Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Twisted Sort of Good Day

I got up this morning with a plan.  It’s my constant error to think things will work out the way I planned!  My plan was that I would:

1.     Take the dog for a walk   

2.    Go to a Dr. appointment

3.    Buy some paint

4.    Go to the farm market

5.    Go see my friend Joan

6.    Go to Costco and get that laundry sink that looks perfect! 

Not such a ridiculous idea right?  Except that when I got up, there were already 4 people working in my yard.  Two carpenters....pardon me....5 people....and three furnace people in the crawl space.  By the time I’d had my shower (always a little unnerving to shower with three men yelling at each other over their stereo right underneath you when you’re naked in the shower) and got ready to go, there were two more people in the yard....one running a backhoe. 

“So” thinks I....with all the gates open, trucks and backhoes all over the place, “the safest place for my dog is not to be left at home running unsupervised.”  So I took him with me.  We drove up towards Campbell River and the Dr. Appointment and the paint store, and I stopped on the side of the parkway at a pullout that has a delightful gravel path through the forest, with a bridge over a stream, where I can let him run loose.  We walk for about half an hour, turn around and walk back to the van. 

But, when we got close to the van, he decided he didn’t want his walk to be over so he ran past the van, right across the highway, and onto a path on the other side.  I called him and he sprinted a little further.  I yelled at him.  He went even faster.  I ran across the highway.  He spun around and wiggled his tail and acted like “Isn’t this fun Mum?”  Now I’m mad and I want to go back to the van, get in and drive away as if I’ve never met this little monster. 

Right about then a big delivery truck comes along the two lane section of the divided highway.....stops in the middle of his lane, and out gets a very tall, very BIG man with a shaved head, ZZ Top style beard, and a sleeveless undershirt with cut offs and work boots.  He squats down in the middle of the other lane like a gentle giant and coaxes my rotten dog over to him, scratches him and grabs his collar.  I’m thrilled, but embarrassed and feeling angry at my poorly behaved dog.  I get up to this man who I would guess is about his mid-30’s, and tell him how much I appreciate him catching Tuffy for me. 

But he is not to be deterred in his mission.  Right there in the middle of a two lane highway, with traffic passing us and staring (I’m now ready to crawl under the truck and hide)....he proceeds to give me a lesson in training my dog.  He says....and I quote.....”You need to pinch his ear like this, and then mount him.  You know .... in a sexual way (my comfort level is plummeting about now).....twist the ear and mount him so he knows who’s boss.”  I figure I’m not going to escape without doing what I’m told, and he is BIG, so I twisted Tuffy’s ear and squatted on him.  By now I’m wishing I had a bag over my head.  Tuffy yelps.  The big guy says “Good.  That yelp is what you want to hear.  Now put his leash on him.”  I replied that I didn’t have his leash....that was the problem!  And I picked Tuffy up under my arm rather like a sack of potatoes and thanked the guy again.  He said “Good luck with that.”,  got in his truck and drove away.  I’m left hiking along the side of the road back to my van which is sitting there with the door and the hatch open and there’s no denying I’m with this stupid dog!  I stuffed him in his dog crate, got in the van, started the engine and did a U turn onto the road to get to the Dr.’s appointment.  (and not an appointment serious enough to warrant all this embarrassment either!). 

I am now driving down the four lane highway that passes through to the center of Campbell River.  I’m angry, embarrassed and frustrated.  I’m drawn out of my reverie by flashing blue and red lights.  Yes.....he does the dreaded U turn and is after ME!  I put my signal on and pull over, wondering if I can pay my fine by giving him my purebred registered monster. 

He pulls up behind me and I wait and wait and wait.  Finally he gets out of his car, walks up behind the van staying behind my tail light (if I HAD a gun I’d have used it by now....on the dog).  The officer approaches my window and tells me that he clocked me at 95 kmh.  I tried not to be the stereotype that says “Really?  I find that hard to believe.”, and just tried to look ashamed....which I was!  He asked if I was in a hurry to get somewhere.  I replied that no, I actually was just shaken up because I’d just had to chase my dog down the highway and a delivery truck stopped and helped me catch him.  I was just distracted because I’m mad at my dog.  He very professionally points out that this is not a reason to be doing 95 in a 60 zone and looks into the van to see the dog.  I said “He’s in the crate at the back now.”  He takes my license and insurance and goes back to his car. 

I wait and wait yet again.  My cell phone rings.  I don’t know if I should answer it right now and think probably NOT is a good idea so I let it keep ringing in my purse.  My anxiety is mounting while I wait.  Now I’m mad at the dog AND worried about what this is going to cost. 

The officer comes back to the window with papers in hand and says “MRS. LOVE.....”  I did my best imitation of a contrite driver and he proceeds to tell me again how fast I was driving.  He explains that this offense is punishable by having my vehicle impounded for up to 30 days (I couldn’t help thinking that Tuffy would have starved to death in the compound by then so..... TAKE IT ! ).  Then he adds that I can also go to jail for up to 8 days and the fine is minimum $300.00.  I’m sure I went white right there in front of him.  Who am I going to call to come spring me from jail?  Certainly not my kids, who would never let me hear the end of it.  Not my husband who is in his own little world on his island. 
And then he adds.....and this is when I know I am blessed....”I’m going to give you a verbal warning today, but I note that you have lived in the area for long enough to know that this is not a place to be driving at 95 so you need to keep that in mind.”  I almost fainted!  He said goodbye and drive safely and I thanked him very much and took off. 

And then I realized I was speeding again!!!!  I couldn’t believe I was so silly!  I was over 60 before I got to 5th gear!  So the rest of my day I drove with cruise control on.....which took more concentration than was safe, but at least I wasn’t speeding!   So silly me and my stupid dog got home without further incident, and I feel like I should just stay right here and not go anywhere for a while. 

When I got back the electrician was here putting plugs and switches in the walls that are painted, and when I told him my excitement of the day he said I should go buy a lottery ticket!  The guy on the backhoe said I must have really dazzled (I loved that word) the policeman because the guy he knows that got pulled over for that got 8 days in jail, his car impounded and the fine was going to be “discussed”.  And then when Kurtis, the 23 year old kid that is the hardest worker around heard about it, he looked me right in the eye and squinted and said “It’s because you’re a girl!”  I laughed and said “No Kurtis.....I think it’s because I’m 63 and have gray hair instead of 23 with blonde hair!”  He laughed and said “You might be right.” 

Right or not, I’m just glad that I’m not in jail, don’t have a huge fine to pay, and that I must still have what it takes!  What a day!