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The Blizzard, the Dog, and the Trash Can March 8, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Stupidity.
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I am a member of a people group known as Not a Morning Person ™. I do not think clearly when I first wake up. I know this is not a phenomenon that is unique to me.

not-a-morning-person

I also own a dog. There are days that I would like to cause the dog physical harm. This is one of those days.

I should probably explain.

The Blizzard
It all begins with snow. Not just a little snow, but a lot of snow. As of this writing, it’s approximately 8″ of snow. [Note: As of 11:30AM EST, it was up to 13″ of snow.]

snow-on-deck

I live in Kentucky. In early March, we generally do not get a lot of snow.

The Dog
I also own a dog. Hmm… Perhaps I should rephrase.

dog

There is a dog that lives here, that I have somehow managed to not send to that “Great Kennel in the Sky ™.” The fact that he lives to this day is an indication of the ability of children to guilt their parents into not harming small animals.

The dog, with amazing regularity, wants to go outside at approximately 6:45. This morning was no exception.

The Shoes
Knowing that there was a significant amount of snow on the ground, my second task (the first being finding something warm to put on my body that was not too complex to figure out in the daze of the early morning) was to find something for my feet. I found these.

house-shoes

Now, I should state clearly that these are not shoes that I have purchased, or would have even asked for as a gift. These are some that I inherited from my father. He didn’t exactly hand them down to me, but he was no longer alive, I needed some house shoes, I wasn’t willing to spend money on shoes that I would never wear in public and… well… you get the idea. I now have a pair of house shoes.

I am well aware that they look ridiculous. I tell my sons that this simply adds to the “Tim mystique.” For some reason, that causes them to convulse in hysterics.

The Leash
Typically, we put the dog out on an extended contraption that is commonly called a “run.” (I suppose it’s called this because it allows the dog to run, but I haven’t done any significant research into the etymology of the term. Yes, I’m well aware of how annoying parenthetical phrases can be. [And I’m even more aware of how annoying it can be to nest them.] Get over it.) The “run” consists of a 75′ cord, affixed to two in-ground stakes, with a 15′ tie-out attached in such manner to allow the dog approximately 105′ of elliptically shaped fun in the back yard. (Please don’t ask more questions about the dog run Billy, it’s not that pertinent to the story.)

So now you’ll recall, if you’re following the story closely, that I am not thinking clearly, but am dressed and house-shoe equipped, and am about to take said dog out for his morning business. Somehow, in the process, I completely forgot that the dog’s run would be impossible to find, having been buried in several inches of snow. Now, a thinking person might say, “Tim, why not keep the end of the tie-out at the same general place all the time, so you can be sure to find it.”

This is when I would strike the thinking person soundly about the face for several minutes. I am not normally violent, but clear-thinking individuals should not be allowed to open their mouths around someone who is Not a Morning Person ™. I digress. (I should point out that in looking over my shoulder, my oldest son said, “This sounds like the Iditarod, only with a small black dog instead of a pack of white dogs, and there’s no real race, but just a number one and maybe a number two.” My son is a morning person. The fact that he still lives is a testament to the fact that his football conditioning has been quite effective, and I am a forgiving person.)

Regardless of where the dog’s tie-out should be located, it was now buried beneath a ridiculously heavy snowfall, and my left hand was almost frozen in a vain attempt to find the spot where my youngest son left it the last time he put the dog out. The dog did not appear to be too pleased with this turn of events either, as his legs are not particularly long.

I think you can figure out enough of the anatomy of our dog to understand his reluctance. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this because of the extreme pain in the frozen hand. I returned to the house to find the dog’s leash.

dog-leash

The dog’s leash is a fairly normal one, approximately 3′ long. Unfortunately, the dog has (in the past) always enjoyed playing in the snow, so I wasn’t fond of the idea of bounding through drifts of snow with the dog, possibly slipping, falling, and landing in previously deposited reminders of dog ownership. I determined, in my half-awake state, to construct an extended leash.

