First, let me say, I love the fall!! I love it! I love sweaters, and golden leaves, and tree ripened apples, and pumpkins and dressing up! I love to dress up! Maybe more than my kids do.
But this is a post about our doggie Arizona and how she hates that stupid smelly school bus. (*Evie and I just read Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.)
You may remember that Arizona (we call her Zona for short) came to us two summers ago when we were on vacation in Arizona. She just showed up in the yard of the house we rented. She wouldn't let anyone approach her and she was obviously exhausted (like she'd been wandering for days). She just slept in the shade of the mesquite bushes getting up and moving to another shady patch whenever anyone tried to bring her water (it was like 118 degrees - do you remember that heat wave and that crazy monsoon that blew through Scottsdale in late July 2009, Karen and Steph?). Anyway, long after everyone else had given up on her, Cole finally won over her affections with a combination of undying patience and a package of hot dogs. From then on she has been his shadow. It's quite possibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. She does not leave his side. She sleeps next to his bed, she follows him everywhere (including the bathroom) and pretty much only tends to her own needs (ie; eating, pottying, etc.) when he is asleep or at school. And she's extremely protective of him. When he and Dave play "rowdy" she prances about them barking and complaining as she moults under the stress of it all. It's reminds me of Lassie - a boy and his dog. And he eats it up. He loves her undying loyalty and adoration. She's his favorite thing in the world. Of course, that will all change once girlfriends show up on the scene, but until then...
With back to school entirely upon us I am reminded of a story that I thought worthy of sharing. It actually happened late last spring when we first got back from Mexico and the kids went back to school.
Cole rides the bus to the middle school every day. The bus stops almost directly across the street from our house which is very convenient... usually. This one particular day started out normally. The bus putted to a stop across the street, and we all sounded the usual alarm, "BUS!" Cole bounded from the bathroom smelling of Hollister cologne, grabbed his backpack and planted a kiss on my cheek as I opened the front door for him to run out. Being that I was a little rusty on my back to school routine, I was half a second too late in shutting the door, allowing a small window of opportunity for Zona to scamper out the door after him. He was nearly to the bus when she caught up to him. He turned around to bring her back to the house, but the bus driver was waiting so I said, "Go get on the bus. I'll get her." (In hind sight, a critical mistake on my part.) So he turned and ran to get on the bus as I called for Zona to "COME!" in my best "Imeanbusiness" voice. Only she doesn't listen to me because I'm not her boy. She looked at me for a second but then turned to follow Cole. Finding the door to the bus already closed (I swear she would have jumped on that bus after him) she circled around the front trying to find another way in. Panicked that the bus driver didn't see her and would run her over I ran out into the street screaming and hollering to the bus driver not to drive away. I was a sight to behold, let me tell you: still in my pj's, with monster bed head flapping behind me as I ran across the street in my bare feet, waving my right arm over my head while holding my boobs with my left so they didn't bounce right out of my top, and screaming, "Stop! Stop! Don't go!" (note to self: buy pj's with built in boob support). Did I mention this was the bus to the middle school? Filled with middle schoolers? Oh, the horror. Zona took one look at me and decided there must be one heck of an emergency and that it was up to her to take drastic measures to ensure that the stupid smelly bus did not take her beloved boy away. She circled around the front of the bus once more and then tummy crawled right underneath the beast and lay down with a look in her eye that clearly said to me, "Over my dead body!" By now I had reached the bus and, still holding my boobs, I stretched up with my free hand and knocked loudly on the driver's window, screaming "Don't go! Don't go! There's a dog under your bus!!" Ok, let's take a break here to discuss those stop signs that pop out from the side of the bus to stop traffic so kids can cross the street safely. You know the ones? Yeah, well during this entire fiasco the stop sign was out. There was now traffic stopped in both directions bearing witness to, what quite possible amounts to, the most embarrassing moments of my life. Did I mention how cute I looked? I looked even cuter crawling halfway under the bus on my knees and one free hand (remember the other was busy consoling the twins) trying to reach Zona's collar, to no avail. I finally gave up, crawled out, and hollered for Cole to get off the bus and come get his dog. He did just that and as I waddled awkwardly back to the house, boobs in one hand, dog collar in the other, I just hoped that my bedhead would hide the crimson shade of my cheeks.
Recently, I met a gal whose child is in Emerson's class, and as I introduced myself she said, "Oh! We've never met, but I know you! Yeah, I was stuck in traffic one morning on the way to school, and you were crawling under the bus to get your dog!"
Awesome. That was me. Nice to meet you.