Thursday, August 11, 2011


When I stopped for gas the other day, Elias, my mechanic, said to me, “Can I ask you a question and get an honest answer?”

I figured he was going to ask me something about my car, such as when I was going to drive it to the nearest salvage yard and leave it there. Before I could answer, he said, “Do you go out and purposely look for crazy things to do, just so you’ll have something to write about in your column?”

I laughed. “No, I don’t have to look for anything. Crazy things have been happening to me ever since the day I was born!”

And I was telling him the absolute truth. I can’t remember a single day in my life that could be classified as “normal.” The moment I open my eyes in the morning, crazy things start happening, as if I were a magnet for trouble.

Last Monday was a prime example of how everything that possibly could go wrong in one day…did.

Willow, the elder of my two rottweilers, had a vet’s appointment for her booster shots. I’m notorious for being late, so I decided to start getting ready nice and early for a change.

A few days before, I’d begun a trial period for contact lenses. I’d managed to master inserting them pretty easily, but taking them out was a different story. My best removal time up until then had been about two hours…or when my eyeballs began to resemble two meatballs in tomato sauce.

I popped the right contact into my eye and blinked a couple times. It felt as if it were made of broken glass. After a few minutes of struggling, I managed to get it out again so I could examine it. I was pretty proud of myself because I’d taken out the lens in record time. I soon discovered why…it had a big tear in it. I rushed to the phone and called my optometrist, who said she’d order another one for me.

I then brushed Willow until her fur glistened. I wanted her to look really spiffy for the vet, not like the frumpy tomboy she usually was. The minute I finished brushing her, she scratched at the door to go out. I hesitated, not wanting her to mess up her shiny fur. I finally decided I’d better let her out or with my luck, she’d have an accident on the vet’s foot. The first thing Willow did when she stepped outside was make a beeline for the biggest area of dirt in the yard…and roll in it.

When she was through, nothing on her was shiny but her eyes.

Despite the setbacks, we still were making pretty good time. I put Willow’s leash on her – her “special occasion” leash that was clean and fresh, unlike her other ratty old ones – then led her out to the car and opened the back door. Usually she jumps right in. Willow loves going for rides, even to the vet’s.

She didn’t budge.

“Quick! Get in the car!” I ordered. Still, she didn’t move. I checked my watch and felt panic setting in. Had I not feared getting a double hernia, I would have hoisted Willow into the car myself.

Finally, I actually looked at the back seat. The two trash barrels I’d picked up at the end of our driveway on trash day so I could bring them back into the garage, were still lying there. Even if Willow had been a Chihuahua, she couldn’t have fit back there.

I dashed to the back of the car, opened the hatchback and flung the barrels into the garage. Willow then jumped into the car and we were on our way.

I pulled into the vet’s parking lot only two minutes before our appointment. I grabbed my handbag, climbed out of the car and opened the back door to let out Willow. When I went to grab her leash, it came right off in my hand. All that was attached to her collar was the clasp and about six inches of chewed fabric. She somehow had managed to gnaw right through her special-occasion leash during the ride to the vet’s.

I groaned. There was no way I could control a 105-lb. dog without a leash.

I remembered seeing an old leash somewhere in the car, so I got back in and searched for it. I found it underneath the front seat. It had enough fur on it to make another dog. And by then, so did my pants.

I leaned over the front seat and clasped the leash onto Willow’s collar, then got out of the car and opened the back door to let her out.

With one mighty leap, she was out of the car. Unfortunately, during her leap, her front paws landed right on top of my handbag, and when she hit the ground, she ripped both straps right off the bag. It landed on its side in the parking lot, with half of the contents spilling all over the ground.

Clasping the leash in one hand, I knelt down and frantically tried to pick up everything with the other hand. That’s when Willow spotted a woman with a dachshund coming out of the vet’s office, and bolted toward them. Believe me, trying to hang on to a horse on a leash while also trying to grab a handbag that now had no handles required more coordination than any mere mortal possessed…especially this mere mortal. I nearly left my nose-print in the dirt.

We arrived 10 minutes late for Willow’s appointment.

On the way out, I spent ages searching for my car keys in my handleless handbag. I found them lying on the ground near my car, where my handbag had fallen.

By the time Willow and I got home, I felt as if I’d just run the Boston marathon.

“I swear that dog’s out to get me,” I said to my husband. “It was as if she purposely did everything within her power today to stress me out!”

“Well, just think,” he said, “Next Monday Raven has to have her booster shots, so you’ll get to do this all over again!”

If looks could kill, he’d have been in an urn on the mantel.

But I’m determined to be early for that appointment…even if I have to camp out in the parking lot the night before.

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