The one in which I remember we have a dog

Last night I arrived home from my kids’ Spring Piano Recital around nine pm. It occurred to me that I have a ticket to board a plane today and I hadn’t done a thing to prepare for the trip. Out came the suitcase, and the grabbing of clothes from drawers, and the yelling at children to just bring me the flip-flops already. Once I made a chaotic mess of the bed and floor, the dog pads into the room and stares up at me.

I look at him and I remember.

I remember I have a fourth, furry, four-legged child. I email and then call the kennel. I pray I remembered to book him in for this weekend. I look for evidence in my email. There is none. I pray harder and I think of ways I can explain this to my husband, because clearly my marriage will be over when he finds out I forgot about the dog. Again.

I ask God to grant me this one itty-bitty marriage saving favor, and I email two friends who might take pity on me and don’t want to see me divorced and destitute. Both say yes, they will take the dog if the kennel doesn’t work out. One promises to make her husband sleep on the sofa because last time the dog came to stay he jumped into their bed and growled at the strange man trying to join him there. The other says she’ll try to work him in around their newly adopted cat. God loves me. He gives me good friends who recognize I might be borderline insane, and who still like me. They might like me a little bit less after last night, but they like me.

I decide to use the friend with the sofa sleeping husband as my back up. I plan to use my lack of linguistic skills to my advantage, and show up at the kennel in the morning anyway. The worst they can do is send me away in a flurry of words and stupid American insults I can’t understand anyway. I decide not to tell my husband until much later. Last time things didn’t work out with the dog, it involved the police, a locksmith, some swearing, a pair of scissors, and a mangled cardboard box.

I drive to the kennel first thing this morning. I take my eight year old boy with me for moral support and translation services. We arrive at the gate, I take a deep breath and I shove the dog into the arms of the girl who greets us. She looks at me, hugs the dog, and asks when I will be back to pick him up.

Panic recedes. My son translates dates and times. My marriage is safe. I realize calling myself borderline insane is probably an understatement. I leave and call my friend to tell her she can sleep in the same bed as her husband this weekend. Fortunately, so can I.