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Has it only been 24 hours?

Went to bed at about 9 o’clock last night. It was one of those “I don’t really remember going to bed” kind of nights. It’s been a heck of a week.

Got woken up around 11 when the lights got flipped on and my wife was yelling something about a tornado warning.

Years of being woken up with no notice by screeching sergeants, privates who have done something stupid, crying babies, and alarms telling me the baby isn’t breathing kicked in, as did my adrenal gland.

A quick reference of the weather map on the Pad of Many Eyes showed that a tornado warning was,indeed, in effect. One detail my loving wife did not include was that said storm was two, count them, two counties away and would not even ruffle the cover on her pool for at least an hour.

Since I was up anyway, I rolled out of bed and ventured out into the living room. I heard the sound of my youngest son running up the basement steps. Further inspection showed that he had already taken a load or two of his favorite things to the basement.

This category, apparently, did not include his school books, nor did it include any of his clothes. There was a small pile of electronic doodads and books in front of the couch. A quick inspection of said sprog showed him to be clothed in an old tee shirt and a pair of boxer shorts.

A short conversation later, which ended with me utilizing the Big Voice, had him going to his bedroom to change into pants and to retrieve his school things. Another short conversation later convinced him that I meant jeans or something like that. Planning for worst case scenarios did not include him surviving the tornadopocalypse wearing Scooby Doo sleep pants.

I changed my own clothes and then made sure that the emergency radio had batteries and that the basement television was tuned to our favorite local news channel. Said channel had gone over to breathless explanations of where the storm was and where it would be in the next few minutes.

A couple minutes of listening to that led me to a couple of conclusions –

1. We still had at least 30 minutes before the still air outside would start to stir.

2. While there were indeed some rather stiff straight line winds headed our way, there was little data to support the reports of a tornado, and no evidence whatsoever that anything, tornado, alien rocket ship, or errant wide body jet, had touched down.

Since my lady love survived one of those rare moments where the Lord cared enough about Kentucky to reach down and smite it in her youth, I humored her by making a cup of Berry Zinger tea, transporting a few things of importance to the basement, then resting on the couch and sipping tea while watching the security camera over her pool to see when the breeze picked up.

And pick up it did. After about 20 minutes, rain started to patter down, then started to patter sideways. It did this for about 10 minutes, then it fell vertically, the way it ought to.

Eventually, I found myself alone in the basement, as the rest of the family had gone back to bed.

I fell back to sleep, secure in the knowledge that I will never perish from the weather while unconscious. Irish Woman really should have been a meteorologist, but she would have based her prognostication upon how her bones felt, the level of panic rising up her spine, and what the bones say when thrown properly.

Anyway, woke up late this morning just a tad on the grouchy side. For some reason, coffee just didn’t sound good, so I abstained. Instead, I made another cup of herbal tea.

That may have been a mistake.

Irish Woman, being a charter member of Our Lady of Eternal Home Improvement, was moving everything in the laundry room so that she could hang yet another rank of cabinets. You see, the only limiting factor I hold when it comes to controlling the amount of stuff we own is storage. She had the brilliant idea to add 150% to the carrying capacity of our laundry room, thereby making room for more stuff.

Did I mention that I didn’t have coffee this morning? Just as the little caffeine gnome in my cerebellum started pounding on the walls of my cranium, my wife started banging on the walls of my house.

Just at that moment, I noticed that Moonshine, our Labrador Retriever, was leaving a rather dense cloud of fibrous material behind him as he walked across the living room. It’s spring, when a dog’s soul is full of warmth, sunshine, and mud, while his coat is gone with the wind.

So, after finishing my tea, I bundled Moonshine into the truck, and trundled the two of us off to the pet store for a bath. Yes, I have a bathtub, but this isn’t my first rodeo. I would rather pay to use someone else’s tub than spend weeks fishing clumps of fur out of my plumbing.

After parting with $12 of my hard earned money in exchange for a receipt and four towels, I took the hound into the Chamber of Wet Dog Hair. Said chamber is basically a fenced in concrete block shower stall with gallon bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Being a water dog, Moonshine detests baths. Not “I’ll put up with this, but will shake.” It’s more of a “I will do everything in my power to avoid this, and will actively try to drown you while it’s in progress.” The pet store provides a nylon apron, but they really ought to provide bunker gear. I was going to get at least as wet as he was.

I thought about this as I placed my phones and wallet upon the table usually used to groom dogs that aren’t the size of small ponies. I then remembered that it was 30 degrees cooler outside than it had been yesterday and looked forward to getting from the door to the truck.

Moonshine was as cooperative as ever as I led him into the shower and connected his leash to an eye bolt embedded in the concrete. This had the same effect on my dog as a cowboy opening the gate does on a bull in a rodeo. I am glad to report that I was able to hold one for more than the prescribed seven seconds, during which I sprayed him, me, the shower, the ceiling, him again, then my own boots just for style points.

