It was raining cats and dogs when the alarm clock went off this morning. I hit the snooze button and burrowed down under the covers, then lay there waiting for the intensity of the rain to subside. But it didn’t. And this was a problem because I was going to have to go out in it. Since Lucy’s hip surgery, one of us has to accompany her outside. For at least another month, we have to carry her up and down steps and watch her outside so she doesn’t run or jump.
The rain was pouring from the sky. It was still very dark outside and there was thunder. And Mark was away on a hunting trip so I couldn’t pawn off the dog duty on him. There was no getting around it. The dogs had to go pee. I was going out in the rain.
The weather had turned colder since the day before. I tossed on my rain jacket and slipped a pair of flip-flops on my feet. Lucy and Bella trotted behind me happily as I approached the patio door. And when I opened it to let them out onto the back deck, Lucy zipped right outside. And then she zipped right back inside. I figured I needed to show the dogs it was okay to get a little wet. I put my hood up and stood outside on the deck. Like an idiot.
“Come on, Luce. Bells, come on,” I said, patting my thighs with both hands. “Come on girls!”
The “girls” looked at me like I was crazy and stayed inside where it was warm and dry.
I had a schedule to maintain. I only had so much time to supervise the dogs in the yard before I needed to get back in, find some work clothes and hit the shower. I had to take matters into my own hands. I would trick them into coming outside. I went and found Lucy’s leash, which is a sure-fire way to get her to come. And then I carried her down the steps to the front entryway and hooked the leash to her collar.
“Leash” means walk, and apparently the idea of a walk was enough to erase the memory of the rain from their little doggy brains. Out the front door we went and all was well until we left the shelter of the front stoop. Bella seemed willing enough to go wherever I was going, but Lucy was desperately trying to escape the pouring rain. But I now had the leash on her and we were going to the back yard, like it or not.
And Lucy was not liking it. Bella happily wandered the perimeter of the yard, the huge raindrops soaking her long fur. Lucy the Pansy tried to yank the leash from my hand and seek shelter under Mark’s fishing boat and trailer, which for some reason were recently pulled out into the middle of the back yard and left there. Lucy heaved to and fro, trying to dodge the rain and escape the thunder while I held tight to the leash and through clenched teeth, admonished her to “go potty!”
It was so dark that I could no longer see where Bella was exploring, but I knew the minute I called her she would come follow me back to the house. Lucy continued to strain and yank and try to extract my arm from its socket. But I am stubborn too and there was no way I was heading off to work knowing she hadn’t started her day by relieving herself.
I was getting ticked off. There I was, standing in the middle of the back yard, in the pitch-black morning, in my flannel pajama pants, in the cold and wearing a rain jacket that was not doing its job.
“LUCY,” I growled. “Frickin-frackin-furrin-furrin-go-potty-already-will-you-damn-it!”
Finally, finally she squatted and did her thing! I was now completely drenched and none too happy to be starting my day this way. Since we had come around to the back yard from the front door, we had to go back that way because for some reason, I had locked the patio door upon deciding to trick the dogs into going out in the rain through the front door.
I called Bella and soon her dark little form could be seen bounding across the dark, drenched grass. Lucy had now caught onto the fact that we would finally go back in where it was safe and dry and warm, and so she cooperated as well.
Just as I was shutting the backyard gate behind me, a powerful strike of lightning lit up the sky and a huge boom of thunder rippled down over us. Lucy began frantically trying to seek shelter again. She wanted to free herself from the restraint of the leash and she desperately tried to bury herself inside a shrub. We were just a few feet from the front door and I begged her to come with me. Thankfully, she caught a glimpse of Bella happily following the trail of landscaping border around the front gardens toward the house and decided to follow suit.
My hot, morning shower never felt SO good.
There were two cute, furry faces there to greet me when I emerged from the shower. They know it’s feeding time after my shower and they were so cute, I couldn’t help but forgive Lucy for her earlier escapades. The rain and thunder and lightning carried on outside while the dogs gobbled down their breakfasts. When they were finished, I headed off to blow-dry my hair, but not before I heard the familiar clang of the bell that hangs on the patio door – the one that Lucy uses to let us know she wants to go outside.
I peeked over to her where she sat at the door.
“You’re kidding me, right,” I asked?
She turned and hit the bell again with her snout and looked at me expectantly. For one insane moment, I contemplated whether I believed her or not. In the end, I decided I didn’t care. As I walked away, I could still hear her clanging that bell.
*Ombrophobia – fear of rain or being rained on