Thursday, May 24, 2007

No words

Okay, yesterday pretty much sucked. It started out fine, but later in the afternoon it disintegrated in a matter of minutes.

Amy opened the front door and the dog got out. That's a typical occurrence that drives me crazy daily, so it isn't unprecedented. We caught her rather quickly this time, and I took Amy and Jingle back into the house. Matty went to go tell his brother of the capture. About 10 minutes later, I change a load of laundry, and notice that Amy isn't around. Then I notice that the boys are not back yet. So I tear through the house calling Amy's name, searching every room. Nothing. I run outside. I'm calling all of them and still nothing. I find the boys at the pond's edge and my heart sinks and my stomach lunges and still no Amy.

At this moment, Mrs. Kravitz, my neighbor that can make an intolerable moment even more insufferable, comes up and tries to "help." I send her and the boys back to the house to search there because I know Amy will never respond to her outside if she calls.

The seconds crawl by as I run down the street and through back yards calling her name. Other neighbors peer outside. Sweat is pouring down my back and I realize I am shaking.

Finally, Stevie comes from the house and announces he's found her, curled up under a blanket in the baby's crib.

And as I stood there holding on to her for dear life, a thousand fears pulsing through my body, Did she not hear me when I called her? Is her hearing not working right anymore? How will I know? What if she had made it outside?, Mrs. Kravitz said, "You've got so many kids now, you can't keep track of them all."

If I hadn't been holding my precious daughter, I would have punched her in the face.

As a mother, she should have just understood intuitively that that is the absolute lowest a mother can feel. If she was trying to be funny--which I have never known her to do--comic relief at that moment of sheer panic is just plain cruel.

And supplying the 1001st fear is even crueler.


T with Honey said...

Maybe that was just Mrs. Kravits' VERY poor attempt at humor? Either way she could really use a brain-to-mouth filter.

Piddler said...

OMG I got teary-eyed reading about you running around looking for your child (and when you mentioned pond my heart sank cause we have one too).

It's the only thing I don't think I could recover from, losing a child.

So glad it ended well.

Can I come over and work some clicker training magic on that pooch of yours?

Tracey said...

I dunno T. If it were anyone else in the world, they would receive the benefit of the doubt. This woman goes out of her way to insult me at every encounter. I think I need to cut all contact from her.

I'm still shaking from the whole thing.

And I would love some Jingle help--can you believe I paid a small fortune for in-home dog training. She is only trained when they are in my home.

Jodi said...

since summer vacation started today I have a little extra time on my hands...I have starting plotting a system of sabatoge on the ole' Mrs. Kravitz, nasty lady!

Piddler said...

Here's what you do about Jingles and the door.

Get some treats. Think of an easy-to-make noise (a cluck, clap, snap, whatever) that will be the signal to Jingles that she did something good and a reward is on the way.

Put her on a leash. Does she sit? Sitting would be good. Sit, make signal noise (I'm going to use snap as an example), give treat. (I use turkey pepperoni.) If she doesn't sit, just practice calling her name. She looks your way, snap, treat. Do this until she is really good at it. Then practice it with the door open. Then off leash. Then off leash with door open. The only hard part is making the signal at the moment the good thing occurs. You want the animal to begin to understand that what they were doing when they got snapped is the thing you are teaching. Then you have time to dig out the reward. Do several training sessions for a couple of days and I think you will see Jingles begin to open her mind to you and training. Then you can take if from there and teach her anything. I keep saying "you" but really this is a great project for kids if they're old enough.

If Jingles pushes her way out the door, is she in danger? Because this has become a very rewarding game for her. She pushes out the door and a big, fun game of chase the dog ensues. What could be more fun? Somehow, it has to become more rewarding to stay in the house with her family.

If you try this, let me know how it goes. I have lots of other ideas, too.