Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Adventures on the Front Lawn

“Does that look like there is a dog on our front porch?” I asked General Mayhem. We had just turned the corner onto our street while returning home from a VBS planning session. Our church’s VBS program this year is “Adventure on the High Seas,” but our program director made it perfectly clear that we are not doing anything piratey. No pirates. That means no Captain Jack and no chasing Somali pirates and shooting them. No lusty wenches or yo-ho-ho’s or bottles o’ rum.


How can we have high seas adventures without piratey stuff? We could pretend to be on a cruise ship and hold a shuffle board tournament. Or get mass food poisoning. The Bible tells us to put on the armor of God. Did He have a Navy, too? Can we command the Battleship Bethlehem and go to war against evil? Moby Dick? Jaws? Are we on the high seas? Should I dress like Cheech and Chong and lead the kids in some far out, groovy games? I really don’t know what the non-piratey adventure will be.

But I digress. There was a dog on my front stoop.

“Yes, it does,” General Mayhem replied to the question that opened this post.

Sure enough, Reggie the Rent-a-dog was sitting on the front stoop. She’s not supposed to be out of our backyard. I suppose that sitting on our front stoop was better than roaming the neighborhood or sitting in the city pound. When we pulled into the driveway she walked to the car, tail between her legs, happy to see us but well aware of the fact that she was where she was not supposed to be.

Right next to a chicken.

I wasn’t certain whether I should scold the mutt for being out or praise her for not running the hood. I ended up looking at her sternly, which elicited a droopy, hesitant tail wag. She was wet from playing in the Captain’s wading pool. I knew exactly what I needed to say to the chicken.

“Bad chicken!” I said.

“Bra-kaw!”replied Clumsy, before walking off in the opposite direction.

Chickens, I have discovered, really don’t respond well to “Bad chicken.”

A little while later, Reggie the Rent-a-dog demonstrated how she escaped the back yard when I put her out back, walked to the front, and called her. She’s bent the metal on the gate to our backyard, pushing aside the chain link with her snout to squeeze through to freedom. Apparently, she takes a chicken or two with her.

Maybe we should hold VBS in my front yard and call it Adventures on the Front Lawn.



Sadie said...

I've scolded a chicken a time or tow. Doesn't work. I've also scolded a rooster....it's more effective when I use my foot. We have a escapee dog too. If we don't have locks on the gates she lifts them, if we have unlatched locks she turns the locks and noses them off, so now we have locked gates and she stays. Most of the time.

Opus #6 said...

My neighbors have an escape dog. Which means I occasionally have a dog in my back yard.

joysandrewards said...

I read this last night and have laughing about it ever since. Sorry...not that main part of the story...the high seas VBS part. Having just experienced a crazy week of VBS myself, I am ROTFL at the images you conjure up. Every VBS needs lusty wenches and bottles o' rum. And Cheech and Chong. Now I know why ours fell so flat! Actually, it didn't...it was FANTASTIC...but it clearly could have been so much better!

Thanks for the morning (and evening) laugh!

Oklahoma Granny said...

Our VBS this year was also "Adventure on the Hight Seas." Not sure if any pirates were involved. I'll have to ask.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Sorry, I meant to type High Seas.

Kathleen said...

Talk about a no-fun VBS. Sheesh!

Brownie said...

We have a dog that escapes the back yard. Yes, we live in the country but still have a HUGE area (the width of our house and 40'back) fenced in for our two dogs. With that much room why do they need to escape? The first many times was just as you described: bending and pushing the chain link. This was the small lab we have, the Bichon (I big dog soul trapped in a little dog body) got through much easier. I placed two sections of hog fencing and strapped them to the gate tightly with wire. Blackie was still getting out - I couldn't figure out how. She was too smart to try it while I was watching or calling her. Finally I watched from an upstairs window... and watched her CLIMB the the woven fencing to jump over!!

I like the dogs out and about in the country. What was getting old was Red constantly letting them in the house where they would run gleefully through the living room, up the stairs, across the upstairs hallway and down the kitchen stairs. Yes, we have one of those old houses with two staircases. Very difficult to block off an escape route when it's easy to back track. Both dogs run faster than me. A turtle runs faster than me.

Sir finally had enough of Red and the dogs running in the house. He placed a hot wire along the length of the escape route. No escaping dogs, one yelp from one dog. Another yelp - higher and louder.

Ooops... that's right, Red likes to climb the fence to play with the dogs.

He won't be doing that again either. ROFL!!

Nothing like high jacking your blog to post my own blog.

wait a minute...high jacking... did I just do a pirate thing?

Papa Bear said...

From a dog's point of view, there must be something better outside any fence, or why would you put a fence in the first place?

For VBS, you could be the, um, "Sailors" Who Don't Do Anything.

Larry: "Well, I've never plucked a rooster and I'm not too good at ping-pong, and I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall, and I've never kissed a chipmunk and I've never gotten head lice, and I've never been to Boston in the fall!"

Pa: "Huh? What are you talking about? What's a rooster and mashed potatoes have to do with being a pirate??"

Mr. Lunt: "Hey, that's right! We're supposed to sing about pirate-y things!"

Larry: "Oh ..."

Larry: "And I've never licked a spark plug and I've never sniffed a stink bug, and I've never painted daisies on a big red rubber ball, and I've never bathed in yogurt and I don't look good in leggings ..."

Pa: "You just don't get it!"

All: "And we've never been to Boston in the fall!"

Pa: "Pass the chips! Who's got the remote control?"

Arby said...

Papa Bear:


L. said...

Enjoyed this blog very much. Thanks for the laughs. Speaking of chickens not obeying our commands, picture trying to get dozens of them down from 20-30 tall oak trees. T'ain't easy. They just don't listen! However, it's a good way to learn to clip their wings and put chicken wire over the top of their hen house yard to protect them from the weasels that were making them go nuts during the night. The 09/09 blog was grrrreat.

Eat, Fart and Bark said...

We have the escaping chickens. The back yard is now split into four sections, one for the garden, berry garden,our part of the yard, and then the back section and coop now belongs exclusively to chickens and ducks. They kept escaping over the woodpile into the west neighbors yard. You know what problems that could bring.

Arby said...

Beware of the Wicked Witch Who Lives to the West!

The_Kid said...

Arby ! The dog is a Super Genius ! He was guarding the house and was smart enough to bring backup with him !