Deer in Veggie Garden, Jailbird Dog, A Gusher, and Other Tales of Real Life

If there is one thing I can say about my life, it’s that it’s never boring.

Take last week’s Real Life agenda, for example. (Please, puh-leeze take last week…) We are gearing up for the summer (which officially began yesterday on the West Coast of Michigan), it was payroll week, and my daughter is home. That alone is enough chaos for anyone to stay on top of.

Add to that my (feeble) attempts at writing, because as we all know, I have all the time in the world to waste (NOT!). I did manage to get the first seven chapters of the current WIP out to my critique group, which was amazing. I did some homework in my Jeremy Shipp class (yay! me!). I got my reading list on this blog partially updated (someday I will link all the books to their author web sites, not today though).  I even wrote in my brand-new eco-system notebook (I doubt I’ll be going back to Moleskine).

But then Real Life rears its ugly head.

I knew the week would be bad when a torrent of water ended up in my basement. This wasn’t ordinary back up; this was far more serious, judging from the sodden ceiling tiles that gave way under the pressure of gallons of water, right into my tumbler and steel shot. Verdict: Broken waste pipe from the second floor bathroom. Bad news: at least $2,000, and that was just the plumber’s estimate. There’s dry wall after that.

But that wasn’t too God-awful; after all, we have two other bathrooms, one in the basement where the flood occurred, the other our master bath. However, after five days of sharing our bathroom with my daughter and no return call from the plumber, I’m about ready to pull what little hair I have left out of my head. And run away from home.

As I was about to start doing P90X one day last week, I glance out of my bedroom window and catch sight of a deer in my backyard. No, really, a deer. A huge one. Now, I know this is Michigan and most people think it’s populated with transplanted hillbillies (it is), so far into Nature, and we are so backward that of course we have deer, but I live in a rather bustling suburb. A major eight-lane thoroughfare is just yards from my driveway. The infamous 8 Mile Road (meaning gritty, industrial Detroit) is just three miles away. And our backyard is fenced. AND it was about 4:30 in the afternoon. This is Motown, people. Deer do not appear on a regular basis, sit down in the middle of my yard, and take a snooze. EVER.

My daughter and blind Boston terrier chased it around the yard (after we all got photographic evidence), until it came to a low fence and gracefully bounded over and wandered to the neighbors yard. A group of chatting moms pushing strollers were right across the street, and they missed it.

Wildlife is the bane of my guerilla urban garden, and most of my friends know I have a distaste bordering on blind hatred toward all critters who would deign to eat from my veggies when I have neighbors who throw the squirrels and other scavengers old Krispy Kremes. Now I have to worry about huge deer.

It does explain what happened to my pears the last few years though…

To top off my week, my dog, the fabulous Princess Grace, ended up in the slammer on Friday night. She’s had a field day the last couple of weeks, chasing rabbits around the house (as well as the other miscreants), and Friday night, as my husband let her out to do her pre-bedtime duty, she disappeared.

(Right here is where I should insert – dammit, I told him to keep her on leash, because even though she’s a great dog, she is dumber than a box of rocks and is deaf and doesn’t listen well – but I won’t. Don’t think I wasn’t thinking it though…)

He looked around, he called, I called (I scream – like a pterodactyl, my children allege – so she can usually hear me from a block away). He drove around. He drove around all night, going up one street, then another, until he had prowled most of Royal Oak, part of Berkley, and all of Huntington Woods. I kept getting up and looking at the back door to see if she had suddenly appeared. (She might be a world traveler, but she knows where the kibble is.) Nothing.

My husband was despondent, and I was thinking of worst case scenarios, like her being dog-napped, hit by a car, or just left us because we weren’t nice enough.

Yesterday – at a decent hour – I started calling the local pounds. I hit the jackpot on Call #2: Grace was at the Huntington Woods police station. It appears they picked her up while she was trying to traverse those eight lanes of traffic I spoke about above. She made it to the median without becoming road kill, which is when she was nabbed and incarcerated. According to a police woman, “We got her before she successfully committed suicide on Woodward.” Poor dog spent the night in a cold cage with no blankies to roll herself into a doggie burrito with. (Bostons need their blankies, even when it’s 100 degrees outside.)

She was delirious to see me, and the first thing I did was get her a dog tag with her name and our phone numbers on it. (OH! Because I forgot to add, the hubs had her outside with NO COLLAR on as well.)

I’m thinking anything that happens this week will be a piece of cupcake compared to last week.


4 Responses

  1. That’s it. I’m getting Dustin’s new tag tomorrow. He lost his a few months ago. I’ve been lazy and haven’t bought a new one. I keep saying I will, I just never remember. Now, I’ll remember. Thank the Princess for me. And. Hug her and tell her I’m glad she’s safe. Maybe this will remind her how good she has really has it…
    (Don’t be too hard on B, he means well)

  2. Joanne, you are one darn good writer! I laughed so hard about your dog’s trip to the slammer that I spilled my cup of tea. (My best male friend’s mentally challenged dog escaped a few weeks ago and wound up getting on a city bus.)

    Isabel Levinson

  3. Get her chipped, too. They say that’s best for getting them back, it’s like an 80-90 percent return rate.

  4. *sigh* I mentioned chippage to the nice policeman who gave her back to me, but he said only vets have access to the info, a sturdy collar with the name sewn in (a la LL Bean) is best. That is, unless they escape sans collar. I say the leash is the best bet.

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