It wasn't 100 percent my fault. I blame the wind. And the tree whose branch fell as a result of the wind. And I blame the iron gate around my house, because if I didn't have a gate it wouldn't have mattered that the branch fell right in front of the entrance to the gate making it impossible to go in and out without using the driveway. But that still doesn't explain why I pushed the two dirty beasts out. I blame them for that.
I blame them because they are really, really, really annoying to walk.
A few months ago we tried addressing this problem by hiring a trainer. Picture the Dalai Lama carrying dog treats. Or Cesar Milan high on the best weed possible. That's who came to our house.
My husband, sons, and I listened quietly nodding our heads as Cesar Milama spoke in dulcet tones about the importance of having the right energy. "If you have the right energy," he declared, "the dogs will have the right energy." This went on for about 35 minutes, him whispering, us nodding, and the dogs jumping. On everything. They jumped on the couch (which was somehow my energy's fault). They jumped on the trainer. (Somehow still my fault.) And they even jumped on each other, with Daisy our large female dog deciding to hump our much smaller male dog Puppy. (I adamantly refused to take responsibility for that one!)
After much jumping and some humping, the dogs finally calmed down. "See," the trainer whispered, "they are responding." We just nodded our heads as the dogs fell asleep, exhausted. The trainer sat back in his chair, satisfied, putting his fingers together in that triangle way that only people with the right energy seem to do.
After a few minutes of watching the dogs sleep and the trainer take some deep breaths I decided to get down to the business of why we hired him in the first place.
"Um, are we going to take them for a walk?" I asked. I barely got the "wa" out before the dogs popped their eyes open and began their frenetic, frenzied "'we're going for a walk" dance. This, in turn, became 20 minutes of us staring at the front door until the trainer decided the dogs were calm enough. Definitely my fault.
With just a few minutes left in our lesson, we finally headed outside. We watched as the trainer tried to walk our dogs as they pulled toward people, other dogs, squirrels, you name it.
I'm not sure if it was the time crunch, or if it's because the trainer had finally met his match, but after one turn around the block all his zenness went right out the window as he impatiently grabbed some medieval-looking head halters from his bag. We watched horrified as he strained and struggled to put the Hanibal Lector-like masks on our very resistant dogs. With the dogs snarling and pulling, our sons on the verge of tears, and the trainer covered in sweat, we completed our "walk" back to the house.
As we said our goodbyes, I nodded my head and handed over a sizeable check for the lesson and two face leashes. Then as the trainer pulled away in his Prius, we all said -- out loud with non-nodding heads -- that we are never, ever walking the beasts again and instead will leave them in the front yard to chase after all the people, dogs, and squirrels they want.
Which brings us to how they ran away. With my help.
Because of the aforementioned high winds and tree branch and blocked entrance, I came home yesterday through the driveway gate. Completely forgetting the interminable amount of time that it takes our driveway to close, I beckoned the dogs out front for their "walk". Except Daisy wouldn't budge. So, at the risk of my poor dog thinking I was humping her, I stood behind her and with all my might pushed her rear end until she was on the stoop. As Puppy glared at me jealously for moving in on his action, I shut the front door.
Pretty much as soon as I heard the click of the lock, I realized something was off though I couldn't quite place my finger on it. It's like when you throw your keys in the garbage while still holding the dirty tissue you meant to throw out. It takes a second, but then you have that "wait a minute" moment. Except, by the time I had my "wait a minute" moment about the driveway gate, Puppy and Daisy were gone.
Thankfully there is a happy ending to this story. The LA winds have died down, and the gardeners have cleared the tree branches. Most importantly, after much yelling and pleading and wrangling, the beasts are back home in the front barking at anything that passes, while I sit here shaking my head wondering how to change my energy.