Arthur’s in the doghouse

Many of you know my brother Arthur from various comments that he leaves around here. I keep telling him he has to start his own blog, but he hasn’t listened to me yet. Arthur e-mailed me with this story over the weekend, and I have his wife’s permission to post it (Arthur’s too, but we all know who really matters). This will give you an idea of what it’s like to be married to a Dash.

Do you by any chance have a spare bed I could use for a couple of days? Houdini (Max, our Border Collie/Australian Shepherd …. according to our Veterinarian) has been at it again, and Patti is NOT impressed!
Maybe I better start at the beginning……
You know already that I acquired Max without obtaining Patti’s blessing? And that Max sucked up to Patti big time and won her tentative approval?  Well, the first day we had Max, I took him with me in the truck while I worked, because I didn’t know whether or not I could trust him alone at home. Of course Max loved being with me, and he loves the truck, but it proved to be just too much hassle  for me to have him tagging along. I might add that I was thinking ahead to the hot summer days that are still coming, and thought that it may prove to be too hot for the dog in the truck all day.
So: The second day, I used a twenty foot cable attached to two cork-screw type anchors in the ground, and left Max outside under a nice shady tree with lots of water and a toy for him to play with. When Patti arrived home later that day, there was Max on the front porch, waiting for her, having slipped his collar. That was not bad enough, but he had this old rabbit carcass that he was tossing into the air with much glee, and he smelled like he had rolled in all the old carcasses he could find. He then proceeded to greet Patti with all the joy only a seven or eight month old puppy can muster. Patti drove all over town until she found where I was working so she could tell me how much trouble I was in. I almost had to spend the night in the shed with Max, but Patti finally relented after I had worn out the knees on my better pair of jeans begging for another chance.
A couple of days later, Max pulled another escape from the basement where we had left him, and Patti immediately went and bought the most secure cage she could find that was large enough to accommodate Max. We set it up in the living room, and encouraged Max to come and go as he liked for the first few days. No problem. The cage was his sanctuary, and he went in and out of it quite happily. The problem arose when we had to leave him in it while we both went to work. Max escaped. He didn’t do MUCH damage, but he did chew a couple things that Patti kind of wished he hadn’t. I only had to spend a few hours begging for my life that time, but Patti determined that the next time we had to leave Max she was going to LOCK him in the cage, which she did. Max escaped.
Patti moved the cage into a corner of the living room, so that one side and the back were against the walls of the living room,  and the other side was against the couch. This left only the front door of the cage, and it was padlocked. Max escaped, again. He had somehow  managed to undo the hooks at the top of the cage and squeeze between the top and the side. Patti, …I’ll give her an “A” for determination… used about fifty cable-ties and secured  all the sides of the cage (except the door) and the top and bottom as well,  and again Max got out. He had found an opening at the bottom of the door.
By this time, I am hanging on to my position as husband by the slimmest of threads, and Max is quite quickly losing his charm, (“I don’t care how good-looking he is, or how clever, he’s about HAD it!”) but, sweet thing that she is, Patti keeps giving us another chance to make up for our indiscretions. TWO padlocks, one at the top of the door and one at the bottom. That should do it! Now I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I swear it is the truth. We locked Max in, but we had forgotten to leave him anything to play with, so I went back downstairs to give him his chew toy. I double checked the locks. Patti TRIPLE checked the locks….for some reason I get the impression she doesn’t trust me as much as she used to. When we arrived home, there was Max….sitting in the front window on the coffee table smiling that enigmatic smile! We had neglected to remove the keys from the padlocks, and Max had somehow opened the bottom lock and had squeezed out.
I think Patti was contemplating buying another cage for ME , but I managed to talk her out of it once again. Taking the keys out of the locks worked for a couple of days, but today we went to the City to visit my in-laws. Patti did not want to take Max because he is part baby elephant/part dog, so we left him in the basement; in the cage; cable-tied; double locked, and keys out. Lots of water and toys to keep him occupied. So help me… Max escaped. I don’t know how….there is only a four inch gap at the bottom right-hand corner of the door and Max just isn’t that small. (My personal opinion is that Max has had another set of keys cut, and he’s hiding them somewhere in his fur or under the tray of the cage.) But, there he was when we arrived home, on the coffee table, wagging his tail and smiling.
Suffice it to say that Patti is less than happy. Max has outwitted her. The fact that he had under-wear and socks from the laundry basket strewn all over the living room, and had managed to open the bathroom cabinet and remove the garbage from under the sink has made him ….and me …. even more unpopular. I tried real hard, somewhat successfully, to NOT laugh when we entered the living room to another joyous “There you are! What took you so long? I’ve been waiting for you!”  When I suggested that I had better take Max for a walk, Patti was a little TOO enthusiastic for my liking! I made sure I had my keys with me so I could get back in the house, but I am going to be calling all the locksmiths in the area tomorrow asking them to disregard any and all requests to change the locks at our house for the next couple of months.
Patti is threatening to return me and Max to the pound from whence he came, (she has NO sense of humor, that girl!)but I figure if I can spend a couple of days at your place till she calms down, I might be able to come back home sometime next week. Maybe!
The next time we have to leave Max at home, I’m going to wait a couple of hours and phone home. If Max answers the phone, I’ll know  I’m in deep trouble BEFORE Patti finds out, and I’ll be able to get a head start. Just where I’ll get a head start TO, I haven’t figured out yet. Maybe I’ll just ask Max…..
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada