of our dogs who never goes outside unless he is on a leash has gotten loose before and he will take off and keep running! We end up having to chase him down in the truck and one time the police caught him for us.

  36. jonniker on August 10th, 2007 4:38 am

    Oh poor dog! Poor dog! I’m so glad she’s home.

  37. Claire on August 10th, 2007 5:31 am

    Glad you found Dog! We lost our beagle several times when I was a teenager and it gave me a near heart attack every single time. However, he was always recovered and today, is almost 16, still going strong somehow. It’s always so heartbreaking though when you first realize your beloved pet has run off.

  38. claire on August 10th, 2007 6:06 am

    oh that’s horrible. i would freak if our dogs got out. especially one of the two – she’s a little slow, a little dumb, and the happiest, friendliest dog i’ve even known. If she made it to other people she would be fine, but i don’t think she’d be able to make friends on the train tracks or with the cars… i also don’t know if she knows enough to be scared of them and that scares the crap out of me.

    thank goodness Dog was found by nice people. thanks goodness she’s home again. did she get peanut butter when she came home? :)

  39. Liz on August 10th, 2007 7:34 am

    Long Live Dog!

  40. bad penguin on August 10th, 2007 7:40 am

    Long Live Dog! And what the hell is wrong with your neighbor?

  41. aurora on August 10th, 2007 8:02 am

    I’m so glad she is okay. Really, I am. And your neighbor is a complete fucking asshole.

  42. Kizz on August 10th, 2007 8:08 am

    You know, I just don’t get people like Josh who wouldn’t be all broken up if their pets disappeared, but I know a lot of people like that and a lot more who like me would hardly be able to read your entry without “allergies” so live and let live I guess. The dog I have now is my first and she’s getting a little old and creaky but wow, I just can’t bear to think of the inevitable time when she won’t be around. So now I am off to walk her all the way to the park in the downpour and let her sniff anything she wants to in honor of Dog’s safe return.

    Welcome home Dog!

  43. Donna on August 10th, 2007 9:11 am

    My three, two labs and an aussie, have found the gate open before and just stay in the yard, although I don’t know what they’d do if there were people in the yard, or house that they didn’t know, like working in the house. the tools wouldn’t scare them, they are used to me doing stuff. If you come over my fence you’d be in deep shit though. And if the two labs actually did wander off, I can get the aussie to herd them back home. She brings them in at night now. I do keep collars on them, if it’s wet, choke collars with tags, if dry, the web collars. They are all microchipped too. I would miss my girls even though I could probably vacuum up a sweater’s worth of fur from the aussie. Glad you found dog, I loved the post about them and the box with treats in it, I laughed my ass off and sent it to everyone.

  44. Eric's Mommy on August 10th, 2007 10:17 am

    Donna- it’s funny you mention that your dogs stay in the yard with the gate open, one of my dogs is a 180 pound Neapolitan Mastiff and is very aggressive/protective but we’ve come home before and he is off his chain just sitting in the yard! When the car pulls up he just slowly walks over to it.

  45. mcgee on August 10th, 2007 10:45 am

    phew! so glad she’s back home safe and sound!

    death lab halitosis..haha you crack me up.

  46. starr on August 10th, 2007 4:50 pm

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaha.. I just did a search to see why my cat might be performing her latest annoying pet trick (rubbing her arse on the carpet – no, not in heat, she’s fixed; no, not worms, just medicated her for that last month; and no, not constipated. I think she’s just a freak) and saw you were a result and had to stop by and say hello! Who would have thunk being a faithful Sundry reader would get me here. There should be a google drinking game, swear to god. Even if it was with, ahem, reeses cups instead of booze. :)

  47. LauraH on August 10th, 2007 7:11 pm

    I will, heretofore, appreciate -instead of yelling-when Jessie (our Sheltie) decides to embark upon a 15 minute drinking binge in the water dish outside our bedroom door at bedtime tonight. Thank Dog for her.

  48. Lucy's Mom on August 16th, 2007 4:38 pm

    So glad your sweet Dog is safely home. It’s so scary when they escape into the big bad world. If only they could understand how dangerous it is out there with cars and trucks and trains and roaming pit bulls and people like Josh.

    We finally gave up on the spider battle and hired an exterminator. He comes once a month and I find lots of bodies but no live ones. And the stuff he uses is safe around my dogs. Best money I ever spent, excluding my vibrator, of course.

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