There was a time in my life when I considered myself soo responsible. I was responsible for getting myself to work, to school and to the gym on a regular basis. I was responsible for paying the rent on the Party Palace in a timely manner, assuring said party den had adequate electricity, was cleaned and that I had an amazing outfit to wear to any soiree that came up anywhere in town. At the time I considered myself a damn responsible person.
Now I realize that I was just blowing smoke up my own ass. I didn’t know a damn thing about real responsibility and how it comes back to bite you on the ass every once in a while. I had no idea that the time would come when I was responsible for the actions of every living creature that I have housed for a period longer than one nightmarish weekend. Not only am I held accountable for those creature’s every action, I am also judged by them. If my offspring drops an f-bomb in the recess line, it reflects on me. One of my children scribbles graffiti on the bathroom wall during a party at his martial arts studio– my status drops (it doesn’t help that the budding criminal is stupid enough to graffiti HIS OWN NAME!). I have absorbed the scrutiny of the world innumerable times in the few short years since I first unleashed my urchins on the world. Each time I have soundly swallowed my pride and attempted to make amends. And now…well…this time I’m essentially on house arrest for 10 days and I’m pissed.
This is the point at which I need to introduce you to another member of my family. The little bastard, I’ll just call him Li’l Bastard, came into our family about a year ago. Well, he didn’t really come into our lives so much as we went looking for him (a fact that hasn’t escaped me). Since that time he has worked diligently to diminish both my shoe collection and the value of our home.
Recently Li’l Bastard has been going AWOL every time we leave the house. In general, he’s just been a neighborhood nuisance, jumping the fence, running around visiting people and helping lost shoes find a new home. He is a very gentle dog; he wrestles with the kids but has never hurt one of them so I was mainly worried about his safety.
I spent $250 on a wireless fence system thinking it would be a quick fix since The Hubbin was out of town. I spent 2 days trying to get the perimeter of the wireless “boundary” figured out and putting up the white flags so the dog would know where the boundary was. The boundary seemed to move on an hourly basis, letting him through one minute and shocking him 5 feet before the marker the next. I boxed it up and took it back to the store to exchange it for an in-ground, “Stubborn Dog” version.
After my purchase I went to dinner at my sister-in-laws. After I had stuffed myself with a particularly good enchilada casserole I got a call from my neighbor. Li’l Bastard had gotten out—several times—and was now being housed in his garage. That wasn’t the end of the story. It seems as though Li’l Bastard bit someone who was jogging past our house (not that that urge has never occurred to me) and Animal Control had been called. The neighbor assured the dog cop that Li’l Bastard was up-to-date on his vaccinations so he wasn’t hauled off to the pound.
I had to contact Animal Control the next day, a dog cop was sent to my house and I showed proof of his license and vaccinations. Then she dropped the bomb. The damn dog is under quarantine for 10 days (in case he was exposed to rabies while running around). At the end of those 10 days I have a mandatory court date and will have to pay fines and restitution. Li’l Bastard isn’t allowed out of the house except for a potty furlough and isn’t allowed to leave the property. I can’t leave him in the garage because it’s too hot and he would destroy the house if I left him in. So, I am essentially stuck at home with a one-year-old boxer who is dangling from the curtains because he can’t go out and play.
I will accept the fines, even though he is The Hubbin’s dog and I will forever hold this over his head, but when did it become my responsibility to do the time for someone else’s crime? Responsibility sucks.
(And…for those of you who don’t know…if you’re running and a dog chases you…STOP RUNNING!!!)