My right hip was screaming. No, I wasn't in pain. I was not hallucinating. The headset to my cell phone had come unplugged while I was at the store. The last thirty? forty? minutes had been devoted to a very animated conversation with Livy while wondering why she had suddenly gotten so faint.
When I got to the car, my right hip demanded in angry, tinny tones that I plug myself BACK! IN!. Then it called me a doink. That was when I realized that I had been engrossed in shopping, muttering and gossiping to Livy while people were probably seeing my headset swinging free of my phone and thinking I was a loon. Well, then. At least I possibly kept a few people entertained for the morning.
Actually, Fate's little gift of dorkdom doesn't stop there. Kevin is still smarting from his last adventure with O'Neill (aka TardDawg, O-Dawg, Snoot, The Tard and a host of other names.) I'll tell him about this and we'll have a laugh and he'll feel better about what happened last week.
You see, he was watching O'Neill chase a squirrel in my backyard and decided that what Boy was really trying to do was herd the thing. O'Neill is an Old English Sheep dog/Bearded Collie mix, so there is a good reason for Kevin to think he might be a frustrated herder. However, he 1.)is eleven years old 2.)is a big, fuzzy couch potato except when it's playtime and 3.) has never laid eyes on anything remotely resembling livestock except for the pig that tried to attack him in the vet's office.
Kevin arranged for a mutual friend with an enclosed pen and a flock of sheep to allow O-Dawg to work out his genetic destiny. I took him into the pen and unclipped his leash. He looked at me, looked at the sheep and then walked over to the gate and barked to be let back into the car.
Kevin took him by the collar and walked him into the flock. The look on his face clearly indicated he thought he'd been thrown into a milling crowd of walking smelly sweaters. When a ewe stepped up and baaaed inches from his face, he'd had enough and started weaving back towards me. Halfway through the flock, he caught the attention of a tiny lamb who trailed behind him, baaing loudly and trying to grab his tail. Poor Boy looked panicked, shoved through the rest of the herd and ran behind me, looking around my legs at the lamb, who was roughly the size of cocker spaniel.
The lamb looked at both of us, gave a long, squeaky, tongue-shaking baaa as if to say, "Screw yas!" and then did a flippy-tailed scamper back to his mommy.
"He's had enough." I said to Kevin.
The people who owned the sheep agreed.
We headed back to Nashville and I dropped Kevin off at his house. His neighbors, who are professional dogsitters/walkers, happened by with their dog, Sheba. While they cooed and scratched O'Neill, we told them about his big adventure with the sheep.
Ellen and Amanda looked at Sheba, who happens to be a Dalmation mix and looked back at Kevin.
"Dude?" said Ellen, "You know you're not getting our baby anywhere near a firehouse, so don't even ask."
"Oh, ha ha. Very funny. You are all very funny women." He leaned over and scritched O'Neill's neck. "I'll check on you tomorrow just to be sure all the estrogen hasn't gotten to you, boy."
Hey, Kevster?" I said in my fakey deep O'Neill voice. "It's too late. They took me to the vet when I was six months old and ever since then, all the other dogs giggle whenever I walk away. I think I know why."
Of course the girls laughed, which was okay with me because I am a big slut for a cheap laugh. I went home to find a a request for reparations in the form of snickerdoodles for being such an estro-despot in my voice mail. O'Neill seemed to have forgotten about the sheep. He hopped on the couch while I found one of his two favorite shows (Sesame Street or anything on C-SPAN) and settled down with a Harmony Farms Health Bar and a massage from me.
copyright 2008 jas faulkner