I mentioned in a previous post how I was locked outside (during the winter) by my dog, Moose.  I’ve decided to post the short story here.  This was written more than a few years ago and it’s one instance of my life that I’ll never forget.

Yes, I still have Moose.  Yes, he’s still huge.  Yes, he’s still one of the greatest dogs I’ve ever had, but he’s getting older now.  He turned 11 this past July.  I still wouldn’t trade him for anything.  Here’s the story:

*     *     *

Ah…Moose, my Yellow Labrador. He was supposed to be a dog around forty pounds but turned out to live to his true name, “Moose.” I adopted him from a local shelter and when I first laid my eyes on him, I instantly fell in love. As the saying goes, if the dog has small feet, he will generally not be a big dog. Well, that statement is for the birds. You see Moose started out having small feet. Now, he is well over one hundred pounds and not afraid to throw his weight around. In fact, upon his adoption, I had considered renaming him because his given name did not seem to fit him. It would be like calling a small poodle, “Killer.” Do not get me wrong because he is a lovable fellow, but for the first three years of his life, I would have served him to you on a platter. Of course, I do not feel that way now. He has turned out to be one of the best dogs and I would not trade him for anything. He is a happy dog and if he could smile and laugh, I know he would be pointing at me while doing so. I seem to be his entertainment.

Let me set the stage for you so you can picture in your head what exactly was going on during this particular morning. I was living in a lake house up in the mountains of New Hampshire and had the advantage of working from home for an investment firm out of Boston. Needless to say, my morning rush hour consisted of dodging the dogs on the way down the stairs each day and trying not to twist my ankle in the process. I had seen that we had about eighteen inches of snow the previous night and I knew the dogs would be out playing for a while. After letting them out for their morning jaunt, I went to turn on my computer and log on for the day. After a while, I let the dog’s back in and they rested their tired, cold feet by the wood stove. All was going well until I heard a knock at the door. I had been expecting a package delivery from UPS and I eagerly pulled Moose aside because I did not want him escaping and plowing over the UPS driver. (Tillie, my golden retriever had gone back to bed). I opened and closed the glass sliding door (carefully) so I didn’t mash Moose’s feet in the door. Of course, while being outside and trying to sign for the package, Moose got rather excited and began to jump up and down on the door. All of a sudden, I heard a click. I just froze in place and saw that UPS driver was smiling. He finally said, “I hope you have a key somewhere.” I denied that I did which as luck would have it, the truth. The UPS driver left and I could almost hear him snickering. How could he leave me in my time of peril?

Keep in mind that it had snowed the previous night and I had not shoveled off my deck as of yet. Also, being that I worked from home and constantly had the wood stove burning, it was quite warm in the house. No need to dress up! I remained in what I had slept in, which was a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. I had slipped on a pair of my Ralph Lauren loafers to step outside to sign for the package. I tell you that these were Ralph Lauren shoes because I want you to know that they were not cheap. Not that I am bragging but just to point out that I am an even bigger idiot for wearing these out in the snow. Now I was locked outside and dressed as if I was on some tropical island. I know, I know…not practical. In any case, my body temperature seemed to be dropping because I could no longer feel my lips, nose, ears, or fingertips. My first thought was to strangle Moose. I tried to get him excited again to see if he would jump back up on the door and by chance, unlock the damn thing. I tried by getting my voice high and sounding excited. All the while I was cursing him under my breath. It went something like this: “Come on Moosie! Come on! Don’t you want to play?” I added softly, “you little shithead!” This did not work. He didn’t even get excited. He just looked at me for a brief moment, yawned, and went to lie down on the couch. He probably would have been more excited if I were wearing a brown uniform and driving a big brown truck.

I departed from the deck and proceeded to trudge my way through the deep snow to the back of the house. I had a back door with a window on it with several panes. I figured it would be easier to break a small pane and replace it rather than breaking a whole glass sliding door. At least some of my thought processes were a little more logical. I dug through the snow to find a large rock while trying to shake snow from the inside of my loafers. I was freezing and getting angrier by the moment. I hit the windowpane with the rock and it didn’t even make a dent. I hit it a little harder and the outside portion cracked. I soon figured out that it was shatterproof glass and the rock was not going to be my savior. I had to think quickly. I tried to throw the rock as hard and as far as I could out of frustration. Instead, the rock hit the railing on the deck and landed on my big toe. It hurts a lot more when your feet are cold. Go figure!

About an acre away from my house sits another house occupied intermittently by another couple. I saw by their shed, they had a large ladder. I had also remembered that my upstairs bedroom window was cracked because at night, the house got rather warm and I do not like to sweat when I am trying to sleep. 

I hiked over to the shed…with a limp of course. This was neither easy nor fun. My cursing became louder. It was a good thing I was angry because the rise in my blood pressure kept my face warm. I can’t say much for my toes or fingers. I decided to knock on the neighbor’s door to ask if I could borrow their ladder. I knew I would feel like an idiot having to tell them why I was locked out of my own house, wearing nothing by shorts and a T-shirt. Oh, the shame! As luck would have it, they were not home so I decided to grab the ladder and head back over to kill Moose. I propped the ladder up to the highest window and proceeded to climb up. This alone was not an easy task because I am afraid of heights. In any case, I made it. I opened the window and crawled through. It was then that I saw Moose on the bed. He decided to greet me with his laughable smile. I knew at that point that murdering this dog was out of the question. I just think I was more grateful to be back inside the warm house.

I redressed myself like a typical New Englander (not a Southern transplant) should in January and took the ladder back. This time, before heading out the door, I grabbed my keys. 

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