Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My silly old dogs, and other news.

These two silly dogs decided to make a break for it early Sunday afternoon. When they got out, neither of them were wearing their collars or tags. Both dogs have run off before, but never together, and never without their tags. I thought their luck might have really run out this time. Our neighborhood is pretty rough, stray dogs are common, and my neighbors generally have bigger problems than taking in sweet, dumb dogs and finding their homes.

Don't these dogs realize that they are way too old for crazy excursions like this? Crouton (mutt-a-rific extraordinaire) is seven years old, and Omie (our brown pit bull) is now nine. In dog years, that translates to "solidly middle-aged" and "practically geriatric." But, alas, neither dog has grown wiser with age.

Poor Steve spent hours driving around our neighborhood on Sunday afternoon looking for them. But trying to find two crazy dogs in an area as densely populated as ours is very difficult - like trying to find two needles in a haystack.

I was so, so worried that we might never see these two pooches again.

But in addition being dumb as rocks, these dogs are lucky. They found themselves a nice lady who took them in and dropped them off at Animal Control on Sunday evening. Turns out there are good Samaritans, even in the 'hood. Thank goodness, both dogs are microchipped. (PSA: Chip your pets!) After a rough night of worry, we got a call from Animal Control on Monday morning that they were safe and sound, and we were able to retrieve them (after shame-facedly paying some fines) yesterday afternoon.

How are they? Well, they're acting like they went on a major bender, which they did. Both dogs ripped up their pads running all over town, and they're limping around, taking long naps, and generally looking their age and like they're feeling pretty sorry for themselves.

I am just so relieved and grateful to have them home.

Yesterday afternoon, Joe had his first speech assessment with the Oakland Unified School District. There will be two total - the second one is next Monday. For this one, a nice speech/language pathologist came to our house to play with Joe and assess his abilities. For some reason, Joe chose this moment to regress in his speech abilities by at least four or five months, refusing to answer questions, playing shy and coy, "speaking" in squeaks, squawks, and whines, and especially strange - speaking in baby talk. What? Joe doesn't usually baby talk. When he did say words, he sounded like he had a mouth full of marbles, even by garbled Joe-standards.

As soon as the speech/language pathologist left, he went back to his normal self, of course.

What gives, kid?

I guess the good news is that Joe is more likely to qualify for services ...

But there was one great moment during the assessment, when Joe was, at least momentarily, his usual self. The speech/language pathologist mentioned dogs, and Joe immediately starting telling her about Omie and Crouton. "Omie and Dooshon get out! Doggies run around and round! Outside! Daddy go find them! Mommy sad. Come back to pink house! Come back!" (Our house is a faded red, so Joe refers to it as "pink house.")

After this fast-paced story in garbled Joe-speak, the pathologist, totally clueless about our dog drama, just looked at me and said, "What?"

I smiled: "Um, it's a long story ... "

I think Joe summed the whole episode up pretty well, actually. Come back to pink house, doggies! We love you!


  1. So glad they made it home safely.....our dog liked to go off whenever he could - thankfully, he was microchipped.

    I hope Joe's second appointment goes well....

    1. Yeah, both of our dogs are "runners." I've been waiting for them to grow out of this, but um, it hasn't happened yet, clearly! Sigh.

      This home visit was supposed to be the one where Joe would be more comfortable, less shy, and more likely to respond well. Next week's appointment is at the local school district-run preschool, so he's expected to be more reticent and shy there. Ha!! It will be funny if he is EVEN LESS communicative than he was at this first assessment, because he pretty much refused to talk at all! Gah.

      We figure this must be part of Joe's master plan to get awesome school district services: Play dumb.

  2. so glad to hear the dogs were safe and sound! and thanks to your psa we're planning on getting elsie microchipped at her next appt in a few weeks. also joe looks positively cherubic in that photo. :)

    1. It's an older photo (Joe so rarely takes naps anymore, sigh), but one of my favorites. We've long observed that being around a sleeping dog or sleeping child makes you sleepy, almost like some kind of drug. Sleeping dog plus sleeping Joe is a deadly combination! It's amazing I was able to hold the camera steady to take this photo before succumbing to sleeeeeeeeeeeep.

    2. P.S. I'm glad you're chipping your baby! It seems like you live in a pretty small town, where it's more likely that if your dog strayed, she'd get picked up by someone and returned to you even without a microchip (whereas we're insanely lucky that the dogs even got picked up to begin with). That said, you can never be too safe!

  3. i have to say im more worried about our dogs getting shot if they got out! we've had neighbors dogs get shot when they got into another neighbors yard. the dogs were very aggressive so i am not really that surprised... but I still wonder if shooting them was the best solution!? I mean what happened to running inside and calling animal control?? Still chips are a great idea, all dogs should have them IMO.

    1. Ha. That'll teach me to have an idealized vision of rural America, huh?

  4. i am so glad they got found! when i see omie i realize how much pit bull bixby really does have in him... some pits he looks nothing like, but others i'm like OHHHHH there it is. anyway thrilled they were found!!


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