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Simple Dinners: When Disaster Strikes

Updated on February 13, 2015

Ever have one of those days where you have nothing to worry about, easy plans, and then something brings your day crashing all around you? Most of us probably have. Some worse than others. Staying flexible is the key to enduring those times. Ever had your favorite candy for dinner when anything else would have sounded better? Listen to this tale of terror and you may comprehend.

Simple trip to the store

Funny how things don’t always go the way we plan them isn't it? My wife and I had decided around 1:00 in the afternoon, after which each of us had already put ourselves to good service and were sweated out from the heat, that the rest of today was going to be a lazy day. A simple dinner which was going to be just a tasty salad. Off to the store I would go, to return the rental movie from the night before, then pick up a bag of spinach. We would be in business very soon.

Ode to the lazy

The plot thickens

Walking out to the car I had no idea about the deluge that would fall upon me any moment. I had not even reached the end of the block when my wife started calling me on my cell phone. That’s weird, she must have decided she wanted to catch me to tell me to pick up a few extra items. This happened frequently. Answering the phone, I was expectant of an extended grocery list. There instead had been a change in assignment. “You need to go get Rafiki,” (think monkey from the lion king) my wife was frantic,“he’s gotten out and the person who has him is going to call animal control if someone doesn't come to get him in the next 5 minutes, it’s an emergency.” What I did not take into consideration at that moment was, this message was being relayed to me through a third party, and five minutes had already elapsed.

Pulling up to what I thought was the address, which happened to be less than a mile from where I was originally going, the scene lay quiet. As I walked up to the house I realized the house where the action was taking place was around the corner. Rounding the corner, I saw the police truck and animal control were already there. I tried to hurry and get there before they packaged up the distraught dog and hauled him off for his second trip to the pound this month. I had made it, but by this point the officers, and the upset owner of the house, had cornered Rafiki in the backyard inside an aluminum shed. After speaking with the owner, offering up apologies, the police officer asked if I could handle this dog. I told him I could no problem. Running back to grab the car before attempting the roundup, it was best to be prepared to receive this horse of a dog, a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback, which must be overcome with adrenaline at this point.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian ridgebacks, also called a Rhodie, have a noble history as lion hunters, who would hold lions at bay for their masters to kill in South Africa.
Rhodesian ridgebacks, also called a Rhodie, have a noble history as lion hunters, who would hold lions at bay for their masters to kill in South Africa.

A-mace-ing rescue

Again the officer confirmed before I walked in the back that I would be able to handle this dog, since they seemed to have run the gauntlet with him already. I assured him he knew me very well and would be fine. Even though the officer still seemed very cautious, he let me go back to the shed where I met with the animal control officer, who said he knew Rafiki’s owner, my brother-in-law, and he had already been informed this was going to be very expensive. Not being of my concern, I just wanted to make sure the dog was safe. He continued to warn me that they had pepper-sprayed poor Rafiki three times! Well, if you had seen this dog, not to mention he’s none too fond of strangers, especially when he’s scared, I can’t say as I blame them.

Calling to Rafiki in a calm tone, I slipped the leash around his neck, we then made our way out of the yard into the car effortlessly. He did not resist, he had no problems leaving this scene. My wife was there to greet us. In all the commotion, not one of us realized how badly he had received the pepper spray, until after we were home, holding onto him, trying to bring him down from his state of distress. After many phone calls, much cleaning, cuddling, coaxing, burning, and yearning we decided I would accompany K, my brother-in-laws girlfriend, to the vet clinic once she arrived. Rafiki was a walking biohazard to which I had already been exposed.

Dog tested, veterinarian approved

At the clinic, we talked to the assistants and the veterinarian, trying to figure out what would be the best course of action. After all, Rafiki had only been neutered less than a week before, and what remained had become extremely swollen and red in appearance. The veterinarian prescribed some antibiotics and pain killers for now. K also purchased a crate, a cone, and a chew toy after I had convinced her we, my wife and I, would keep Rafiki until his owner came home this weekend. K did not need to worry about the dog and his medical issues since it was finals week (K was in college classes).

Arriving back home, it was now nearly 6:30 in the evening. My wife setup the crate while I took the dog out to do his doggy duties. We finally tried to get him to settle in after another 30 minutes which appeared to be working. It was at this point I would finally go and return the movie and get a few groceries. While I was gone, K came and dropped off the rest of Rafiki’s belongings, so he would have all he needed for the week.

Working with the cone, he was very reluctant, and at a complete loss of interest to do anything with this plastic prison around his neck. This spoke volumes since he was an absolute food driven dog. After he was more settled, we removed the cone and he became active enough to eat and wander around a bit. Letting him be with my wife, it was time to take a much needed shower. I was burning still from the pepper spray which remained on Rafiki’s coat all this time, even after we had wiped him down multiple times. When I wrote this story my hands were still burning the next day.

Cone of shame

As simple as it gets!

Amidst all the excitement our appetites kind of went south. I ended up pouring a small dish of jelly beans I had just purchased, which became my ‘dinner’, as my wife decided she would just have nothing. I guess one thing did go as planned for today: we wanted to have a simple, lazy dinner. Can’t get any simpler than that!


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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a great read. Poor Rafiki copping the pepper spray though. Never had jelly beans for dinner though :)

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      3 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Must have been really awful experience. What a pity, the dog suffered so much :(


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