New Year Update

January 2012 update: Welcome to a new year and some new posts! I hope to reward my readers with regular updates now that the holidays are over. Keep reading and enjoy! Please leave a comment or two, if you feel inspired ;o)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Night was Dark and Stormy

    The other night I was left home alone, while my boyfriend was at a "slumber party". Who knew boys could have slumber parties, but there it is. Apparently they are much like girls' slumber parties in that they pig out on junk food and stay up late watching movies. Of course, no male gathering would be complete without the obligatory playing of video games and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

    My boyfriend had told me the previous night that he would be going to said slumber party, and left that morning at 7am for work. I had been gearing myself up all day for my night home alone. I spent the day at work laughing with the girls about the boys having a slumber party. None of us could get it through our heads that those existed. Or that grown men would ever admit to attending one. I was very excited to have the house to myself all night. It was a dreary day, and by the end of the work day all I could think about was going home, cooking dinner, putting the kettle on for a warm cup of tea, and relaxing with my feet up without interruptions. Not to mention having the bathroom to myself so I could shower at anytime I felt like, instead of having to rush in before the boyfriend to make sure I get first dibs at the warm water.

    Upon arriving home after work, I pull up to a dark house. I had a closing shift that day, and forgot to leave the porch light on in consideration of getting home in the dark that evening. That's alright, I've come home in the dark before. There's a street light at the end of our block which throws enough light you can see by. I walk in the door and immediately get bombarded by my Lhasa Apso. He can't stop jumping up and down and spinning in circles. I know that this is his way of communicating how much he has missed me throughout the day. That, or he just really has to pee. I head to the kitchen to let my other dog, a Cairn Terrier, out of his kennel, and let them both outside. While they're out, I start my kettle and my dinner cooking, I feed them, the cats, and the bunny, let the dogs back in, and pop in the shower. So much for not rushing to the shower right away.

    I try to let my evening alone sink in. I should mention that the sinking had started before the shower because I went to both the front and back door to check that the deadbolt and lock on the knob were locked before heading for the bathroom. Twice. Then I closed the hall door to discourage the bad guys in case they broke in through the deadbolt only to see the hall door closed. Surely at that point they would think, "The hall door is closed. Bugger! She's on to us. This is getting too complicated. Let's leave."

    I finish my shower, start the tea, dish up dinner, and plop down in front of the TV. I'm enjoying the silence. I don't have someone trying to chatter to me while my program is on. I'm enjoying having the couch to myself to stretch out on. It's getting later and soon I will have to go to bed, as I have work early the next morning. I start thinking about how I'll have the bed all to myself. Then I start thinking about how I've never spent the whole night alone in this house. On this side of town. The bad part of town. With the park next door, where I haven't ever seen them, but I'm sure drug dealers and murderous cretins congregate late at night. This house, where the very first night I spent here I was woken up by police lights flashing in my window and drunken shouting from across the street. This side of town where the news always mentions shootings while displaying their darling little map with the pin pointing to a  street conveniently located in my neighborhood. 

    To make my evening more ominous, it must be mentioned at this point, the boyfriend neglected to check in with me for an entire 38 hour period, which had me slightly worried. I don't mean to be his keeper, but we do live together and this was our first night apart in four years, aside from when I visit my parents out of state. I thought a quick drunken, "Hi! Things are great here. We're having fun kicking ass at video games. See you tomorrow!" would have been nice. But alas, I sit at home alone on the internet, and watching TV, without a single peep from my telephone. 

    As I barely pull myself together to drag myself to bed, I head to the back door to let my dogs out. Of course by now I'm convinced that every time I open the door I'm going to see a mad man lying in wait on the other side. And it doesn't matter if it's the back door or the front door. Even if I ran really fast between the two and opened them he would run around the house and be there too. 

    What I have failed to mention so far is that my Cairn Terrier is food aggressive. I can see where it looks as though I may be getting side tracked from my story, but bare with me. He is food aggressive and currently my dogs are going through a -"feed me feed me feed me! now I will sit here and stare at my food all night" - stage. So, the food aggressive terrier has not eaten a kernel of his food. What does a food aggressive dog do when there is food around? Why he guards it of course!

    If you get too close, or god forbid try to reach for him or his dish he WILL bite you. Hard. With puncture marks for a souvenir. We have discovered a trick to getting his food away from him when he's like this. We grab a blanket from off the couch, throw it over his head like a net, and grab the food dish away. Once the food dish is gone he's back to the happy-go-lucky if slightly neurotic terrier we all know and love. Unfortunately for us, he has learned our technique, studied it, and is currently attempting to find fault with it. When he first associated the blanket with us taking his food he would growl when we would come near him with it. More recently he has taken to growling and snapping as soon as we have grabbed it from the couch even though we are still 10 feet away.

   On this night, though, of all nights. The night when I am alone and expecting robbers, and murderers, and general drunken nuisances to bust through my door. This is the night when as soon as I grab the blanket I become a matador and he becomes an angry bull. As I call to him to go outside for "nighttime potties" he gets closer to his food dish and hovers his head over it. A sure sign he's in guard mode. I try to coax him away at first, but he just scoots closer (if this is even possible given his already close proximity). I approach him and he wrinkles his lip at me. I know what I have to do. I go to the couch and grab the blanket. He immediately starts barking and growling and charging in my general direction. As I approach him with the blanket he leaps two and a half feet in the air and flies into the blanket, teeth snapping, going for blood. My calm terrified little terrier has become the vicious attack dog from Hades! He doesn't even need the other two heads. He's frightening enough with just the one. 

    We play a frightful game of tug-o-war with the blanket, me all the while trying to keep the blanket strategically placed between my skin and his teeth. In the end I manage to cover him with it, and as he growls and writhes beneath it turning himself into the blanket monster from hell, I fumble to pull his food dish away before he finds his way out. Terrified and shaking, I pull the blanket away. As he starts to realize his food is no longer available to him, he starts to snap out of his insane rampage. I manage to get him and the other dog, who has been watching the proceedings with a weary eye, outside with him grumbling all the way out the door. 

    I flop down on the couch exhausted and shaking from my emotional trauma. As the fear of my own dog subsides, the fear of being alone returns and I am once more reminded that when I open the door for the dogs to come back in some serial killer on a rampage will be standing there waiting for me. I'm starting to fear for my dogs safety, being out there all alone in the dark, when the dogs bark to come back in. I check out the peep hole before opening the door. Of course this doesn't matter, as the serial killer is surely crouching over out of view of the peep hole. As the deck seems to be clear I open the door and the dogs come rushing back into the house, the terrier running straight to where his food was just to make sure it really has been taken away, and I start to turn off the lights. 

    By now I'm really wishing the boyfriend had called, so I could be sure he was staying out all night before I chain the doors, but he hasn't. We haven't chained the doors since our first month in this house over two years ago, but this night, all alone, I set the chains. I put the dogs in the bedroom, check on the cats and the bunny, and check the chains again. I get a glass of water, go to the bedroom, get into bed, get back out of bed, go to the front and back door and check the chains a third time. I crawl back into bed, arrange the pillows just so, and try to enjoy my big bed to myself for one night.


  1. I really think you forgot to check the chains on that one, though...


  2. I neglected to mention that when I let the dogs out throughout the night and in the morning, I forgot the chains were on and I nearly pulled them out of the wall every time. It would take me a minute to figure out why the door wouldn't open more than a couple inches.