You knew that yesterday wasn’t going to be all idyllic, didn’t you? You knew that the snow! ice! wonder! of the morning, with the freedom of a lazy day in front of the fire, frolicking with friends from across the street, it was too good to be true. Especially if one lives as Casa de Katie.
Which is why I was unsurprised when, after I caught my kids playing outside without coats or mittens in the whopping 14 degrees and had admonished them, dressed them, and sent them back outside, I was unsurprised to hear an absolute shrieking and wailing that only grew louder as the back door was flung open.
My heart nearly stopped. It was a real scream, a terrified scream, the kind that could end with heartbreak or a trip to the emergency room and so many worse things that all seemed to be flying through my head as I ran to see what crisis I was dealing with.
Bee stood at the back door in the midst of a full-blown panic, tears coursing down her face, tripping over the words she was trying so hard to yell out. “FENWAY IS GONE! SHE’S GONE! SHE RAN AWAY! SHE’SGONESHE’SGONESHE’SGONE!” I looked outside and could see Gracie standing at the two-plank gap in the fence, hollering at Fenway who was running quite joyfully with the horses in the field.
“It’s okay,” I told Bee, calmly and slowly. Bee kept shrieking over me, and I remember thinking that Bee was not going to be my go-to person in a crisis. Wow. I assured her I would just go and get Fenway back, that Fenway knew where she lived, and when she got tired, she’d just come home. Apparently this is not what happens in movies or in Bee’s mind, because Bee thought Fenway’s escape was absolutely irreversible. “She’s a rare dog!” she wailed at one point. Yes, I managed to hold in my chuckle.
But my baby’s heart was utterly broken, and so I had just thrown on my boots and dashed outside, in my pajamas, hair flying all over the place, as I tried to coax Fenway back through the gap.
Fenway wasn’t having it. She heard me whistle and call her, all the way across that giant field. I saw her stop and look at me a few times. Bee had run to get a bone (she kept asking if she should, still all a-panic, and I agreed to give her something to do, good lord) and I even waved that at the dog and nope. She chased the horses, examined the far fence line, ran through some frozen streams (good gravy she was going to be a mess), and chased the horses some more.
Fenway finally decided the bone I was waving looks pretty tasty and tried to wander over towards us. The problem was that the horses were so worked into a lather by the dolty dog who had been chasing them that Fenway had actually herded them over to the gap she wanted to get through. And the horses were all HEEEEY! People!! We like people!
Those horses were awfully friendly.
So then Ponyboy there with the awful toupee wouldn’t let me through the fence to go get Fenway, and Fenway couldn’t get close enough to make it through. Because you know why? She’s scared of the flippin’ horses!!! Yes, yes she is. That’s what kept Fenway in our yard, despite the fact that I knew she could squeeze through the gap in the fence. The horses would occasionally come investigate this little puppy peeking her head through, and every stinkin’ time, Fenway would bolt back to the house because nuh-uh. And now??! Now all of a sudden?! SERVES HER RIGHT.
Except I was the one dealing. Sigh.
So Bee ran back to the house to get some apples to tempt the horses away from the gap. Meanwhile, Fenway had grown tired of waiting and had run off who knows where. A few minutes later, the stupid? fiendishly clever? Fen showed up somehow in our neighbor’s yard, trying to get at us through a much-too-small gap between a post and the fence section.
So I tried to get out of our yard through the gate, realized it was hopelessly frozen shut and I couldn’t kick it open, trekked through the house, over to the neighbors’, saw that their gate was nailed shut (what the man?!), and ended up ringing their doorbell and asking if I could please have my dog, who happened to be stuck in their backyard.
And then I lectured my dog the entire. way. home. that we were walking on ice and if she tugged me and knocked me down, she was in big, big trouble.
She didn’t tug me.
And that is how she spent half the morning in time-out, thinking about everything she did wrong, and I spent mine consoling a worn-out eight-year-old that everything was okay.
And nailing two planks back into place. Because once is quite enough, thank you!