The only way the guy would fix our fireplace was if I kept Bentley away from him, as he was extremely fearful of Bentley’s size alone. So I called our groomer first thing this morning and Tracey, the owner of Paws Salon took them right in. I called the mason, giving him the “coast is clear” news and he said, “You did that for ME??? Oh THANK YOU!” He came right over and repaired the fireplace and charged me $50 less because he knew I took the dogs to the groomer for his comfort level as much as the mud between their toes.
Bentley and Nala both got so excited when I pulled up in front of Paws Salon. They were literally dancing in the back seat and making the car bounce up and down. They pushed and shoved each other to get out of the car. “ME first!” “No, ME first!” As soon as I got inside, the resident dogs were running all over the place and went nuts when they saw my buffalo herd. Bent’ and Nala ignored them completely. (“Awww, shut up, shrimps!”) When Tracey opened the gate to the grooming area, Bentley’s ears and head went up, his tail curled right up over his back and I swear, I heard him yell, “BIRDS!!!” Yup, he remembered and made a beeline for the birdcage. This time, we grabbed both leashes amidst a flurry of panicked flapping wings and flying feathers and got the cage the hell out of there, FAST! Onward! Dog butts to sniff! Kitties to sniff…and all these SMELLS! Their noses were going at hyperspeed. We managed to get them out to the fenced play yard and unleash them, and they were doing the grand military perimeter scouting when I left. Not bad! Not bad at all!
As I pulled in my driveway the mason, Jim was right behind me. He loves our little old cowboy house, and he did a great and conscientious job in about 2 hours. We have a fireplace again! Woohoo!
I called Tracey to let her know that she didn’t have to keep the beasts for the day after all, and she said they would both be done and sparkling in 30 minutes. PERFECT!
Knock on the door and here was Ramon who trimmed our palms and our oleanders a few years ago. I’ve been dying to have our palms trimmed and he offered a fair price, so I not only let him do the palms, but also trim the bottom branches off the jacaranda tree, as cars were hitting them. Our regular yard crew had been hedging on trimming the branches on the big mulberry by the pool, and it was beginning to drop leaves into the pool the size of salad plates. They offered to do it yesterday but wanted to leave all the trimmings in the alley or in our yard. I said, “No way…you gotta haul it out of here. It’s the law,” and he said he’d do it “Ness veek, Meesus Vatsohn. I veel breenk my traylore ness veek”. (Yeah…right…I get “Ness veek” a lot from these guys.)
Since I knew Ramon, I felt okay leaving him here working while I picked up the fur-babies. Nala heard me pull up and was going “boing-boing-boing” in the bay window at Paws. “MOMMY’S HERE!” Tracey let both dogs thru the gate into the lobby (off leash), and we quickly rolled the birdcage right past them and back to safety. They have on flag print scarves and patriotic bows and they look and smell wonderful. Amazing the way washing off a little irrigation mud can transform your dogs from stinking barbarians back into the civilized breed that they are! As I was standing at the tall reception desk writing Tracey a check, Nala hopped up, and stood next to me to watch. Do you know that when she stands all the way up, she’s the same height as me? We had to laugh because as I was writing the check, Nala was standing there looking Tracey right in the eye. The new groomer (a big fella) came out and said, “When I took this job, I didn’t know we groomed HORSES! I think Tracey had to call the City of Phoenix for a cherry-picker to get them in the tub!” And then came the words I love to hear, “Mrs. Watson, you have some BEAUTIFUL animals there!” Tracey said they were very well-behaved with the other dogs and people. (Exhale.) Since she has no kennels big enough to keep them in, they have the run of the house, and that makes them feel more at home. Except for the bird issue with Bentley, they seem to think it’s play day at the spa.
After leaving Paws, we went to the drive-thru at the bank to get cash for Ramon and I thought the male teller was going to soil himself or pass out. I had the sunroof open on the Rover, so Bentley could really stretch out. “OH MY GOD! Those are the biggest dogs I’ve ever SEEN!” exclaimed the teller. Now, I wanted this to be a “quick and dirty” stop, but the teller left the window with my check and came back with what appeared to be the entire staff of the bank. The dogs knew they were on display, so they stuck their heads out of the window and sunroof to give everyone a good look. When the guy’s voice came over the speaker, Bentley let out a giant “BAWOOF” in grand Mastiff fashion, and the window cleared immediately as if my dog was going to jump out through the sunroof and go through their bullet-proof glass. The tube magically delivered my cash with a whoosh, which set Nala off on a spitting-barking-growling tizzy. I took my money and drove away with Mastiff drool in my hair, running down the left lens of my sunglasses, on the windows and slowly running off my shoulder. We Mastiff-Moms accessorize in spit.
I was starving, so I thought I would do a quick trip thru McDonalds for a baby burger and a small Coke, and …. Ladies and Gentlemen…here we go again. Nala barked at the speaker as they repeated my order. I just said, “Thank you, and please don’t pet the dogs.” I pulled up to pay and the girl’s eyes got huge and instead of taking my money, she flat disappeared. The manager came back to the window, said the obligatory, “Oh-my-God!” and took my money. Evidently his employee was afraid of putting her hand out to take my money. Once again…yeah…my dog’s gonna jump through the sunroof into your drive-thru window and eat you alive. Uh-huh…right. (Wimp.) Then at the pick-up window, a repeat of the bank action. I swear, we shut down operations at McDonalds for 5 minutes of, “Oh-my-Gods, what kind of dog is that, how much do they weigh, do they eat a lot, and of course…bet ya hate cleaning up after them, HUH???” There were no less than 10 people crowded into the little pick-up window area. I said, “English Mastiffs, about 220 and 140, four cups a day, yes, they drool, I’ve seen bigger piles out of a Labrador, no, I don’t have a saddle, and no you can’t pet them.” I may have all that painted on the side of my car for the next little road trip.
We came home, the dogs went in the back yard, the yard crew ran up the mulberry tree like squirrel monkeys, yelling, “Dios!” and I said, “Told ya to shut the pool gate…” I herded the dogs back in the house and they’re both sleeping now. Everyone’s finally gone. I was going to do a little more holiday decorating, but right now, I believe I will join the kids (while they still smell civilized) for a little pup-nap.
© 2011 Mary Watson