On my birthday last Saturday we took Blackie to the dog beach in Del Mar. We had to keep her on the leash the whole time because she’s still not good with other dogs. As soon as another dog enters her private space she changes from her usual calm self and turns into a snapping little menace.
As soon as we got out of the car and onto the beach, Blackie did it. Of course. What else would she do. She peed and then she pooped. As all good dog owners on the beach, we had some plastic bags with us, and Epifanio, my roommate who’s the actual owner of Blackie, smartly enough gave me the plastic bags to carry. As soon as her poop came out he said “Don’t look! Don’t look! It’ll make it worse”. And indeed, it did. Can you say gag reflex? Anyway, I picked up the smelly pile with the plastic bag and thankfully the trash can was right next to us so I didn’t have to carry it far…and yes, it felt warm through the plastic bag ;).
After that adventure we tried to get her to go into the water. But she didn’t want to at first and actually managed to get out of her collar to which the leash was attached. As soon as she realized her new-found freedom and before we could react, she ran off. You can see Epifanio running after Blackie in the picture below.
After a wild chase he got ahold of her and managed to get the collar back on. So they came back towards the water and Epifanio tried to tighten the collar a bit so that Blackie couldn’t get out again. Unfortunately, he also unhooked the leash. The ocean waves came in and went, and so did the leash. Now we had a tightened collar, but no leash, so we decided to head back. Next time we’ll be better prepared at the dog beach. Oh, and we already have a new leash 🙂
…Saturday that is. It was a good day because a lot of lucky coincidences let everything work out that day. It all started with us getting a pet at the house. One of my housemates owns this black lab that was staying at his parents’ house up in LA all this time. So he talked to our landlady and convinced her to let us have the dog stay at our house (for an additional fee, of course ;)). Her name is Blackie and she’s such a cutie. She’s very affectionate and really likes snuggling with people. Of course, her being the only female in the house means that we’re really going to spoil her 🙂
So Saturday was the day that Blackie officially joined our household. That was the first lucky incident. My housemate’s sister brought Blackie down from LA in her pickup truck. That was the second lucky coincidence. Why will become clear in a minute.
Later that day, my housemate and I decided to take Blackie for a walk. Since we’ve always wanted to take our bicycles out and around the neighborhood we thought this would finally be the perfect opportunity. Unfortunately, Blackie wasn’t really used to running next to a bicycle. So she was swerving back and forth behind the bicycle causing my housemate who was holding on to the leash to nearly fall over a few times :). After a few blocks, both us and the dog finally got the hang of it and we ventured forth into the streets of our neighborhood.
After a while, we passed this house that had lots of stuff outside. “Aaah, a garage sale” we thought. In the middle of all the junk, eeerm, sorry, stuff there was this big, wooden dining table. Coincidentally, we were just looking for a dining table at the house. So as we went past the house on our bicycles both me and my roommate looked at the dining table, then we looked at each other, looked back at the dining table again, until we both exclaimed “That’s just what we were looking for!”. And what’s more, it was only 50 bucks _and_ we currently had the pickup truck that would allow us to transport it back to the house. So like I said, it was a day of lucky coincidences. We got ourselves a pet and a nice dining table. I mean, sure, we’ll probably have to resurface it (the table, not the dog ;)) and do something about the cushions on the chairs, but for $50 it was a true bargain.
The other day I came into my room after work, sat down in front of my computer to check my email, as I suddenly felt something tickling my forearm. I looked down and saw a tiny ant crawling up my arm. Not thinking much about it I continued to check my email and then went out with my roommates to catch a movie (Transsiberian, which was excellent by the way :)). We came back at around midnight, and I again sat down to check my email. For some reason, I didn’t turn on the light in my little office room. So only the computer screen was illuminating the room. After a while, I felt this strange tickling sensation again. But this time it wasn’t just on my forearm. It was all over my body. As I looked down I saw all sorts of movement, on my arms, on my legs, everywhere. I turned on the light and was shocked to find that my entire room had been infested with an army of ants.
They came in through a little slit in front of the balcony door and formed a street straight to my garbage bin where they had found the remains of a tangerine I had eaten that day. Not having any ant spray at home I walked down to the kitchen to get the next best thing, a cleaner called Green Works. “Natural, all-purpose cleaner” it said on it. Yeah, right. Natural. When I sprayed the ants with that thing they immediately dropped dead. So I sprayed and sprayed, and wiped them all off the floor, the desk, the chair, the garbage bin, and not to forget myself, filling an entire garbage bag with paper towels full of dead ants. After about half an hour the battle was over. I was victorious. Or so I thought. Turns out that the Green Works cleaner worked well as an instant ant killer, but not so well when it came to keeping them from coming through that slit again from the outside. So even the next day I still had some ants in my room. Once I got around to buying some proper ant spray their days in my room were numbered as well.
Anyway, the moral of the story is: I really hate ants ;). I had an ant infestation at every house I’ve lived in here in the US so far. Of course, I could have been smart and not ignore the first warnings. Whenever you see one ant, one itsy-bitsy, tiny, little ant, in your room, it means it’s all over. You see, these first few ants are the scouts. They’re searching for routes to get food. And once they find something, and it could be something insignificant for a human, such as some breadcrumbs on the floor or – ahem – tangerine remains in a garbage bin ;), they will notify all their ant friends – thousands of them. So the next time you see one little ant do yourself a favor and get some ant spray and spray it in front of doors and windows. I know I will.