This is happening right now

I settle into my chair under the stars and suddenly Elvis is barking incessantly at something.

He’ll bark at the neighbor dogs occasionally but I’ve never heard him do this nonstop, rhythmic, “barkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbarkbark…”

I call him and he doesn’t even pause.

Okay, obviously there is an animal over there that my dog is antagonizing.

Fuck.

I have to run inside, grab my phone, slip my flippies on, and run across the yard to see if I am about to be eaten.

Of course, I was worried about Elvis too.

I’m thinking, “Is this going to be my cougar encounter that I’ve been dreaming of (or dreading)?”

And then, the meager light from my phone reflects off of two white stripes in the darkness.

My brain works faster than I ever thought possible: skunk, dog, has he been sprayed already, I don’t smell it, hunh my foot hurts, skunk between me and elvis, do not, I repeat, do not want to get sprayed tonight, I cannot smell like skunk, fuck, I can’t go to work, so many skunkings, remember tessa when she rubbed against you, whatever you do, don’t let him touch you.

I start calling Elvis, with a sense of urgency in my voice which cripples him into submission, on his back, with a hard-on.

At the skunk’s feet.

The skunk turns around and Elvis cowers then finally comes running just as that tail lifts high in the air.

I wanted him to hurry but I wasn’t about to pick him up. I still couldn’t tell if he’d already been sprayed or not.

We tear up to the door and Elvis is a nervous wreck and I make him lie down so I can sniff him, which freaks him out even more.

Then I let him inside.

He’s so wound up from all the excitement that he runs laps around the couch for a solid 3 minutes.

And I think, “Ouch, my foot hurts.”

And I look down and the damn thing’s blowing up like a balloon and turning black and blue before my eyes, and there is a lot of point tenderness, and…

I don’t have a fucking clue what happened.

Not one bit.

There was a moment facing off with the skunk that I noticed it hurt but I wasn’t aware of anything that I had just done, but I so crazed about the beast that maybe I just don’t remember.

I can’t figure it out. It has changed shape over the last hour – it’s gone from an overall swelling to a rising mountain of swole right by the raven.

(please know that I know that “swole” in only a word if you’re 16 in hillbillyland.)

It’s got a solid 2 inch diameter – you’d think I’d have some idea of what happened, but I really don’t. It’s all a big skunky blur.

All I remember was the sight of those two white lines.

Vacation?

The boys and I are headed to Florida in a couple of days – for a couple of days.

It started with “I need to get back to Florida.”

Then, “I really need to get the boys to Florida.”

Then, trying to find dates that work for all three work schedules, which included contacting one boss and working out a schedule with him while the child was on the river.

Then, the next one, trying to figure out schedule and getting permission from the parole officer to leave the state.

Because that’s our new normal.

Then, trying to schedule a trip over a weekend so that someone doesn’t have to cover me for a full work week. But that didn’t happen.

Flights?

$2300 to go to Florida for 5 days.

Plus a rental car.

Then I had to find a house sitter – someone with whom Elvis will bond not bite.

All of that taken care of and suddenly I realize…

I’m going on vacation with my children.

Holy shit, it’s been years.

It’s also been eons since I’ve gone to see my folks when no one is in the hospital.

Vacation.

VACATION.

Granted, August in Florida might sound a little torturous, but it’s the beach and the ocean and snorkeling and my mommy and daddy and my amazing boys, and their birthdays, and dune grass and palm trees and sea glass and chocolate milkshakes.

And no smoke.

After all of that squeezing in and finagling and coordinating I get to sit still, do something fun, relax, read a book, and hang out with my favorite people in the whole world.

Yay Florida in August.

 

alone

I blew off paddle boarding with friends today to instead go alone with my dog.

I had to force myself to go to the coffee shop to have some human interaction before I hole up for the rest of the weekend.

I did not bring my dog because he didn’t want to sit in the hot car.

I keep looking for him.

I spoke to him in the car.

He was at home.

He loves to paddle board. He willingly hops on and is good for at least an hour before he needs to stretch his legs. Sometimes he sits at the helm, others, he scouts behind us for attacking sharks.

He loves to watch birds.

He’s afraid of buoys. I found this out recently when I got close to one and heard a sudden splash behind me. I have no idea if he backed off accidentally or jumped off to swim away, but either way, he ended up in over his head out of utter terror.

With entertainment like that, who needs friends?

 

Yep, my dog is THAT dog

My next door neighbors have two female black labs who Elvis crushes on big time.

If there is any sign of life next door, he races over, impossible to detain, deter, or dissuade, hoping that he’ll get to see the girls – even if only for a moment.

Said neighbors are getting married this weekend and they have family in town which equates to lots of activity over there and lots of “Elvis, get back here.”

It’s already embarrassing, but tonight…

There’s a man outside, Elvis’ substantial ears perk up and he’s running before I can even open my mouth. So I hurry over, yelling, “I’m so sorry.”

I’m far enough behind to be useless if he tries to eat someone, but close enough to see him run up to the wine casket and pee on it.

“I’m really so sorry. My name is Sally. I’m the neighbor with the wretched dog.”

Then I call the dog and attempt a graceful and hasty retreat.

I look over my shoulder at the father of the bride to say a quick toodleloo and watch my dog vomit all over their patio.

shitdamn

fuck