Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Siege

It's summer, the lovely weather, the long days, the evenings spent in the backyard enjoying the deck with a glass of wine and quiet conversation.  The sounds of summer drifting in the wide open windows, the chirp of birds, the children's laughter, the INCESSANT BARKING of the dog next door.
Don't get me wrong, I like dogs.  I am not a dog person, we don't have a dog, but I generally like them.  I am not terribly bothered by a slobbery greeting from a dog, I will pet and play and sit on the floor to give tummy rubs, I like dogs just fine.  I have developed a burning, healthy hate for all the dogs that live adjacent to me.  Imagine:  A Chihuahua to the south that is tied out at the farthest end of the yard to tangle helplessly in the unused swingset to bark for hours at a time, usually starting at about 6am.  Did you know that dogs do not lose their voices from shouting like we humans do?  True story.  I have no respect for dogs that bounce when they bark, it's not normal. Next we have the two large dogs of undefined origin to the east, across the street.  The allotted time for them to lose their minds and bark like lunatics is approximately 11pm until I call the cops.  My bedroom faces east.  It's like having a pair of car alarms going off in unison...all night.  Finally, we have the latest addition to the canine chorus from hell, the black Lab puppy to the north.  This one takes the day shift, the ALL day shift.  The record being a nearly twelve hour barkfest one Sunday.
It was supposed to be something like heaven, I had looked forward to this day for ages.  My beloved and the youngest son were going to be gone all day for gun safety field day, eldest son was working all day and I was going to have the house to myself.  My dreams included sitting in the sunshine out on the deck, reading to my heart's content; perhaps a nap on the couch with a breeze wafting in from the open sliding door, I was even planning a bit of basking in a sunbeam with the cats.

Alas, none of these moments came to pass.

  10:30am: I  bring my glass of orange juice and my book out to the deck, the late morning warming slowly and the breeze just enough to keep the bugs away.  I sigh happily and open the book I've been trying for weeks to find the time to read.  Four pages in, it begins.  The puppy mama decides to leave for a while, tying the dog up in the backyard with a scant amount of food and water and leaving with a cheery wave. The dog starts barking as soon as she pivots to walk away.

11:15am: Less than a chapter read, fly has drowned in my orange juice, getting one of those headaches that surely indicate an impending tumor.  I give up the idea of reading on the deck and head inside. Start some laundry, empty the dishwasher, clean out the fridge and take a shower.

12:30pm:  Make a nice lunch (chicken pasta salad, croissant and lemonade) and optimistically head to the deck to enjoy my girly meal and the sunshine.  Immediately about face and eat in the dining room instead.  Dog has logged 2 straight hours of barking.

1:15pm: Lunch and magazine finished, laundry loads switched, dog can't POSSIBLY still be barking after this long.  Open sliding door to do some reconnaissance, OMG, it's quiet!!!  Grab book and water bottle and prepare to...SHIT!  Sound of chair moving has roused the alarm instinct of puppy and it begins a new frenzy of yaps, growls and barking.  And now the Chihuahua has decided its role as "companion" animal dictates a moral imperative to join in.  I duck back into the house before the rest of the Greek chorus can join in. Now I'm all crabby.

1:35pm: Screw this, I'm taking a nap.

1:40pm: Shut door and windows in the family room in an attempt for some quiet.

1:44pm:  Turn on stereo to drown out residual noise.

1:48pm: I hate this song.

1:52pm: LOVE this song!

1:59pm: I'm not sleeping yet.

2:03pm: I'm bored.

2:04pm: Still bored.  Nap's not happening. Still crabby...crabbier yet .Walk over, give damn dog water.

2:10pm: Try to watch bad movie on Sci-Fi channel.

2:15pm: It hot in here, open window.  Listen for dread canine sounds...there it is. Close window, turn on fan.

4:00pm: Movie done (MegaGator vs Sharkasaurus), dog has GOT to be in exhaustion induced coma by now.  Slowly and quietly open sliding door, I press my ear to the small opening and listen...nothing!  Gather the remnants of my afternoon plan, find the iPod and stealthily make my way to my chair, the dream is still intact.  I put the earbuds in and select a favorite album, open my book, hit play...damn, only one bud works.  No matter, it's nice and peaceful.  Happysigh!

4:07pm:  ACHOO!

4:07:03pm: BARKBARKVARKBARKBARKBARKBARK! (repeat X googol)

4:08pm: Scowl, stomp, mutter, slam door.  It's definitely a tumor.

4:19pm: Mutter, swear, curse, threaten violence, scowl, mutter some more.

4:30pm: Beloved and youngest return home, they had a great day...jerks.  Beloved asks why I'm sitting here with all the doors and windows shut.  Opens them.  Shuts them immediately from look on my face. 6 hours logged, two small breaks.

4:40pm: Relay events of the day to my beloved, wait for sympathy and commiseration.  He starts to laugh.

4:42pm: Beloved looking for icepack, I'm still crabby.

5:30pm: Eldest home from work.  Relay events, stop when he starts to laugh.

5:33pm: Eldest takes ice pack from his father. Youngest wisely refrains from adding anything to discussion.

7:00pm: Dinner eaten, dishes done, family heads to backyard to burn stuff in firepit.  Dog begins to bark hysterically, I have another glass of wine.

8:30pm: Stuff burned, dog still hysterical, there is not enough wine in the house. Time logged: 10 hours.

9:15pm: Puppy mama finally returns home, dog brought in the house.

11:30pm: I've had it.  Going to bed, tumor is going to explode soon.

11:42pm:  What's that noise?

Oh yeah, forgot about them.

Monday evening: Puppy left outside while they're gone again.  They positioned their new, expensive, large inflatable pool too close to the tie-out.  Puppy has decided pool is an enemy invader and reacts accordingly.  Beloved and I debate rescue of pool and decide against it.  Puppy:1   Pool: Eaten   Me: Mwahahahaha!