Monday, February 18, 2008

The Skunk and later, Roxie

Sandy Huseman, Nancy Annan Wagoner and I went to Shenandoah to the movies Saturday night. "Fool's Gold" was an escape to the Bahamas. Just before I dropped off Sandy I hit a skunk which was waddling right down the middle of the street. I made the decision that if I just drove straight ahead, it would stop and drop. Unfortunately it ran left....thud. When Sandy got out of my car, she started gagging from the stench. (I sure dreaded parking in my garage, but on my way home I drove into as many piles of snow along the road as I could...and it diluted the "residue".)

Meanwhile Nancy called me on my way home. Our friend Lois Annan Blume had gone to Des Moines and her friend, Starr was to walk Lois' dog, Roxie. Due to the weather Starr was unable to get home from Council Bluffs. Nancy and I were now dog walkers. Roxie is a lovely older golden retriever. Usually Lois just opens the door and Roxie goes out and then comes back in. However, Nancy opened the door and Roxie went out, stood a minute and immediately came back in and was unwilling to "do her business". Roxie hid under the table wagging her tail and growling and barking if we tried to get near her. So we called Lois, put the phone on speaker and for the next 10 minutes she repeated, "Outdoors, Roxie. Roxie, outdoors!" The cat was especially enamored with the phone laying on the chair next to her, and Roxie listened, but that was where it all ended.

Eventually I felt one less stranger in the house would reduce Roxie's anxiety so I went out and sat in my car. Nancy opened the door and came outside and called good. Then Nancy went inside and just left the door open. Of course, the cat tried to get out. Then finally Roxie came out and ....yep, you guessed it....she didin't want to come back in. I wandered up and down the street calling "Roxie" while Nancy opened the front door. too. Eventually we called Lois back and her husband, Gary (on the speakerphone) loudly called "Roxie, inside" and "inside, Roxie" a number of times. (Did I mention all this was happening around midnight?) All of a sudden Roxis ran in the front door through the house and yep, out the back door....hmmmm. We heard her bark in the back yard so I walked around the house which prompted her to whine and then run in the back door. Nancy had stomped through the house muttering and closed the front, wa la...."mission accomplished" for the time being.

I volunteered to let Roxie out at 9 a.m. the next morning. This time I never even saw Roxie, but I heard her growling when I walked into the dining room and stopped at the bottom of the stairs. I thought if I tried to go upstairs, she would feel threatened and bark and scare me. It was a win-win not to go upstairs. So I sat on the couch and read. Every minute or two over the next 45 minutes I talked to her. "Roxie, I promise I will leave just as soon as you go outside and go to the bathroom." "Roxie, I'm still here." " Come on down and I promise to leave when you come in." Oh well, I gave up and left.

Around noon Nancy called and asked me to meet her back at Lois' and try again. When I pulled in the driveway behind Lois' car, I knew Roxie was finally happy. Of course, when I came in she walked right up to me and let me pet her and she crawled up on the couch by Nancy. And last but not least, I am sure the neighbors are glad we won't be yelling outside at midnight any more.

Hope you'e had a lot of laughs lately, too!