Friday, April 17, 2009

No rest for the wicked

Dempsey finally learned last night how to enter his kennel on his own! We had been trying for about a week now, and for the first time in a while, I felt like a proud, perhaps even competent, puppy parent.

That feeling didn't last too long.

Earlier this morning, I had Dempsey in his kennel, happily taking a nap with his Nylabone and frozen water bottle. Bailey was napping on the blanket in the Longaberger basket she had claimed for herself. The floor was clean, the TV off. I felt like the master of my domain.

I thought it would be a great time to dash off to the store to pick up some staples (i.e., more Coke). When I came back twenty minutes later, my world had been turned upside down. Literally.

Before I even got in the door, I could hear both Bailey and Dempsey howling. When I opened the door, I found Bailey on the floor, her leg tangled in one of the fringes of the blanket. She's had this blanket for years, but somehow today would be the first day to get tangled in it.

I calmed Bailey down and tried untangling the fringe, but couldn't. I went to get the scissors, but as soon as I got up, Bailey started struggling again, making the knot around her leg even tighter. I picked her and the blanket up to carry them to the scissors, when a fresh piece of kitty poop fell out of the blanket and bounced onto my foot. Apparently, she had been trying to get to the litter box when she got tangled.

Kicking the poop off my foot, I headed towards the kitchen. I saw that Bailey had overturned the Longaberger, and knocked her food and water all over the floor in a struggle to free herself from the blanket. What a mess!

When I got to the dining room, Dempsey was still howling like crazy. I took a peek in the kennel, and lo and behold: He had chewed a hole in his frozen water bottle (again, first time ever) and was sitting in a puddle of ice water, looking at me with very sad puppy-dog eyes.

Since I'm a sucker for this look, I thought I should release him. With Bailey and blanket in my left hand, I opened the kennel door with my right hand. Dempsey dashed out and immediately yanked the blanket. Bailey cried out in pain. I couldn't reach any toys or treats, so in violation of Helping Paws policy, I offered Dempsey my right leg.

Now with Bailey and a blanket in my left hand and Dempsey attached to my right leg, I hobbled over to the kitchen. In violation of house rules, I put Bailey and the blanket on the kitchen counter. With my right hand on Bailey to calm her and Dempsey still on my right leg, I leaned over and opened the refrigerator with my left hand to get out a carrot and peanut butter.

Next I put my right elbow on Bailey to keep her calm and used both hands to make a quick Kong treat for Dempsey. That done, I tossed it on the floor, and Dempsey finally let go of my pant leg to get the Kong. Free at last, I cut Bailey free and checked out her paw. Phew -- it was fine.

Dempsey was still happily occupied with his Kong, so I took Bailey back to the powder room, and started cleaning up the mess there. I had cleared the poop and the food and was scrubbing the floor when I heard a loud crash. Dashing out, I saw that Dempsey had knocked over the trash can, and was scarfing down the wet cat food I had tossed in there. I kicked the Kong over his way, but no dice -- forbidden cat food is always way better than peanut butter.

I picked up Dempsey to put in his kennel, but I had forgotten it was still filled with ice water. Bailey was heading toward the garbage strewn on the kitchen floor. With Dempsey in my left hand, I tried picking Bailey up in my right hand -- not the best idea, in retrospect. Since Dempsey moves a lot quicker than Bailey, I put Bailey back down and ran to the patio door. Again in violation of Helping Paws policy, I dropped Dempsey outside in the fenced yard, slid the door shut, and ran back to the kitchen to pick Bailey up. I tossed Bailey into the powder room and shut the door on her.

With Dempsey scratching at the door, begging me to let him back in, and the cat howling in the powder room, I quickly cleaned up the kennel. That done, I put Dempsey back in the kennel and locked him in. I cleaned up the garbage from the kitchen floor, and then let the crying cat out so I could finish cleaning the powder room. Whew!

Both Bailey and Dempsey are enjoying "time outs" now, and though it's before noon, I'm going to have a beer. It'll be the perfect look when the social worker shows up to take the animals away.


  1. Some days you just can't win. Thanks for the best laugh that I've had in a long time.

  2. Personally, I think they (the animals) plot these things. I'm glad it all finally worked out!