“Artemis Bean, you get your butt back in this yard, right now!”
Artemis broke off playing with our neighbors’ dogs, wiggling her butt excitedly as she romped back to the fence dividing our properties.
OMG HI! HI! I LOVE YOU! HI! I’M PLAYING!
“I’m not in the mood, Artemis. We’ve fixed this fence THREE TIMES. How are you even getting over there?”
OMG! I LOVE YOU! I’M GONNA GO PLAY NOW! I LOVE YOU! BYE!
“NO. Artemis, COME. You’re a bad dog.”
OMG. YOU HATE ME. I’M SORRY. YOU HATE ME. I’LL LEAVE. I’LL LEAVE FOREVER. I’M SO SORRY….. LOOK! A DOG! TWO DOGS! I LOVE THEM! I LOVE YOU! I’M GONNA GO PLAY NOW! BYE!
“NO. I said COME. COME, Artemis.”
OK!!! I’LL COME! OMG! THERE’S A FENCE HERE. DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A FENCE HERE? I LOVE YOU!!! I’D COME OVER THERE, BUT THERE’S A FENCE. I LOVE YOU!”
“You got in there somehow, so you can get out. Artemis, COME. Show me how you got in their danged yard again. COME.”
OK!!! I’M COMING! WAIT. THERE’S A FENCE. DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A FENCE? I CAN’T… OH, LOOK! LOOK! I FOUND A HOLE! WELL, NOT A HOLE, BUT I BET I CAN MAKE ONE IF I SLAM INTO THE FENCE HARD ENOUGH AND FORCE IT TO GIVE….. YAAAY! I’M HERE! I LOVE YOU!!! I LOVE YOU!!!! YAAAY!!!!!!”
Sigh. “Good come, Artemis. At least I know how you’re getting through.”
OMG! I’M A GOOD DOG, AREN’T I? I LOVE YOU!!! …… OMG. LOOK! THERE ARE DOGS OVER THERE! I WANT TO PLAY! BUT THERE’S A FENCE. DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A FENCE HERE? HI, FRIENDS! LET’S PLAY!”
“Artemis, NO. NO, NO, NO. You may NOT go through that fence. Bad dog. BAD dog.”
OH NO! YOU HATE ME. I’M HATEFUL. I DESERVE TO BE HATED. I LOVE YOU. I DON’T DESERVE TO LOVE YOU. I’LL LEAVE NOW. I’LL JUST GO… GO OVER HERE? OMG, LOOK! THERE ARE DOGS OVER THERE!”
“Oh, for crying out loud. Artemis, NO. No fence. No. Just… go inside.”
YAY! INSIDE! I LOVE INSIDE! IT’S MY FAVORITE!!! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE EVERYTHING!
I stomped my way back to the laundry room and proceeded to change the loads. I popped the dry clothes into a hamper, popped the wet clothes into the dryer, and filled the washer with a load of colors. At the last second I decided to wash the jeans I was wearing, so I stripped out of them and put them into the wash, too. Sure, all my other pants were dirty, but I didn’t have anywhere to go.
Besides… I was just going to sit on the couch and fold laundry while I watched Malcolm in the Middle. You didn’t exactly need pants for that. I hefted the laundry hamper onto my hip and walked into the living room to begin folding.
YOU HATE ME. I’M SORRY. I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT I’M SORRY.
“Artemis, you don’t have to give me that look. I’m not mad about the fence thing. Just don’t go out there anymore. You might get out of their yard and get hit by a car.”
I LOVE YOU. I DON’T DESERVE YOU. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, EVEN THOUGH I DON’T DESERVE YOU. I NEED TO BE WITH YOU.
“Ooof. Artemis, no. Down. You’re too big to crawl in my lap.”
I NEED TO BE NEAR YOU. PLEASE. COMFORT ME. COMFORT ME BY LETTING ME BE NEAR YOU. PLEASE LET ME CRAWL ONTO YOUR LAP AND INTO YOUR SOUL. I LOVE YOU.
“No, Artemis. Off. Here – you can just lean against me while I fold laundry.”
I NEED TO BE NEAR YOU. I’M GOING TO PLACE MY HEAD ON YOUR LAP AND LEAN INTO YOU, AND MAYBE IF I PRESS HARD ENOUGH I CAN MERGE SOULS WITH YOU. PLEASE. CLOSE ISN’T CLOSE ENOUGH. I LOVE YOU.
“You can put your head in my lap. Fine. Just don’t lean on me so much. You’re heavy.”
And so we stayed for nearly thirty minutes- the dog leaning her head in my lap with all her might, the laundry slowly getting folded on the couch, and Malcolm in the Middle quietly blaring on the tv.
Did you know that a dog’s fur is very effective at transporting the oil from poison oak? Dogs aren’t allergic to it, but they can bring it into your house.
I learned this the hard way last summer, trying to hunt down how I kept getting infected by poison oak. It took several weeks before we eradicated most of it in our yard.
Here’s another interesting fact:
Did you know my neighbor’s back yard has poison oak?
Yeah, I didn’t either.
I think you can see where I’m going with this. Guess who has poison oak rash all over the inside of her thighs?
It gets better.
Do you know how they say you can’t spread poison oak by scratching?
I have found that to be a lie. Maybe the blisters contain some kind of an oil, but I seem to have an unusually strong reaction to poison oak, and each time I’m exposed it is a little more severe, and it lasts a little longer. Two months ago I had some on my wrists that lasted almost 5 weeks and left a little light scarring. It spread a little bit each day for the first week, until it traveled almost to my elbow.
The problem is that it usually takes a few days before my poison oak rash blooms into something recognizable – it starts off as a series of small bumps that look almost like mosquito or flea bites. Unfortunately (and this may just be for me, and not everyone) while it’s at this innocent-looking stage it’s still able to be spread – it’s only when it slowly progresses into the stereotypical welts that ooze that I tend to recognize it, but by then it’s too late.
Anyways, here’s another fun little fact.
Do you know what else is located near your inner thighs?
Oh, yes. That’s right.
Call it what you want – the love canal. Cooter. Muffin. Honey Pot. Cooch. Mommy Parts. Hoohah.
There are many different names for it, but it all boils down to one fact:
Life is very, very sad when you have poison oak of the vajayjay.
VERY bad dog.