Sunday, June 12, 2011

Emergency procedure: fail

I woke up in a panic in the middle of the night. I leapt out of bed, threw some sweatpants on over my pjs and ran for the door. I stepped into my shoes on the way out. We sprinted for the elevator, which came quickly, for once. We raced across the lobby and were out of the building in record time.

As I watched the dog disappear into the tall grass, it occurred to me that it would have been a good idea to put a leash on her. A neighbour informed me it was close to 2:00 AM.

The nature of the emergency? The dog had whined.

Shibas whine. As far as I know, they all do. They have very expressive whines which I think are meant to imitate us. Tinky-Winky whines for all kinds of reasons, but only one of them would have her out of bed and walking around at 2:00 AM: she needs out. I've said before that she never asks to go out, but that's not quite true. About three times in the last six years, she's asked. The first time, I ignored it, and spent a couple of hours cleaning explosive diarrhea off the carpet, and everything else. So now, if she asks to go, we run like the wind. It takes me about one tenth as long to evacuate the building when the dog whines as when the fire alarm goes off. And other than the fire alarm, the dog is about the only thing that wakes me. (Ok, violent crime, too.) I can sleep through almost anything, most of all my alarm clock, but also music, thunder, phone ringing, neighbours partying... but not my dog crying, barking or throwing up. Same when I had cats, the fastest way to wake me was for a cat to start heaving. And I'm active and fully operational instantly, very much unlike the alarm clock. They should make an alarm clock that sounds like a puking cat.

Anyway. A more considerate creature, having relieved herself, would have thought something like "the human got out of bed in the middle of the night to help me, I will go back in promptly so she can go back to sleep." But that would be utterly unlike Her Majesty. She was outside, she was off-leash, and the weather was beautiful. PARTY! (And yes, this means I didn't pick it up, but have you ever tried to pick up liquid off the grass in a bag? I actually have. Turns out you can't pick up diarrhea even if you try.)

2:00 AM on a Saturday night is a really rotten time for a dog to be off-leash in downtown Hay River. The bars close at 2:00 AM, and that night there was a dance, too. All the cops are out, all the drunk drivers, all the drunk walkers, everyone. It's a very busy time. And there is my dog, not only off-leash but without even her collar, which reflects some light.

Man, that was dumb.

So I went back upstairs and got some cheese to bait her. And a Ziploc bag. She can hear "cheese" from miles away, but cheese doesn't have a sound. It has to be in a plastic wrap, so she can hear the wrap. So I'm outside crinkling a Ziploc bag at 2:00 AM, with cheese in one hand, my hair all over the place, wearing my gross sweatpants that would fit a fat man on Thanksgiving, just when every eligible man in town is out and about. And did I mention every cop in town? Then a cop car drives by, then another, and I figure, knowing my dog, that's exactly when she's gonna show up. And she did, too. Luckily for both of us, she had been just around the corner of the building, not across the street, so she didn't run afoul of the cops. That was lucky.

The dumbest thing is, her leash hangs on the key rack by the door, right next to my keys, so it wouldn't have slowed us down one second to grab it and put it on in the elevator. I guess I'm not as smart at 2:00 AM as I'd like to think.

So, new emergency evacuation procedure to learn:

1. Put clothes on.
2. Leash up dog.
3. Evacuate.

That being said, she should be good for another two years or so.

No comments: