Friday, March 8, 2013

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Today was a day full of waiting around.  The other day, I realized that my front porch had a constant wet spot that I originally had thought was from snow blowing onto it, but then the snow was gone and the sidewalks were all dry and my porch was still wet.  Then it started to get bigger.  Then on Wednesday night, I noticed that it wasn't just wet, there was a puddle I could splash in.  So, I came to the conclusion that the water pipe that goes to the outside spigot my neighbors and I share must have burst.  (This happened before I moved in a few years ago and my front outside closet had gotten gross and moldy and I couldn't put things in it until the maintenance guy could replace the drywall.)

I told the apartment manager yesterday and she called last night to tell me someone would be coming to fix it today.  She wasn't sure if they needed in my apartment or not, so I told her I could be home all day.  Then I found out that it was going to be sunny and almost 40 today and I was sad that I committed myself to a day of sitting and waiting instead of a day of adventuring with my dog.  But, I was hopefully that they'd show up early in the day and we could at least run up to the State Park for a walk by the lake.

The sun made an appearance this week. Sothy loves it.
At 7:20 a.m., I was wide awake, so I got up, threw on jeans, and started getting water together for the day in case they turned off the water for the whole apartment.  I filled the coffee pot so it would be ready when I was ready for coffee, I filled the pets' dishes, I washed a few dishes, I made sure the Brita pitcher was full.  By 8:30, there was no sign of the plumbers.  

So, I started to clear out the front closet and got rid of the big boxes I'd been saving in case I ever got around to finding an actual house to rent since they were all damp.  I pulled out the bag of potting soil and the empty plastic storage bins I keep in there.  Still no plumbers.  

At noon, I had caught up on the tv shows that were available online and was ready for a nap.  I slept on the couch so I'd be sure to hear a knock on the door (not that Barley wouldn't have alerted me if I had curled up in bed).  
Patiently waiting for an adventure
By 4:00, I had cleaned, napped, eaten lunch, done some work, and still no plumbers.  At one point, I had seen our maintenance guy walk up, look in the closet, leave, and come back with two other guys and then leave again--but they never knocked and they didn't stay long enough to do anything.  The sun was shining and I was not going to waste all of it on waiting for the plumbers, so I left a note on the front door to let them know I was walking the dog and to call if they needed in the apartment (my landlady said she was putting my number on the maintenance request). 

Our walk started out wonderfully.  Two little boys were climbing up one of the big snow piles left by the plows that hasn't melted yet and they love Barley, so they asked if they could come pet her (yay for responsible parents teaching their kids to be responsible around dogs!).  I had Bar sit and they came up and pet her really gently and she got lots of treats from me. Then we walked down a street where there were two barking dogs on each side of the street, so we had to walk by four barking dogs at once--and Barley only looked to me for treats reassurance a couple times.  She hardly even turned her head to look at them.

So, since it was sunny, we added another mile to our walk.  There was a teenager who was possibly high or drunk (or just a really really bad walker) walking down the other side of the street in our direction and Barley was definitely interested in him.  Her ears were perked and she started walking really slowly and she doesn't this weird thing where she just kind of gruffs/puffs out her lips without really making any noise when she's confused about something.  As the kid got closer, she just stopped in the middle of her tracks and wouldn't walk again until he was past us.  It was really weird--she did that on the same street a couple weeks ago when a truck that isn't usually there was parked in someone's driveway.  Who knows what goes through her head?

She was still feeling energetic by the time it was time to decide whether to go straight and go home or turn and add on one more mile, so I decided we could walk a little farther.

Once again, we had dogs on all sides of the road barking.  Barley was still doing great, but I decided not to push her too far, so instead of walking back down that road to get home I decided to take the little side road that nobody but us is ever on to get home.  

The road is relatively short with just a couple houses and then most of the sidewalk goes alongside a church parking lot and we walk down that road daily in the winter because it's a one-way street, so there's not a lot of traffic and when the sidewalks are icy we can walk in the street instead.    When we got to the middle of the road/beginning of the parking lot, I heard a man yelling "Get back in the yard" and at the end of the road we were walking towards.  At the same time, a car was starting to turn onto the street, so I decided our best choice would be just to stop and sit.  I didn't want to turn around and turn my back on the dog in case it was planning to chase us since that would take it farther away from the guy who was yelling at it.  I didn't want to keep walking closer to the dog, either, though.  So, I thought maybe if we just stopped and Barley sat then the dog would decided to go back to it's yard.  Instead, it ran in front of the car (which thank God stopped just in time) and then stood there not moving.  But instead of running to grab it, the guy continued to just yell "Get back here!"  Then the dog decided to charge at us.

At first, Barley was really good.  She stayed sitting while the dog sniffed her tail.  But when the dog put it's face in her face, she growled (and I can't blame her--our agility trainer passed on this article by Suzanne Clothier, which has helped me realize that Barley is allowed to growl and tell another dog to get out of her space as long as she doesn't take it farther than a warning).  When Barley growled, the other dog started circling us and darting in towards Barley and barking and growling.  Then Barley lost control and was writhing at the end of her leash and trying desperately to get away from me and on top of the other dog.  Eventually, the owner caught up to the dog, but the dog wasn't wearing a collar, so it kept slipping away from him and back towards Barley every time.  Finally, the dog's owner got between Barley and the other dog which distracted the other dog long enough that Barley and I hightailed it out of there.  When we got to the end of the street, I looked over my shoulder and the guy was sitting in the parking lot with his arms around the dog, so we kept walking as fast as we could back towards our apartment.  When we got to our street, we could see the guy through the clearing between two houses on our street and he'd let the dog go again!  So our 4-mile walk started out really lovely but ended up with far more excitement than I ever want to have in my life. 

*Soth Update* My baby boy seems to be having another endless bout of FLUTD, so I guess it's a good thing we're scheduled to see the vet on Wednesday for shots.  At the very least, he needs some pain medicine, but maybe it's time to think about scheduling the ultrasound . . . 


  1. I love the the kids around here mostly ask to pet Maddux, too! I just wish that they would not decide to start running right when they get near him because he does NOT care for that. Overall though, we have really nice kids in our complex.

    Sorry you waited around all day! I'm glad you got to sneak off for a walk though. Too bad the guy couldn't control his dog. We had a dog attack us on a walk once and I yelled at the little girl and told her to keep her dog on a leash for everybody's safety. I probably could have been nicer, but I was so upset that her dog had gone after my dog that I couldn't help it, BUT I haven't ever seen that dog off leash again! :)

    I think it's funny that Bar stopped around that one guy. Maddux does that, too, but he usually does it obviously enough that the other person notices and it gets really awkward. Oh well.

    Hope my Bunny feels better!!

    1. I don't think that boy would have noticed Barley stopping and staring at him if he had tripped over her. He was definitely a few fries short of a happy meal, and Barley definitely didn't think he belonged in her neighborhood. Bunny has been tearing around this house this morning, so I think he's probably feeling ok despite being gross.