The return trip from ensconcing The Pony in his dorm at OU was surprisingly uneventful. With nobody to chastise for NOT riding his bumper or exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph, Farmer H tooled along at a mere 1 mile over the limit! I swear, it was like riding with a little old lady from Pasadena. IF that little old lady lifted her rumpus to fart every 15 minutes, and tilted her head back to swill bottled mini Diet Cokes while passing a convoy of 20 military flat-bed semis.
I must say that I called Farmer H out on swerving onto the bumpity-bumpity grooves on the left shoulder of the passing lane. They are put there, you know, to alert drivers that they're running off the road. I asked if, perhaps, it would be too much trouble to keep us in one or the other of the two lanes, between the lines.
"I AM between the lines!"
"That bumpity sound begs to differ. You ran off."
"Oh, Val! That's just the shoulder!"
"Exactly! You're not really supposed to drive on it. The next step is the guard rail."
Can you believe Farmer H thinks the shoulder is to be used for travel? Yeah. I knew you could believe it.
We left Norman at 7:05 a.m. and rolled up the driveway of the Mansion at 7:05 p.m. In case you can't do rudimentary clock math, that's a 12-hour drive. Uh huh. We came back the same way we went. With a stop to take the #1 son to lunch. Among other things. That's a story for another day. Maybe here. Maybe elsewhere.
I just knew my doggies would be on the porch, sensing that I was nearly home. Probably got ready for us when we hit the Hillmomba city limits. But as we turned past the big green dumpster (sniff, sniff) last put there by The Pony on Tuesday evening, I saw nary a fleabag near the Mansion! Farmer H stopped on the concrete to let me out before pulling into the garage. It's too small, you know. Or has too much junk lining the sides. Because the passenger door of the Acadia won't open once it's parked.
And here came Puppy Jack! Running, running, his short little legs propelling his long little body, from over by the goat pen, his short little ears tucked back alongside his head. He undulated up the front steps, and sat looking at me from the porch. My, how he's grown! I think HOS fed him a little too much while we were away.
Anyhoo, once I stepped out and hollered, "JACKIE BOY!" he ran down the other set of steps and out to stand up pawing at my leg. It was all I could do not to pick him up, but he had obviously just come from swimming. Probably in the goat's tub, considering the direction from whence he came. Then Juno appeared, having been guarding the inside of her house, in a funk because her people had abandoned her.
Juno was quite happy to see me. Both dogs pranced back to the side porch for hugs, jockeying for position. Juno's near-human amber eyes bespoke great relief upon our reunion. She pressed her head and chest against me, her muzzle over my shoulder as I stood down on the sidewalk, like she didn't want to let me go. Darn those legs and paws not adapted to hugging!
I gave both dogs a handful of cat kibble, and then my guilt made me go into the garage and dip a nonstick saucepan of it from the mini plastic trash can that holds it. I poured out a generous dollop to Jack, and more for Juno. She's bigger, you know. And looked thinner. I think maybe she had not been getting her egg quota while we were away.
This morning, I went out to sit on the front porch pew and play with those doggies while Farmer H gathered his tools for weedeating. Juno was there right away, pressing her whole body against my knees, filling my old holey sweatpants legs with burs. I gave her my full attention, she being my loyal buddy who loves me like no other. Then I called for Jack. Three times. I heard the Gator start up over by the BARn, and here he came, racing along in front. Then at the side. Then behind. Jack is not very fast.
Once he saw me on the porch, hesitating like he couldn't believe his eyes, he ran up the steps and stood on his short hind legs against my knee. He does that when he wants to be picked up. But once again, he was all wet! In fact, he got my pants soaking wet. Along with the burs.
"Your dog's been swimming again. In the FISH POND when I was around back."
Well. No way was I picking him up after that. If he'd been in his clean-water cat-litter-box swimming pool, maybe. But not from the green-water fish pond. Fish poop in there, you know!
Jack is overdue for a picking-up. I'll catch him dry one of these mornings.