One of the disadvantages of living a vagabond life is that I can’t keep any pets.
In November I moved in with a couple who own two sweet dogs, Crawford and Sewell.
Sewell is the naughty looking one. On the left.
And she is naughty.
She is only 1 year old and already she has had to be rushed to Emergency three different times, usually because she has played too hard and either swallowed or broken something.
Here she is, with a freshly bandaged paw:
Sewell is around-the-clock super-charged with excitement. I think she will one day kill me with the sheer force of her puppy love.
She is the happiest dog I know.
But today, Sewell did a bad, bad thing.
I had just come back from a run and was trying to do lunges on our balcony. I still had my iPod speakers in my ear, my shiny red iPod nano was clipped to my top.
Sewell hadn’t seen me in . . . . . . . almost an hour, so she skipped and jumped and play-snapped at my elbows as I tried to lunge left and lunge right. She was completely spazzing herself out with happiness that I was home and “playing” with her.
“No, Sewelly!” I said.
I am ineffective when it comes to telling Sewell “no.” She doesn’t listen, and when I look at her face, she just beams back at me with puppy sweetness.
My roommate told me I need to say no in deep voice, but how could I do that? How could I ever?
The moment I deepen or raise my voice, the little girl dog begins to cower, and her tail slips between her legs. She bows low and looks at me with a bowlful of sad puppy dog eyes and I feel like a horrible person.
Well, on the balcony, Sewell was leaping and frolicking in joy at my return, when her paw caught the earphone cord to my iPod and away the iPod flew!
This has happened before, but this time the iPod was gone. Nowhere. It had come unclipped from my shirt, and disappeared.
I looked along the decking, which has thin spaces between the wooden planks. I didn’t see it.
It was unlikely the iPod would have fallen through these slats and landed on the cement porch an entire story below.
But I couldn’t find it anywhere. And I hadn’t heard it land.
“Sewell!” I said. “Bad dog.”
I went downstairs to the backyard to look around on the porch. Nothing. I combed through the itchy overgrown grass. Nothing. I looked around the doghouse. My shiny red iPod was gone. The sky was very dark and about to open up with rain.
My roommates helped me somewhat, but they soon had to leave. I was left alone with my flashlight, the itchy grass, and an approaching storm.
You know, I wasn’t angry at the dog. (How can you be angry with such a face?) I was bummed out about the iPod. But I was more afraid of telling Chris. He had just bought me that iPod as a birthday present. It was an engraved iPod with a touch pad, and much nicer than anything else I own. (Except for maybe my Macbook, but even that is taped together in places.)
Stepping carefully and slowly through the grass, I pushed away itchy grass blades with a stick, disturbing small cities of mosquitoes.
Chris was going to kill me. How do I always manage to lose important and expensive things in the most impossible ways?
Sewell watched me from the porch, looking both perplexed and adorable. She wasn’t being very helpful. She didn’t understand this game. Why I was playing with a stick in the place where she poops?
I searched the grass. Bugs flew, a roach streaked across the bricks, the bats started to come out. I was terrified of encountering a spider. Any minute it was going to downpour. My iPod would not survive the night and Chris would never buy me anything ever again.
Of course, I finally found the thing, 40 minutes later. It was by the corn. How Sewell managed to jerk my clipped-on iPod away from my shirt, and fling it not only off the balcony, but halfway down the yard near the corn stalks, I will never know.
Here is the picture of how far this actually is.
As her punishment, I banned Sewell to the backyard. I told her to go sit by the corn and think about what she did.
Sewell went outside. She looked at me and wagged her tail. Then she frolicked across the grass, all super-happy for absolutely no reason. She sniffed at the corn, and then began to play with her best friend Crawford.
I think that means she’s sorry.