14 January 2006

Pawsted by Mosilager

Friday the 13th is really Wednesday the 11th

I didn't fear Friday the 13th this month because Wednesday the 11th delivered with bonuses. I had taken the Booster and the Ginger out for their evening walk. The doggies were sniffing around the ground and Ginga (as he commonly does) found something to crunch on, probably a bone. I couldn't see what it was so I told him to drop it. During that time Booboo saw a rabbit and took off, dragging the leash behind him. "Well," I thought, "when he gets into the woods chasing rabbits the leash will get stuck on the trees and I can catch Boo easily." So I let Ginga go as well, it's much easier than teaching him that pulling on the leash works. So by the time I got to the woods after them, stepping through a lot of wet mud in 0 degree weather, both were stuck as hypothesised. Booboo started barking so I went to free him first, the squeaky wheel again gets the grease, and it took some time to untangle him from the mess he had created, especially when each new degree of freedom led to more sniffing and rabbit hunting. So Booboo is finally free and then we went to look for the Ginga. Booboo led me right to him, or so I thought when I saw the leash. There was only a broken collar at the end of the leash and no Ginga. He had pulled hard enough to smash the pins on the collar and taken off. These were some new collars fitted on them only the week before to enhance visibility in the dark. Well, if they're not on the doggie then they don't work very well. I stuffed the collar in the pocket and started walking around to find Ginga. I saw him every now and then but he wouldn't come close enough to even take a treat. Trying to get him jealous by feeding Booboo and lavishing attention did not work either. These guys are learning from each other, or maybe from Mel "they can take away my food but not my freedom" Gibson. Booboo by now is getting very unhappy at being on the leash and wants to race after rabbits so I took him back to the house where he stayed until the conclusion of this adventure.

OK back out again in the cold and damp and mud looking for Ginga. This area is not lighted very well and I occasionally only saw flashes from cars on the neighbouring highway. So there are cars and roads around, and by this time I got quite scared that Ginga would be involved in some kind of incident with them. Some type of instinct led me directly this time to his location and he took off, with me in full chase after him through the woods. This time 4 legs beat 2 and I couldn't see him any more and only hear him through the bush. I repeated this a few times and lost him for a while before he showed up again smiling and saying, "isn't this fun, look, so many rabbits." Or alternatively, some doggy version of "you can't catch me, na na na na na na." During these disappearances twice I heard cars hooting loudly close by and that compounded the whole Friday the 13th experience on Wednesday the 11th. Eventually I went back home to bring Boo to see if Ginga would come back. Ginga was following me but did not want to come inside. So I got Booboo out, Lova came with a cheesestick and eventually fed Boo enough to make Ginga jealous, or maybe he was just really hungry by that time. Now we could put the old collar on him and get him inside. I think maybe he was just scared that we'd be really angry that he ran away but we were more happy that he came back in one piece. This calls for more training near rabbits so they don't stop listening.

So after that 2 hour ordeal, you would think that my night of horrors would end, but, this was only the beginning. Did I mention that it was cold? Well, it was. So, later at night, I was returning home from research when my right front tyre lost all air. It didn't sound like a burst, more like a thump thump thump of the rim feeling more of the road than it is used to. I stopped the car on the side of the road and tried to get my spare tyre out. This spare tyre has never been touched by human hands before, as far as I can tell, and it will not come out of its metal moorings by any force known to man. I decided to call up my emergency road service, who were happy to inform me that I have no such service even though it's on the insurance card. Oh well, call for backup. Booboo's daddy to the rescue. Unfortunately his spare tyre does not fit mine as it has spaces for 4 nuts while mine has space for 5. So we decided to try to force my spare out by checking for instructions on the internet. Also a kindly officer of the law had come up and informed us that we could leave the car there for a couple of hours while we went home. Web didn't turn up anything so we called up a friend at 0030 to ask if he has 4 holes in his spare tyre or 5. After some explaining, he went outside in his pyjamas and figured out that he has 5. So we got the tyre back to the car and it is too big for my car. My friend happens to be the only one on the planet with a full size spare. This is where we decided that the forces arrayed against us were far too great and went home to sleep.

Next morning things got sorted out after a mini-scare while we were passing the car location on our way to fixing the bad tyre. Another officer was turning in to where the car was. We followed him in but he just left without paying any attention to the car. I bought a new tyre at the garage and came back to install it. During installation I found that one of the lug nuts was missing so now I'm running on 4. Back to the garage, who didn't have a spare lug nut but they did inform me that 4 was ok, but nothing less than 3 :) No speed limits either, other than the officially posted ones. So now I'm rolling again.

In conclusion, I hope the Wednesday the 11th thing cancels out all the Friday the 13th problems. I didn't talk to or massage Ginga at all that night, and he had to watch while Booboo got cheese sticks and sausages. It's probably our fault, doggies will chase after rabbits, we just have to train them not to.

Edit - an account of this is up at my roomie's blog.

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