At our age, we tend to keep our athletic antics reasonable and safe. We don’t want the injuries that get in the way of enjoying retirement life. We move a bit slower and a bit more carefully. So, I was a bit surprised the night that Arnie decided to take up high jumping.
It started with a bright idea to keep the dogs contained in the bedroom with us at night. Hana, the Japanese Chin, tends to wander and, poor limited soul that she is, she gets disoriented and ends up behind the guest bathroom toilet by default. It’s such an undignified place for a dog who looks like she should be on a silk cushion somewhere. But it is her den of choice. She scared the daylights out of me one time when I didn’t know she was there and she bolted out mid-flush. Sort of a horror movie moment when the “Thing” slides up out of the john or out from under the bed.
The last thing I said before going to bed that night was, “Let’ not forget that gate is there.” Those were prophetic words. It wasn’t very long before Arnie decided he had better double check the door and make sure he locked it for the night. You can’t be too careful, you know.
Hopping out of bed and striding right along towards the hall, he hit gate first with his right foot, jamming his big toe into one of the lattice squares. The crash was chilling. Launching forward, he hit the carpet, slid and flipped over, in the process, firmly planting the other big toe in the lattice also. There he was, now flipped on his back, feet in the air with a dog gate stuck on his toes.
From this graceful position he proceeded to moan loudly, “My toes, my toes, my toes! Pull the gate off my toes!” I did a Wonderwoman speed jump out of bed, ran to his assistance and tried to help. Now, just a reminder….toes are pretty crooked little things. Once they are wedged into a small space, they don’t just slip out again easily. In fact, I had to carefully jiggle that gate gently back and forth to release those two snug little buggers from their trap.
But the tight fit was not nearly the biggest obstacle to this catch and release effort. The biggest obstacle was how hard I was laughing at the sight of my poor husband flat on his back, business flapping in the wind and balancing a dog gate on his two big toes all the while, pleading for relief. It’s a character flaw, I know, but I cannot help but laugh when something like this happens. I try, but it overtakes my self-control. I just cannot help it. It’s like some involuntary sort of hysteria that overtakes my compassion. Now, don’t take me wrong, I did rush to his assistance and I did extricate Arnie from his predicament quite quickly. But I do feel badly about the laughing. Sort of. I am writing about it because now you are laughing too and that sort of makes it all right. Sort of.
All the noise and commotion scared Hana who, no surprise, ended up planted behind the toilet in the guest room and we were right back where we started. The moral of the story: Let sleeping dogs lie behind the toilet.