“Oh my God! We’ve been robbed!” my brain screamed as I entered the kitchen after having come home from work only to find the refrigerator wide open and half-eaten food strewn all over the hardwood floor. I tried to remain calm by taking a few deep breaths.
I didn’t understand. The front door was locked. I checked the back door, basement door—all locked. No one could’ve have gotten in through a window since they’re all painted shut. If a burglar did open a window I will hunt them down just so they can open the rest of them since in ten years my husband hasn’t been able to.
Then I panicked. Where’s the dog? She’s always waiting at the door for me. Was she harmed? I ran around the house shouting her name. Nothing. It wasn’t until I grabbed the phone to call the police that I saw the burglar prostrate, dead to the world, beside the couch. The burglar was none other than Bad Dog, her bad self. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I’m pretty sure the clues pointed in her direction--strings of spaghetti crusted to her snout; her beard drenched with Sunday gravy. Anger replaced the panic. I nudged the hairy culprit with the toe of my snow boot but nothing. No response.
I bent down and put my face next to hers to make sure she was breathing. Her pungent breath almost knocked me over. I recognized the sour smell but it took me a few seconds before I…Dear God! She was drunk. Full-out stinking drunk! No wonder, really, because lying among all the food on the kitchen floor was an empty bottle of 2003 Malbec that had only been open the night before. I had an open bottle of Malbec and cheap Chardonnay in the fridge; she went with the Malbec. Good choice considering the menu of leftovers she chose: artisanal cheese that my friend had sent me from her Seattle dairy farm, four marinating Porterhouse steaks from the butcher at Fairway that I was planning on grilling for dinner, Godiva Chocolate, leftover eggplant parmigiana, spaghetti, and Sunday gravy with Johnny Meatballs meatballs! (She ate all the meatballs, so 2 thumbs up from Bad Dog and the canine crowd for Johnny Meatballs meatballs!)
How did Bad Dog get her bad self into the fridge? Well, my good man Watson, I’m going to conclude that someone to whom I said “I Do” to almost 20 years ago forgot to close the refrigerator as he was returning the gallon of milk that he had just poured for his and Katie’s cereal. Since I had left for work before he and the children left the house, I’m going to further conclude that he did not notice the refrigerator door was ajar when he left the house. Now, I can’t entirely blame him since our house is well over 100 years old and no longer level. (Hell, I’m over 40 years old and no longer level.) The kitchen is so slanted it’s like working in a ship’s galley during a raging storm. Things just toss and roll at will. My kitchen could definitely qualify for Weird New Jersey.
After I had cleaned up the mess I sat down on the sofa with a cup of coffee. (Unfortunately, the Malbec was all gone.) I watched as the carcass of Bad Dog began to stir. She pried one, then two hairy eyeballs open and, after a few feeble attempts, was able to lift her head. Talk about the hair of the dog! When her eyes were able to focus she just stared at me. It was a knowing stare that said, “Do you have any idea how many times I had to look at you like this? At least I licked your feet to ease your pain.”
As she tried to rise on all four paws I could relate to her staggering imbalance, but still I said, “So, you had to eat the marinating Porterhouse? Johnny Meatballs and eggplant weren’t enough for you? Hope you enjoyed the wine!”
She wobbled unsteadily to the back door reminding me of a drunken sailor’s drunken girlfriend who gets paid by the hour. I mused about taking her to A.A.
“Hi, this is Bad Dog and she’s an alcoholic.”
“Hello Bad Dog!”
As I watched her repeatedly fall sideways into the snow I thought that as bad as Bad Dog is, and she is bad, at least she has good taste. Artisanal cheeses, Johnny Meatballs, Porterhouse steaks tartare, and Malbec. Not a bad life for a bad dog.