This is supposed to be one of those "heartwarming and comedic" stories I promised to share with readers every once in a while ...
So, I came down with a cold last Thursday. By midday Friday, I could tell bronchitis was settling in (I have lots of experience with it). By the time I got off work Friday, I took some cough syrup and slept. And slept, and slept, and slept.
I basically slept for all but three hours on Saturday. And anyone who has slept so much knows that after so long, your body starts aching from lying in bed so much. But battling intense pressure on my lungs, a painful cough and no voice to speak of (pun intended!), it's just easier to get through it sleeping.
When I woke up at 7:30 Sunday morning, I coughed. It wasn't as painful as on Saturday. I did my routine "hello" to test my vocal cord functions. It was scratchy, but working. And that's my test — if the cough isn't too painful and the voice is functioning, it's time to get back to life.
I don't normally rise so early on Sunday, but seeing as how I'd slept for almost 48 hours, I didn't even want to be asleep anymore. I walked to the refrigerator, poured myself a glass of orange juice, got the dog breakfast and rounded up some stray pieces of laundry from the living room.
Sensi, his breakfast now merrily in his tummy, trotted up to me.
"It's time to go outside, Mom!" he said, except he doesn't talk. But you know what I mean.
So I let him outside on the chain, picked up the laundry and walked back to the bedroom.
My thought: "I can get enough laundry sorted before he wants back inside to get a load started, then I'll make coffee."
And back to the bedroom I went. After about ten minutes of sorting laundry, I thought it was odd that Sensi had not barked to get back inside. He normally doesn't like staying outside without us — it's pee, then poop, then nibble on some blades of grass and bark to get back inside.
I moseyed back to the front door, still in my pajamas, and looked for the chain. It was still. My heart always flutters a bit when I don't see movement on the chain.
"Did it break?" I always wonder, even though the chain is actually a super-duper strong (though lightweight) cable with super-duper strong hooks on it.
I opened the door and hollered Sensi's name in my special sing-song voice that always garners a "full-charge ahead" response from him, watched the chain and ... nothing. No movement.
Now my heart wasn't just fluttering; it was beating rapidly. I was about to have a heart attack.
And so, with just my house slippers and pajamas on, I ran out the front door and around the garden bed. He looked up at me as though he wasn't expecting me to come running — surprised, taken aback and clearly caught red-handed.
I came to a screeching halt as soon as I saw him but I could form no words. My brain needed some time to process this scene I saw in front of me.
My dog, my black and white dog, now colored brown. Backing away from a corner of the house, in a garden bed, behind where the hose sits. Fresh dirt. Large hole. Brown dog.
"Oh my God, Sensi," I finally said. He didn't need to hear any "bad dogs" from me. He knows very well that digging in mommy's garden beds is not allowed, and from the way he was backing away from his deed, I knew he knew exactly where we stood.
If only I'd grabbed the iPhone and snapped a photo of him. That's my only regret.
And so, that is the story of how, at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday on the very first morning that I'd felt remotely OK after battling bronchitis for more than 48 hours — before I even got my morning cup of coffee — I wound up in the bathroom, dirt on my forearms as I sprayed the caked mess of mud off my dog.
Which, of course, also is the story of how I wound up cleaning the entire bathroom from top to bottom after that. But not before my morning cup of coffee — which, thank God, Brent had woken up and made for me while I bathed the dog.
I went out later to inspect the damage and that's when I realized the whole mole connection. Darn mole got into my garden beds and uprooted about 90 percent of my plants. I'm sure the dog either saw, felt or smelled it moving in the ground beneath him.
Now, if only he'd gotten the darn mole ...