Hair started to come off of him immediately. First, it fell off in bits, then in clumps. The soapy scrubbing and scratching included in a bath caused my hands to resemble those of Lon Cheney, Jr., during a full moon. Eventually, a soapy felt built up on the shower floor, which did nothing to improve the acoustics.

Did I mention that that Moonshine doesn’t like baths? All this work was accompanied by him singing the aria from The Exorcist, which was noticed by the nice family using the stall next to us to groom their small, poofy, well behaved pooch.

After a thorough rinse, which was punctuated by several fits of shaking that got the very last dry bit of me wet, it was time to towel my canine off and attempt to use the blow dryer. As much fun as the bath was, using the hair dryer was an adventure all by itself.

10 minutes of kung fu and canine opera later, he was dry enough he wasn’t dripping anymore. I declared victory and prepared to go home.

I quickly raked up the fur that I could get to, rinsed everything off, and plunked down $10 for the poor kid who was going to have to clean all this up, and off we went. Negotiations for a treat started immediately, as the bulk containers of biscuits were just a few feet outside the bath area. I ended up giving the store an extra $5 to recompense them for what Moonshine was able to slurp down before I dragged his head out of one of the bins.

Why are things like that left at dog head level in the first place.

I was shivering by the time I had the hound strapped down in the truck and scooted around to my own door. After a round of ‘you’re cute, but not cute enough to lock me out of my own truck”, I re-unlocked the driver’s door and turned on the heater.

Moonshine continued to sing the song of his people as I headed out to the highway. Seeing that the Commonwealth has decided to rip up the interstate, again, I decided to take country roads back to Casa de Oso.

Did y’all know that if you take a wrong turn on Kentucky back roads, it’s hard to realize your mistake for at least 15 miles? I mean, every curve looks like every other curve, and the next thing you know, you’re crossing the Ohio river.

So, there I was, 30 miles from home and getting further away with every moment. The hound was singing along to the latest Dan Carlin podcast and dropping an excessive amount of fuzz on my upholstery. There wasn’t a drive-through coffee in any of the itty bitty places we passed through, so I couldn’t even slake my thirst with a little hot bean juice.

I realized my navigational mistake when I came to a T intersection. The helpful sign, or what I could make out of it after mentally filling in all of the bullet holes, was that if I went left, I was going to Cincinnati. If I went right, I was going to Lexington.

Not being entirely gormless, I chose to stay in Kentucky and took a right. After another half hour of driving over hill and dale, I eventually found a road I recognized. 45 minutes later, we returned to our neighborhood, which allowed Moonshine to vocally greet every other canine that he recognized.

After walking through the rain to bring Moonie inside, I got my own shower, changed into comfortable clothes, and tried to remember how I, a cat person, ended up being the one to take the dog for a shower.

I eyed the coffee maker longingly, but decided against using it. Irish Woman returned home with lunch, and I partook of it at 2:57 PM.

With a warm belly full of Thai food and no caffeine, I started feeling rather droopy. It was at that moment that I got a reminder that I have to work tonight at 1 AM, so off for a ‘short nap’ I went.

Four and a half hours later, I awoke to the intoxicating scent of Italian sausages cooking with onions and peppers. Dinner conversation was boiled down to ‘Did you sleep well?” answered by grunts.

So, now I’m comfortably full, yawning, and doing math on how much more sleep I can get before having to get up in the middle of the night to work.

How was your day?

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  1. Oh. I had not contemplated spring and fall shed when I thought about getting my husband a nice senior lab. With his balance and lack of ease at bending, I, the cat person, would indeed be repeating your trip twice a year. Um.

    I shall have to think on this. Hrrmmmm.


    • It’s really not that big a deal. If the weather had been nice today, he would have gotten a bath using the garden hose on the deck, and it would have taken 15 minutes from beginning to end. He gets a bath every month, he just hates it. Derby used to love to get a bath, and so did Shadow. It just depends on the dog.


  2. Old NFO

     /  March 20, 2022

    LOL, brings back memories of Rex- 120lb GSD that LOVED water, except at bath time… sigh…


  3. mrgarabaldi

     /  March 20, 2022

    Hey DB;

    Ahhh the memories…My Lab D.O.G pronounced “DeeYooGee” gets a bath at one of those places about once a month and they charge $10 a month, and they provide towels and anti itch soap, so after I give me and the Lab a bath, he gets the flea shampoo and there is nothing more pitiful than the eyes of a lab as he gazes soulfully at you as you wash the hair…Did I say excess hair off his fuzzy carcass?……The adventures….and of course the scarfing of treats on the way to the register I also have to pay for….he has it figured out.


  4. Other half washes the Scotty. Then when she’s dry, giving her a haircut is a two person job: one to hold and maneuver the dog, and the other to use the trimmers. Her first haircut every year removes enough hair to make a new dog.


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