At this point, I am still only marginally functional in terms of clear thinking, and am frantically searching through the garage for something I can use to extend the dog’s leash. By an even more unfortunate coincidence, all of the extension cords are in the back of our vehicle, which is at the top of the driveway. (There are rare moments of lucidity when I think ahead, and parking at the top of the drive was one of those times. Yes, my wife suggested this.)

electrical-wire

What I finally found was a 50′ coil of 3-conductor, 12 gauge house wiring that had been sitting in the garage for several months, and was even less flexible than normal because of the temperature in the garage. This might work.

The Garbage Can
With great effort, I was able to tie a double knot in the electrical wire, fixing the dog’s leash firmly in place. (This is important because, in spite of a torn ACL, the dog has a history of finding unusual ways of getting loose and running away.) Proud of my short-term engineering, I ventured back out with approximately 53′ of bounding-in-the-snow slack in the leash.

trash-can-in-snow

The dog stopped at the garbage can, less than 10′ from the back door. He finished number one in the Idiot-rod (my oldest son’s description of this story), and promptly went right back inside.

I am Not a Morning Person ™.

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Comments»

1. Tiffany Taylor - March 8, 2008

😀 Allow me to acquaint you with the concept of an Invisible Fence. Then you, Not a Morning Person, need only stumble as far as the door (as I did at 5:30 this morning) and open it, and the dog can have all kinds of fun in the snow while you burrow back under the covers.

2. Tim - March 8, 2008

Tiffany,

I neglected to mention that when the dog was young, we purchased said “Invisible Fence.” The dog determined (by experimentation) that the shock of the fence only lasted for so about 6′ or so near the flags, and would run through this region, jerking somewhat as he ran, until he made it to the other side. Once he learned this, I increased the intensity on the invisible fence, but he simply ran through the “field of pain” more quickly.

I believe this is what is generally referred to as sociopathic behavior. – Tim

3. Mia - March 10, 2008

Oh my gosh…there is never a dull moment around you =o)
Was your precious pooch a gift from a morning person?
Those house shoes are definitely the creative outcome of a morning person…LOL…(I can’t go on…the laughter hurts too much…)

Btw…the puffiness of your eyes pains me…I think you need tea bags *winks*

Here’s hoping it only gets better!

4. Tim - March 11, 2008

Mia,

True about the lack of dull moments. I’m not quite sure if that’s a good thing or not…

The “precious pooch” was something I made the mistake of purchasing for the boys. I thought the point of purchase was when I finished paying. I was wrong.

Now that I’m a bit caught up on sleep, the bags are a bit smaller. Are the tea bags for my eyes or for a cup of hot water? – Tim

5. Allison - March 20, 2008

My dog was once an early morning heathen too. Now I am a morning person, but I like to call the shots about how early is too early. She had this nice little routine going where she jumped down as early as she could get away with it when somebody (i.e., my husband) got up to the go to the loo. Her motivation was being fed…unfortunately we couldn’t let her roam the house because she has no qualms about treating the carpet like her personal potty. So we would make her go outside and then feed her. And so the cycle continued…until my daugther was born. It wasn’t so cute when she jumped out of bed every two hours hoping to be fed. I would have to chase her down to put her back in bed (so that she wouldn’t potty on the floor) while trying to appease my very hungry newborn. Anyway, we broke the habit by not allowing her to eat until it was daylight and both of us had gotten out of bed for good. Mean dog mommy.

My dog’s mission in life is to not go outside. I literally have to push her out the back door and chase her down to go for a walk. She’s crazy.

And those shoes are crazy 🙂

6. Tim - March 20, 2008

The dog doesn’t want to go outside? All of our neighbors know us from returning our wayward pooch at one time or another from one of his various trips to their flower bed or garbage can.

As for my choice of footwear, they’re goofy, but they’re warm. 😉 – Tim


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