For those late to the party (where the heck have you been) here is part 1.
With the pee still drying on my leg, Parker and I made our way to the Lowe’s in Big Rapids to pick up flowers, which I killed within the week, and any supplies needed to break a dog out of a life of utter shit. Seriously there was a lot of shit.
Since I had a good 30 minutes to my destination, I called anyone and everyone to validate the 8th dog decision. I started with my sister, made my way to my best friend Sue, my mother and finally, I called Josh…
Josh, The Husband: “Hey”
Kim, The Dog Rescuer (basically a saint): “Well hello there,” said in a way to chipper voice, immediately raising the husband’s suspicion.
Josh: “I’m almost to the cabin, what’s up?”
Kim the Dog Rescuer (basically a saint): “Do you remember that dog that lives at the end of our road? He has a terrible life and is out in all the elements – like all of them, you know rain, snow, hot, cold…and he looks really sad like all the time? Um I maybe stopped there today and asked if I could have him and all he has is a raccoon as a friend and he can’t stand and he’s definitely dying (cue all the tears)…,” the rambling ensues.
Kim the Dog Rescuer (basically a saint): “…but I can’t leave him and they probably won’t even let us have him and he has a tick in the corner of his eye, did I mention that?”
Kim the Dog Rescuer (basically a saint): “What I hear you saying is, yes.” To be clear, this is how all convos about random dogs I bring home go.
Josh: “I’ll see you at the cabin.” Click.
Kim the Dog Rescuer (basically a saint): Turning to Parker, “I think that went exceptionally well.”
Parker: Shakes his head.
After concluding our shopping trip at Lowe’s where Parker cultivated his fan base, ate the heads off some flowers, and attempted to work the checkout lane, it was back to the cabin.
In an effort to shorten this story, we’ll skip over the groveling, apologies, and kissing up that ensued.
The next day was a boat day with our friend Cat, who had been filled in on the absolute shitshow I had created. Not being surprised, she handed Josh a Two Hearted and they set about packing our coolers as I sipped a Screwdriver at 9:00 a.m. – don’t judge me, it was a very stressful 24 hours that could only be solved with Tito’s and pulp-free OJ. For those of you who enjoy pulp – what is wrong with you, gross just gross – it tastes like you are swallowing slimy boogers (say the word out loud – you’ll laugh).
Having a 25 ft pontoon, it only makes sense for us to trailer it everywhere we go and then attempt to end our marriage every time we put it in and take it out of the water.
While backing it up to put it in the water at Rose Lake, we saw a lake officer (I don’t know what they’re called but they are annoying), who decided to walk over to us. “I wouldn’t bother putting it in the lake, your permit is expired and I’ll just give you a ticket.”
Josh being an adult and being super nice said, “Ok, thanks for the heads up.”
Me, being a not nice person said, “Then give us a ticket but we’re still going boating.”
“Ma’am you can’t do that.”
“Why not? Have you heard of the pandemic, cause the Secretary of State is a damn shitshow so it’s ridiculous that you’re even out here on Memorial Day being a jerk.”
Josh puts his hand over his face, pushes me sort of gently towards the truck and tells me to get in. At this point in time, Lucky, the pittie, decided we were taking too long so he jumped out of the back window and went tearing down the shoreline to say hello to a dog.
Always zen in stressful situations, I scream.
At this point, Cat is wondering why she is even friends with us and why the cooler is in the way back with all the booze.
Josh grabs a leash and runs towards the terrified dog owner to retrieve an overly excited and talkative pitbull who is trying to turn a very small dog into his best friend with little to no success.
Lucky is put back in the truck and we pull away from the boat launch, as I’m furiously on the SOS website trying to renew whatever the heck you need to go out in your boat and not get yelled at by the rent-a-cop (Josh informed me they are very much officers of the law, but I’m still mad so whatever).
I hear Cat exclaim, “Isn’t this what you need?” holding up a paper from the glove box.
“Oh, shit. Totally forgot I did renew!”
I adhere the stickers over the ones that are clearly 5 years old, and we head back to the boat launch. As to be expected the cop is annoyed we’re trying to sneak by him but Josh and he have a good chuckle over the situation while I glare at him from the vehicle.
We’re finally on the damn lake with 7 dogs and it’s every bit the nightmare you’d think it would be. Dog life jackets strewn about, Lucky the pitbull trying to jump on other boats, Joey attempting to drown herself (again), Scrappy (5 lbs) latching himself onto Lucky’s face, and Sammy growling at anyone that looks at her. Peaceful.
After being out for a few hours, my phone rings. I look down and I exclaim, “it’s them!”
I answer and John says, “If you still want him, you can come and get him.”
“Oh that is fantastic! I’ll swing by this afternoon.”
“Ok, see you then.”
Josh’s head immediately explodes.
Actually, at this point, he has begrudgingly accepted the fact that I signed us up to take care of a geriatric dog that ended up being deaf, more than likely has cancer, can’t walk and has never stepped foot in a home.
As I drove to pick him up, this wave of nervousness rolled over me. What had I done? I have seven other dogs, will they even get along? Seven dogs. Seven dogs. I’m aware of how absolutely ridiculous it is, but Sammy, Parker, Joey, Tony, Lucky, Phoebe and Scrappy are family and that family is about to get bigger.
As I pulled into John and Mary’s driveway again, John is standing in the driveway waiting for me. I climbed out of the car and he pointed to a bag of dog food and few cans of food, “I figured I’d give you this and all of his records – vaccinations and license.”
“Ok, thanks,” I said looking at the dog food thinking this guy is gonna get premium cut meats and whatever else his heart desires for as long as he lives.
We walk over to where Duke is chained up.
“No raccoon today? Has he been back?”
“Oh, I shot him.”
I immediately try to unhook Duke but it’s a clasp that is twisted on and I’m clearly struggling. Can we say overkill? Not like the dude has posable thumbs. John steps in and unhooks him, I put a leash on him like he’s going to run off with his newfound freedom when we can’t even stand. John asks if I’ll take a photo with him and Duke and proceeds to hand me the first digital camera ever made. I’m a bit dumbfounded, I mean why do you want a photo? You walk by him 99% of the time without acknowledging him and now you want a photo to hang on your wall to remind you of what? The good times?
I snap a few, quickly hand it back and lead Duke over to my car. He falls a few times but eventually wobbles there. I open the back and ask John if he can lift him in. He attempts to pick him up and seeing him struggling I grab his backend tightly, perhaps too tight cause he farts in my face. Gagging, I shut the back and we step back.
More small talk with Mary while John peeks in the window of my Yukon reporting on what Duke is doing inside. “Oh look he’s walking around, he seems confused, but happy.”
I get invited to dinner again, I smile and nod then tell them Josh is waiting for me and I’ve got to go.
As I get into my car, I’m surprised by the nauseating smell of shit, so much shit, like the most shit there ever was. I look behind and Duke has well…pooped all over the back of my Yukon and is currently laying in it. I plug my nose, reverse and head towards the cabin.
So the fairytale begins.
*End Part Two*
RIP Mr. Raccoon