It was mid-April 2006 and Spring was upon us. The days were longer, the sun was out and the mercury was slowly rising on the thermometer. Back then, CJ and I were both working and this was before Isabella. We had owned Samson for about 3 weeks at this point and were still getting used to his antics.
I arrived home at my usual time – around 5- and let Samson out of his kennel. The Tasmanian Devil that he is came careening out the door and tearing down the hallway. He did loops around the dining room and kitchen then raced back down the hall before turning and making a mad dash for the backdoor. Good thing I was already there with the door open or he would have run right through it, leaving a labrador shaped outline behind.
We had to stand outside and watch him while he was in the backyard because he couldn’t be trusted alone yet. So I stepped out and kept an eye on him. I tried to be discrete. After all, who likes to be watched while doing their business? As I milled about on the deck, I spotted the grill and thought it would be a perfect night for burgers. CJ would be home a bit late tonight as he had to run a few errands after work so I thought I’d get the grill fired up and the burgers going.
Samson and I headed inside and I started dinner. I emptied a can of green beans into a pan (I’m gourmet like that) and put ’em on the stove. I got out the hamburger and began making the patties, all the while keeping an eye on Samson because he can’t be trusted even when we’re home with him. I would have to stop occasionally to run frantically down the hall and see where he had snuck off to. It was usually to our bedroom where he’d take either my shoes or steal CJ’s pillow.
Once the hamburger patties were ready, it was time to fire up the grill. I took the meat outside with me and got the grill going. Samson stayed inside which was fine since I was coming right back in.
Or so I thought.
I attempted to go back in only to find the backdoor wouldn’t open. Puzzling. I tried again. Still wouldn’t budge. Then I looked down and saw that the dowel rod we use as extra security by placing it in the track of the door was in fact jammed in place.
And this is what I saw right next to it:
Ok so let’s stop to assess the situation. I am outside on the deck with the grill and a plate full of hamburger patties at about 5:30 p.m. on a night that was rapidly becoming chilly. Samson was inside staring at me through the sliding glass door that was now blocked from being opened. CJ was at work and not due home for an hour or so. I had a pot full of green beans on the stove. And my cell phone was tucked safely inside my purse, which was on the kitchen counter.
And let us not forget that SAMSON CANNOT BE TRUSTED!
I tried to stay calm and contemplate my options. The front door and garage doors (along with all windows) were locked. At the time we didn’t have a key pad on the garage door (but we do now!) or a spare key hidden anywhere outside so there was no alternate way to get in. So I could…
- Start screaming at the top of my lungs to see who would come help.
- Try to break the door down.
- Walk to CJ’s work (which was about 2 miles from our house) and get a key.
- Ask a neighbor for help.
- Sit and wait
- Mow the lawn while I was out there
- Pick up the treats Samson had just left me in the yard
I discarded all of those and decided to try reasoning with Samson. Makes the most sense right? I mean, if he can push the stick in to place, he can certainly pull it out. I started talking to him through the door.
“Hey Samson! See that stick there? Looks like a fun toy doesn’t it? Why don’t you play with it!”
“Guess what boy – that stick is made of meat! Bet you want to start gnawing on it now huh?”
“Samson, don’t you dare touch that stick. If you touch it you’re going right to your kennel!”
Usually reverse psychology works on him but not this time. Drat.
Just then the next door neighbor came outside to do some yard work. I ran to the fence and asked to borrow their phone and called CJ. No answer. What, you thought the ending would be that easy? Tried again. No answer. I left a couple scathing messages about how important it is to answer one’s phone and then called my parents who have a spare key to the house. My dad said he’d come right over.
Now I just had to wait. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal. After all, I had food (fully cooked burgers by this time) and it was a decent enough night. But, I also had a 4 month old puppy who would give his right nut (and he did a few months later, along with the left one) to have free reign over the house. Now he did. And I had no way to stop him from ripping everything to shreds.
The only thing I could do was stand by the door and peer in from time to time (while simultaneously gnawing on a hamburger patty). If he was there, great. If not, I’d bang on the glass really loudly until he came running. He would look at me like, “Why are you outside? Can I come out? Why won’t you let me out?” Then he’d wander off and I’d have to bang on the door again.
My dad got there about 15 minutes later and opened the door. Samson came bounding over as if he hadn’t seen me in FOREVER! Then he promptly ran outside, jumped up and took a burger off the side shelf of the grill. *sigh*
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