Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stuart and Kuma's Big Adventure

Probably the most consistent part of our lives is the existence of our two largest pets: Kuma the bovine like St Bernard and Stuart the goat in a Bassett Hound's body. Both have their charms, and I suppose we love them equally (I'll never say that under oath though), but we definitely like Kuma more. His unassuming self deprecating manner (much better than a dog with a self defecating manner) and overall need to please us makes him so much easier to deal with. Anyway, this isn't an ode to our dogs, though I suppose it could have turned up that way.

You see this past Sunday, which started like most Sundays--well except for the fact the weather was beautiful and we opted to not go to the zoo. We were just too doggone tired to do so. I had a wild and crazy night out with my friends who seemed to need to get away from it all. Being young and crazy we ended up parting ways and going home around 11:30pm. I returned home to see Liz immersed in the world of Harry Potter (I had finished earlier that afternoon). I ended up staying up with her past 3am (two nights in a row after 3am--what's next--hosting a Harry Potter rave?). Ok, back to Sunday, we pretty much lounged around the house, finding one sound reason after another not to exert ourselves. Once dinner time approached, I fired up the grill and braced myself for what was to come (having a 170lb St Bernard jump on you is never easy, but bracing oneself can keep your head above your feet). Oddly enough what was to come never did.

Hmmmmm. Where's Kuma (oddly enough I wasn't that worried Stuart was no where to be seen, as I know he is our cross to bear and will always be there)? I called for the big beast, and still I couldn't see or hear him. I looked in nearby yards for a confused pony sized dog (he probably could somehow step over the fence (not much of a leaper, but he is THAT tall). I even called for Stuart against my better judgment. Sadly it all was for not. Desperate I looked over to the gate, which was not closed!

I half expected to see an exhausted St Bernard laying under the tree in the front yard panting like crazy and a Bassett Hound head deep in our trash can, but neither was seen. After alerting Liz, I began my hunt. Knowing that a dog the size of a growing buffalo is not something that disappears stealthily I stopped the first car that roamed by our house. After trying to not look like a car jacker, I got them to roll down the window. Before I could finish asking they nodded rapidly and pointed to the corner not far away. They weren't much for words, but after seeing a giant dog a giant human likely wasn't what they wanted to see next. The hunt continued.

I ran ahead to the corner they pointed to, and there was someone watering their lawn. Only in Ohio do people stand in their front yard with a hose and manually water the grass--quite a bizarre practice, but they smiled and said you own that big thing and pointed to the next corner (which wasn't that far away, but I still couldn't see them). I ran ahead (well maybe I walked fast), and just at the next corner was some kid doing something--can't recall, but he likely thought he looked cooler than he really did. Anyway, he said what's his name and asked which dog was mine. At this point I realized I had only asked folks about Kuma, but I'm not 100% sure I was acting on my greater affection for him or my knowledge that Stuart is a curse that we must bear--most likely it was just the logical reasoning that it's 100x times easier to see a dog that's closer to the size of Mr Ed than Lassie. In any event, it wasn't long before I rounded this corner to see a happier than he should be St Bernard bounding about and a dutiful Bassett Hound sniffing a trail to god knows where.

That pretty much ended Kuma and Stuart's big adventure. I wasn't smart enough to bring collars let alone leashes, so I had to verbally wrangle them--easier said than done, but it didn't need to last for too long, as Liz appeared in her trusty CRV to serve as animal control. Thus their moments of unbridled freedom ended safely. Stuart continues to hound about the gate, and I'm sure he won't forget the endless world of smells out there. Kuma quickly became beyond exhausted after he not only walked farther than he's used to but did so jumping and galloping like a horse with hemorrhoids.

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