Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Madness of Mindy

My daughter, Jenna, has a favorite book called, “Bad, Bad Cat”.  In the story, the cat goes through a series of misbehaviors like eating the house plants and tearing up the sofa. But in the end, the family still loves their “good, bad cat.”

We don’t have a cat.  As Jenna correctly puts it, “Mommy doesn’t like cats, their poopy stinks real bad!” Instead, we have a dog, a Jack Russell-Italian Greyhound-Rat Terrier mix.  Her name is Mindy.  As stated in previous blog entries, our home is under construction to fix the mold/water infested bathroom.  We have had a great deal of comings and goings of plumbers, tile men, and demolition crew.  These workers have brought out new aspects of Mindy’s personality: relentless barker and fierce protector.

I was sitting on the couch burping Naomi, Jenna at my side watching Wiggles Big Red Car for the 7th time in three days.  Mindy was nestled under a blanket on the other couch opposite mine, snoring in her sleep.  The doorknob turned. Mindy leaped from her covers like a jaguar about to pounce, growing and ready. Sweet Ivan, a fix it all handyman, entered.   Mindy ran to his feet, “ARF! ARF,” followed him to the TV, “ARF! Arf, arf,” hopped on the back of the couch, and ran its length as Ivan made his way toward the bedrooms,” ARf! ArF! ARRRRFFFF! Ruff!” The door closed leaving Mindy standing there glowering after him.  She let off one final slow “Grrrrrrr!” Then jumped down to the seat of the couch and burrowed back under her blankly.  When Ivan had to get a drill he forgot from the truck, the whole thing started again only in reverse. “ARF! arf, ARf, ArF! ARRRRFFFFF! Ruff!” The front door closed, “Grrrrrrr!”

All morning long it was the same routine.  At around 10:40 a.m., I had had it! Naomi wasn’t able to nap because the dog kept waking her up.  At first, I put Mindy in the garage but it didn’t help because her whines and howls managed to find us in the back bedroom.  So I placed her on the porch. “Now be quiet!” I scolded her and then went to answer the phone.   While I was talking, Jenna started to squeal, “Eeewww! Yuck! Mindy just pooped and pee peed Mommy!”
“Hold on a sec,.. Jenna, I’ll clean it in a minute, Mommy is on the phone!”
Jenna: “Clean it now Mommmmmmy!” “It’s yucky!”
“Jenna, hush!”
“That’s all dirty Moooommmmyyyy!”  “You have to clean it NNOOOOWWWWW!!!!”
Frustrated I yanked the curtain closed to hide the sliding glass door to the porch. 
“There! You can’t see it anymore, now go play!!!”
This caused Jenna to morph into complete meltdown, hugging my leg, and crying hysterically, “Don’t close the curtain! I want to see the poopy!”
“That’s IT!!!” “Dad, I’ll have to call you back!”

I headed toward the kitchen to hang up the phone; Jenna was still dangling from my ankle, being dragged across the tile as I attempted to walk.  Naomi was squirming crankily in my arms and just as I was  about to cry myself, Travis the tile man, came around the corner, gave me a once over and smiled sweetly, “Do you have an outside outlet that I can plug my saw into?” Yes, Travis-I say to myself, I am in over my head!!!
I opened the garage door and called my mom.  At least the kids can nap at her house. I cleaned up the poop and pee on the porch and while doing so Mindy promptly tried to run through the screen we just repaired, ripping it.  Furious, I grabbed Mindy and tossed her into the fenced in area with the ducks. "If she poops, at least it will be in the grass."

After loading the girls in the car, I went to pull out of the driveway and noticed the city employees had decided to start work on our drainage ditch.  Mulling it over in my head on the minute and a half drive to my parent’s house, I realized it wasn’t such a great idea to leave the house unlocked.  What if Ivan or Travis left for lunch?  When I arrived at my mom’s, I brought the girls in, explained my new plan to leave Ivan a key, and then headed back home. 

Pulling onto my street, I noticed a small brown and white thing darting back and forth in the yard. It didn’t click until I got out of the car and stepped in a massive puddle that flooded over my shoes (I was standing in the ditch because the construction guys were blocking my driveway).  There was Mindy, happily, dashing back and forth chasing the men.  Somehow she escaped the duck fence.  I opened the front door to the house; tossed Mindy back inside, gave Ivan a spare key, and left.  Back at my parent’s house, sanity had been reinstated.  The girls quickly drifted off to sleep and I joined them.

We stayed at my mom’s until about 3:00.  When I got home I was surprised to see that all the men were gone. They finished for the day and left a note that they would be returning tomorrow. I opened the door and there’s Mindy.  A plastic Home Depot bag was caught around her collarless neck.  I couldn’t tell what was in it, but the lumpy portion dragging behind her was leaking white powder all over the floor as she happily dashed back and forth to greet me.  I surveyed the room and saw that this “powder” had been happily spread all over the house, on the floor, couches, my silk accent pillows-tiny white paw prints were everywhere.  I put Naomi’s carrier down and grabbed Mindy.  A quick look inside the bag and I realized that the dust covering my house was tile and drywall debris that one of the workers must have meant to throw away but accidentally left behind.   

That night Mindy was so tuckered out from all her fierce protecting and destruction of the day she was sound asleep and snoring even before the girls were. After retelling the day’s events to Mike, he commented on how we must be mad to have gotten another dog after the death of our Chihuahua.  I agreed that she had been a pain lately, especially today, but decided that our decision was a good one.  She may be a pain sometimes, but in the end, she was only trying to protect our family from the “evil” invaders.  The stress of having workers come and go all day is probably too much for her to handle and once all this work is over, she will settle down again. “Overall, Mindy is a good dog!” Mike agreed and we decided to have a small cup of coconut milk ice cream with our Netflix instant play movie. I headed to the kitchen and noticed my foot was wet so I flipped on the light…..there was Mindy pee all over the floor and I was standing in the middle of it. SIGH!!!!  That’s Mindy, our good, Bad Dog!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck, my dear! My tears of frustration feel like nothing against Mindy! Matteo started small temper tantrums to express his "mommy" withdrawals. My blog isn't as interesting or exciting as your, but should you miss the throes and uphill battles of teaching you can have a read about Design Technology.