Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chapter 9 The Dogs

Although Elizabeth's disposition was sunny and cheerful the weather was not. The sprinkles falling from the sky quickly turned to waterfalls splashing down and bouncing upon the ground so hard that they would fly back up again trying to return to the clouds from which they came before settling back down into small puddles. The small puddles then became larger ones. Elizabeth looked out the window at the dog kennel. Oh how she hated seeing the dogs outside in weather like this but she was helpless since they were borrowing the parsonage and animals weren't to be inside.

The family had three dogs. Takoda was an old man of 8 years old. He was a charcoal gray lab mix Bob had brought home for Elizabeth from the animal shelter after she fell in love with his picture on Petfinder when he was only 5 and a half weeks old. He was her "therapy" after losing her daughter Grace and gave her a way to baby something rather than to drive him, Samantha and Wayne crazy. Ruger was Bobs Brown and White American Bulldog, He was 2 yrs old and Elizabeth had gotten him for Father's Day a few years back as her husband had always wanted an American Bulldog and she wanted to be the one to give him one. Lastly was Suka, Elizabeth's Siberian Husky that Bob had bought for her a year ago when she was walking everyday so she would have a walking partner on those dark nights. Takoda had hip problems, she had little to no control over Bob's dog Ruger so Suka became her new motivation to being fit. She had also always wanted to have a certain breed of dog and Bob knew it so he reciprocated and that is how Suka came to be. Too bad stress and emotions had taken their toll and she had gained back all of the 40 plus pounds she had lost only a year ago. The flood had taken away but had also given and she hated the gifts that were received. Tears, Anger, Weight Gain, Stress, Helplessness, Family Turmoil, Frustration, and Lack of Finances just to name a few. But that was neither here nor there and for now she need not let her thoughts dwell on them otherwise she would become depressed quickly so she brought her thoughts and eyes back to the dogs.

They were inside their doghouses staying dry but the tarp Bob and Elizabeth had fashioned for the top of the outdoor kennel was pulling apart from the sides from the weight the water was putting on the middle of it. The "roof" was almost down to the ground from the pooling rainwater.

Elizabeth checked to make sure the kiddos were preoccupied and then ran out to unbolt the locks around the kennel door so she could push the water off the tarp to clear it temporarily until the next time it gathered again. The rain pelted her hair and body, dripping off her and saturating her clothes. She wished she would have put a jacket on and hoped she would remember next time but this time it was too late. She fumbled with the extra locks on the kennel they had to put on to make double sure the dogs didn't escape. At their "old" home there was no need for kennels or extra locks. They had a fully fenced in picket fence and although it was only 4 foot tall the dogs were satisfied with the large yard to romp and play in and they rarely tried to escape. They also lived in the house rather than in a kennel, so when the dogs were done outside the family always just let them in through the kitchen and they would find places to lie down and rest.

Two out of three dogs had remained with them at the parsonage. The third was staying with Elizabeth's parents temporarily. They had tried bringing him but he was older and was not accustomed to being stuck outdoors. He hated it and showed his disdain by breaking out of the new dog kennel they were forced to buy after the flood. On the third time of breaking out, making his nose all bloody with scratches from forcing his way through the closely knit wires and then having to chase dogs around since he made an escape for all three, her husband had declared enough was enough- figure someone out to take care of him till they were settled or get rid of him. They didn't have money to keep buying materials to fix the kennel and it was getting really irritating having to corral dogs, so in tears and desperation she had called her parents and within 24 hours he had been on his way and now it was just the young dogs who stayed with them. They were resilient and didn't mind being outdoors so much. The only issue was Suka had learned to unlatch the door and after a few more times of chasing the two of them all over God's green earth, they had gotten heavy duty chain and extra latches so they could double lock the kennel and that seemed to be working.

Meanwhile Elizabeth had freed the locks and the dogs were going crazy jumping around and being very vocal. "DOWN!" she said sternly because she was already wet she didn't want to be covered in mud as well. She understood how they were excited for their human visitor and they still hoped they could come in the house when the weather was bad so they thought they could persuade her with their joyfulness but it wouldn't work even though she wished she could let them in. She used all her strength to drain the water from the tarp roof, pushing it from one end, then the other coming down like ocean waves, pouring from the sides of the kennel. What a wet mess. It was evident she would need to change completely after this. She pulled two rawhides that she had stashed in her jean's pockets and gave one to each of them to soften the blow that not only did she had to leave to go into the house, but that they had to stay behind in the kennel. They were satisfied with their treats and went to go lay down and start the chewing process. Elizabeth secured the locks and ran to the house to see three munchkins standing in the sliding glass doorway waiting for her and watching. They didn't miss a beat those three J Elizabeth put a short movie on for them while she got cleaned up, changed her clothes, fixed her makeup and brushed her hair. The next time she would be sure to be more prepared but hopefully the rain would stop soon. Wishing and Hoping aren't always the same as Reality though and it was evident that the rain had invited itself to stay again and wasn't leaving anytime soon…