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©February 2000

Carol Jane Remsburg




I Love My Mutt But . . .






I do, I do, I really do love my mutt, but sometimes she makes me crazy.  She did it to me again yesterday without even knowing how she did it.  To my chagrin, after my extended screaming fit she still hadn't a clue—other than knowing I'd totally lost my cookies for sure and hiding beneath the workbench, she stayed there until Hurricane Carol blew over.


It was a Monday evening.  Mondays are never good days for me yet it was a bonus day where I actually managed to escape work on time.  It seemed the only bright spot of my day.  I snatched up the child from the after-school program and drove home.  It was dinnertime and I strolled out to the garage where the big chest freezer resides and opened it up.


The light was out, the generator was not making it's normal whisper-hum sound, and all that frost inside the cavern wasn't there anymore.  This was an "Oh, shit" moment.  Apologizes for the vernacular, but that's exactly what it was and I knew what had happened in an instant.  It wasn't like this was the first time . . .


Did I mention the dog lives in the garage?  Well, she does.  It's surrounded with a huge fenced in area, but she gets a doggy-door into the garage, which is heated, constantly lit to scare away the bogyman, and has music tuned in to her favorites.  All in all, it's a comfy little palace for my canine.


It was just after Christmas when the initial episode happened.  Again, it had been just another day, a weekend day, a Sunday that I wandered out to that big chest freezer to view the wonders of its bounty and decide upon what the family would feast upon later that day.  The light was out and the hum of the machine silent.  The encrusted frost was there, but something was out of kilter.  The freezer was still cold as was all inside it.  I made my selection and hurried into the house to inform hubby.


Being the "helpless" sort of female that I occasionally will fall back into being, I nudged Don out of his recliner to inspect.  He inspected and noticed the extension plug for the freezer had become loosened to the extent that it was basically unplugged.  It was an easy fix, he plugged the thing back it.  The freezer began to hum again and all was well.  We figured it was an anomaly that the dog had performed by tossing about her food bowl and other heavy low-lying objects in a bid for attention.  This is something she's done this for years without that end result.


In that incident we suffered no losses to the packed freezer.  We had discovered it within six or less hours of when she'd "unplugged" the freezer.


However, about a month ago we suffered another incident.  This time it was a Monday.  Any worker of any job no matter big or small will tell you that Mondays are ugly.  Homecomings are supposed to be nice.  This particular one wasn't.  It had been an ugly day from sunrise to sunset.  Upon opening the freezer it simply got worse.  Turkeys, hams, steaks, beef roasts, pizzas, veges, and a huge array of ice cream and odd frozen treats lay there dead.  Also there were the things my mother-in-law had housed there.  About all that was saved were what my mother-in-law had stowed away.  I promptly put them in my kitchen freezer.  Melted ice cream is a nasty mess.


My little doggy had had a fit of sorts in a bid for attention.  She'd tossed about whatever was available to toss—heavy or light.  One of those objects had struck the plug—again.  The plug lay there like a poor cousin never truly connecting as it ought to.  Therefore the electric current wasn't connecting and providing that vital jolt to keep my precious horde frozen.  As a matter of fact, it was bloody cold outside but the freezer certainly had gotten warm.  Was there a heater in the house?  Sure seemed to have been turned on and turned up!


It hadn't quite evolved into a stinking ooze in the freezer, but it was nearly that.  I pitched, I tossed, and I hurled things about in order to locate what could and could not be saved.  Most wasn't.  One ham had to be cooked immediately which solved my dinner problem.  It just wasn't "my" ham.  I didn't care at that point.  After I tossed a few hundred pounds of decomposing meat, veges, and pizzas into triple-bagged trash bags, I hauled in what could be saved into my kitchen freezer which has very limited room.  Then, oh yes, then it was time to face the mess.  I had to slop up and scrub out the mess that was left.  It wasn't pretty.  I can tell you that the dog knew it wasn't pretty either.  I kept up a steady stream of dialogue with the dog who only understood the simple concept that "Mommy has totally lost it" and opted to relieve herself of the garage and off to a corner of the yard where my screams became muffled.


Days later I felt more myself.  My doggy had long since been forgiven.  More chicken and eggs were prepared for her along with leftover and other goodies.  This dog eats better than most people.


Meanwhile, I kept the freezer empty until I felt it was save again.  Hubby, Don, was to rearrange the electric connection to the freezer to safeguard another mishap—after two we should do what we can to prevent such a situation.


Sigh . . .


Don didn't and I didn't nag.  So shoot me.


I then began housing foodstuffs back into that big chest freezer.  I couldn't help myself.  It's a great big thing and simply yawns in want for me to fill it.  I'm an old-fashioned girl who must have that haven of food for protection.  I should have been skittish and was for nearly two weeks, checking and re-checking the freezer (even after Don didn't relocate the plug).  Then I relaxed—for all of two days.


Guess what?  I'm sure you can't, but you did anyway.


Yesterday I came home, after yet another day I wished to send to hell and discovered the doggy had done her thing—AGAIN!!


Did I tell you that I don't have patience?  Did I tell you that I can stomach being screamed at for only 8 hours?  Did I tell you that when I come home I expect a certain modicum of formality, of judicious meting out of cruelty?  If I didn't, you ought to have known because facing the melting of my freezer for a 3rd time within two months and the melting of 2 gallons of ice cream all over the meats I'd saved along with the others I'd stowed away died.  All of it died right there.  Yep, all of it.  Everything was 'warm.'  This means it was trash.  Add about $100 to the $300 I'd lost a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know about you but I am not cavalier about tossing such funds for foodstuffs out the door.  It wasn't anything I could even GIVE away.  It would cost me in trash bags to put it to the curb.


Now ask me.  Was I mad?  Was I so totally pissed off after such a horrible day that I wanted to take it out of some poor animal's hide?  Yes I was.  Did I?  Did you have to ask that question?  Is this not the dog I scramble eggs for every 3rd night?  No, I didn't take it out of her hide, although I think she'd prefer if I had.  I yelled and I screamed and I heaped horrors on that poor little dog.


Remember, I'm a "good" little person that wouldn't hurt my doggy.  She knew I would have somehow if pushed further.  I just don't know how further that was.  My baby hid beneath the workbench where her comfy bed lay and I slopped out the mess again.  Then I felt awful.  I knew she understood none of it and went back into the house and cooked her a nice dinner and came back with it and cuddled her.


I should be shoot—yelling at the dog.


Still, if I can't relocate the freezer plug and this happens again, I think I'm just going to opt out and leave.  I can't hurt the dog and I can't do this anymore.  Twice a year I can do, but not thrice within two months.  So it comes back to that I love my dog, but . . .


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