True Story











{August 31, 2011}   North Alabama Vacation

True Story:  I live in LA.

That would be lower Alabama. But, I was raised in North Alabama, therefore I can make fun of it later on.

G Monkey was out of school for 3 weeks and I needed to be in North AL 3 weekends in a row, so we decided to take a little 10 day North AL walkabout.

Things that happened:

1) Dog Boy

The Monkey and I, along with some family, camped for about a week on Lookout Mountain, in the northeast corner of the state. Not tent camping, but relaxing in the woods in cabins camping. For most of the time we had 4-5 dogs and 3 small kids with us.

What used to transpire on these trips to Mentone, AL, was long lazy naps and 1-handed Champagne croquet. Now, with motherhood, what transpires is the following:

I am in the cook house which is sort of like the “living room” cabin of the property where everyone gathers. I look out the front door on to the path leading up to the door and see my 4-year-old son standing there with a dog leash clipped to his shirt and his pants at his ankles. Hmm, I think. I should probably investigate this.

 I stand to look out, and am not very happy to see a very large, human turd behind him on the ground. That’s right. I don’t know any other way to describe it.

Me:  Monkey, WHAT are you doing?

G Monkey:  Being a dog… I go poopy on the ground like the dogs.

Me:  NO YOU DO NOT. 

I look around for anything… Anybody to blame this on. There are dogs around but there is no hiding what this really is. It’s also right in the human walk path.

I consider for a moment kicking or throwing it into the bushes. Fertilizer right?

I decide that is not moral. Where is a husband around when you need one?

UGH!!!! What else to do? I grab a LARGE wad of paper towels and the “thing” in one hand (I can’t bring myself to type that other word again), and my son’s hand in the other.

I drag him across the property with his pants around his ankle. He is trying to quick run with his little legs to keep up with me.

I run into the big cabin where a bathroom is. My stepmom is blow drying her hair in the bathroom. I run into the room very quickly shouting over and over, “I’ve got a situation here. I’ve got a situation”.

She doesn’t say a word, just puts the hairdryer down and walks out.

Oh, good times.

2) Dog Boy #2

Only G Monkey and I, and about 4 dogs are on the property. Everyone else had gone out for a little while. I was feeding the Monkey his lunch in the cook house when all of a sudden I hear a man yelling, “HEY! HEY! STOP! JAKE!”.

I step out the back door just in time to see a Jack Russell stop suddenly in front of me. I reached out to snag his collar as it occurs to me that this might be “Jake”. Just as I got an inch from him he took off again.

A few seconds later his human daddy came running by, “Did you see a dog?” he panted breathlessly.

Me:  Yes, I just missed him. Sorry…

Before I could get it out Doggy Daddy was off again.

Me:  He went up that hill.

I pointed up a thickly wooded hill, well, small mountain really.

As the man runs up the hill all I hear are desperate, painful, wailing cries, “JAKE! STOP! OH HE’S GONE!”

I thought, man this guy is serious about it. 

A few minutes later a car pulls onto the property. A woman gets out with a leash and some dog treats. I walk down to her. She looks at me desperately. I point up the hill.

Me:  They are up there.

She begins yelling at her son up the hill, trying to help.

He wails back, “Forget it Mom, he’s gone. He’s GONE!”.

She looks at me with a tear in her eye, “I just left the door open for a minute and he was gone. They just came up for the afternoon, oh what are we going to do?”

Me:  It’s okay. He will come back.

Mom:  No, no you don’t know this dog.

For about 10 more minutes I console this woman and her husband who had by now driven up. The entire time we are listening to sobs from on top of the hill.

Dog Daddy finally appears out of the woods. He is missing a flip-flop, sweating, crying and has scratches on his face from running blindly through the woods.

Me:  Listen, our dogs run up those hills all the time. He’ll come back. It’s hot as hell. He’ll come down for water or food or to hang with our dogs.

Dog Daddy (wiping tears):  No he won’t. He’s gone. You don’t know this dog. It’s over.

He stomps off down the road with one flip-flop. Not only is he a cry baby but he’s a bit of a brat as well. Did I mention this guy is about my age, 35 maybe.

His mom yells after him and he whips his arm back at her to leave him alone and continues the pout walk.

I exchange numbers with Mom and Dad and tell them not to worry, I’ll return the dog if I see him.

True Story:  5 minutes, maybe. Might have been 3 minutes after they leave the property, I look over and lo and behold if it isn’t little Jake sitting there panting like crazy from his romp through the woods.

I said, “Hey Jake, want some water?”  He follows me to our community dog water bowl while I slip a leash on his collar.

I grab G Monkey and tell him we are about to go make someone very happy. The 3 of us, me, Jake, and the Monkey head down the road to a cabin “Mom” had told me they were staying.

We get about half way there when an SUV pulls over suddenly in front of me and blocks traffic on the entire road. Dog Daddy hops out of the car, still crying, and goes,”No way. NO WAY. God bless you. Oh, wow, thank you so much.” He gives me a sort of sweaty, tearful hug. I told him no problem, as I know how dogs can be.

In my head I thought, “Good Lawd, get a grip.”

So later on I tell the rest of the crew this story when they get back.

I had also mentioned earlier in the day that today was a full moon, and supposed to be one of the sweetest ones of the year. Also, I might mention, my horoscope said it would be my most romantic time of the year. I didn’t really see how this was going to work out for me as I was camping in the woods with my family.

I know what you’re thinking. Well, you are in Alabama. When in Rome, right?

My Dad decides that this has to be full Moon fate. It has to be:

1) My dad has the same first name as the Doggy Daddy. 2) Jake is my dad’s alter ego’s name. 3) It’s a full Moon. 4) The dog was a Jack Russel just like my dog, the Demanding Paw.

My answer?

I’m way more of a man than that dude is.

True Story:  There are more stories and observations from North Alabama Vaca to come later. But I am too dog pooped to type them right now. Pun intended.

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