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May 9th, 2007

I am not at my best in the mornings. My husband is the early riser who walks the dog and is gone from the house before six.

I am the one stumbling around at quarter to seven, herding the kids towards school and communicating with grunts and finger points.

So when I came down to the kitchen and found the dog, barricaded into his half of the kitchen, I was at a loss as to why.

For the majority of the world, who has not seen my kitchen, let me explain: there is a working area at the front of the room, with the appliances, the sink, and the counters. A door on one end of this leads to the garage. A door on the other end leads to the diningroom. A sharp left, before the 70’s Coke Machine (did I mention we have a soda addiction? Well, we do) Anyway…

A sharp left, before the Coke machine, and you are in the other half of the room, which would be perfect for dining, if we ate in there. Mostly, it is the place that the dog lives. His kennel is there. His food dishes are there. There is a bay window, he can look out of to bark at chipmunks. It is his happy place.

And if he is causing trouble, or getting in the way, it doesn’t take much more than a propped broom handle to confine him there. He rarely has enough gumption to find his way around even the simplest obstacles, but will sit on the other side as long as we want, waiting for someone to help him get out.

This morning, he was trapped by a rolling Coleman cooler and a 12 pack of ginger ale. He looked depressed.

I looked around, trying to find anything that might have gotten him locked up. Nothing interesting to steal other than some asparagus stems on the counter. No signs of dog sick. No obvious reason that he couldn’t roam free.

I moved the cooler and he trotted out, at peace.

Fifteen minutes pass, and I continue to stumble around, getting ready to drive the kids to school. I grab my copy of Time magazine, and head for the bathroom, to study current events.

As soon as I shut the door, the screaming begins. High pitched, girly screams. Unintelligible words. Sounds like “Burns!”

Oh, God.

I am out of the bathroom, in what, for me, is a flash, but is really more of a slow stagger. What the hell is going on?

Bird.

Dead Bird.

The dog is running around the house with a dead grackle in his mouth.

Oh.

I reach into the freezer, pullout a Frosty Paws, frozen dog treat. Yell, “Kaiju! Ice Cream!” He drops the bird, grabs the FP and runs for the living room.

I shut the kitchen door, and inform the boys that someone, other than me, needs to wrap the corpse in a newspaper and take it out to the trash. And then, I go back to the bathroom.

When I come out, #2 son informs me that he has gotten rid of the bird, but “There is a blood stain in the kitchen.”

#1 Son said “If you already disposed of the body, a blood stain should be no big deal.”

Bzzzzzzz. Nope, but thanks for playing. I tell #1 Son to “Get the all purpose cleaner off the table and a paper towel.”

“The all-purpose cleaner will not work on blood stains.”

???????????????
This is not the definition of all purpose, as I see it. But, no. It’s is not the cleaner, it’s a broken sprayer at fault.

#2 Son pipes up: “Coke works on blood stains. I heard it on Mythbusters.”

Thank you, Mythbusters.
We clean up the bird residue, and I explain to the kids that it is almost impossible to clean up real blood stains in a way that can’t be uncovered by CSI types with a spray of Luminol and a black light.

Today, this is what is keeping their father alive, after leaving the house when there was a dead bird in the kitchen. Apparently, the dog found it outside, brought it into his kennel and didn’t want to give it up. So the DH trapped the dog and bird together, figuring he’d eat the evidence before we got up.

But the dog doesn’t like to eat breakfast alone.

The dog is still alive because it is “National Be Kind to Animals Week.” Since Kaiju got doggy ice cream for breakfast, I feel we have celebrated enough.