Now that I’m a stay at home mom, every day I’m looking for something to do with Maddie. I would love to take her to Gymboree or the like, but this being cold and flu season, I am hesitant. I want her to get a few more months of growing under her belt before I take her around other kiddos I don’t know. I just can’t have another pneumonia, you know?

So anyway, the weather has been nice here, so I’ve been taking Maddie and Rigby on walks. It gets us out of the house, thereby preventing me from watching endless hours of daytime television.  And hey, exercise! Bonus. Our walks are nice. We have girl talk, Rigby barks at other dogs, and Maddie tells her to stop (seriously, she points at Rigby and goes, “STA!” It is hilarious and you would die).

the three amigas

We walk around the neighborhood, which can take up to 45 minutes depending on the route, and by the time we get back home, Rigby is ITCHING to get off her leash. We live in a condo complex where you enter on the garage level, then take an elevator up to one of the three floors of condos. Whenever we get inside the building, I take Rigby’s leash off. The lobby is very small, so she can’t get away from me, and she’s very good at patiently sitting in front of the elevator until it arrives. When the doors open, Rigby walks right into the elevator, turns around, and sits in front of the doors again. When we land at our floor, she takes off down the hall, and Maddie squeals with laughter. It’s all very cute.

After our walk today, I checked our mailbox before we got on the elevator. One of our neighbors joined us in the lobby and called the elevator. Then the neighbor said, “AH! I forgot!” and went back out to the garage. I was going through the mail when I heard the elevator door open behind me. I turned around just in time to see my dog dutifully walk into the elevator before the door closed behind her.

“RIGBY!” I shouted, and started pressing the button to call the elevator back, hoping the doors would open, but it had already started its ascent. “SHIIIIIIII…..” I started to yell before I realized Maddie was staring up at me from her stroller. “F BOMB!” I screamed (yeah, I say “F Bomb.” This is how I clean up my swearing.), looking at Maddie. I couldn’t leave her behind while I ran up the fire stairs to get the dog…right? No. I couldn’t.

Did I mention that the elevator in our building is SOOO SLOOOOOOW? Because it is so slow I could knit a sweater during the amount of time it takes to go one floor. I tried not to panic. Our building has 18 condos, so I figured whoever had called the elevator at the other end ought to recognize Rigby. Hopefully he or she would just hold on to her, maybe even bring her back to our door. Except I wasn’t AT my door, I was in the freaking lobby with my baby in a 3500 pound stroller! Crap.

After three minutes (seriously, I looked at my watch), the elevator finally arrived back in the lobby. A woman I’d never seen before got off…and no Rigby. CRAP! “Excuse me,” I said, “did a small white dog get off the elevator when you got on?”  She looked at me and said, “Español?” CRAP!!!!!!!!! I scratched my head and willed the eight years of Spanish to come back to me. “Uh…um…pequeño perro blanco?” while I mimed out “did you see,” by waving my hands in front of my eyes as if I had binoculars on. Yeah, I should have been an actress. “AAAAAH! Sí!” and then she said a bunch of stuff but I only heard the words “tercer” and “rápidamente” which I knew meant “third” and “fast.” “Gracias!” I called after her as I pushed Maddie onto the elevator.

When the elevator doors opened on the third floor, I figured Rigby would be at the end of the hall, sitting in front of the door that would be ours on a different floor, barking her freaking head off. But, no. My little dog was sitting, whimpering, right in front of the elevator doors, and when they slid open she practically jumped into my arms. Poor scared little puppy!!! She proceeded to lick my face off during the elevator ride to our floor.

She still hasn’t recovered from the trauma.
it's a dog's life