I don't know what the heavens were doing, but it wasn't in my favor today.
It started so innocuously. Halfway into town I realized I'd forgotten my cell phone. I didn't have time to turn back to get it.
A student had needed to rearrange schedules this week, and so I had to be to work at 12:30 in the afternoon. Poor Sofia had been left at home the rest of the week because Ole, still being a puppy, can't be trusted alone in the house. The only thing I can do to spend some special time with Sofia is to put Ole in his crate for a while.
Since I only had one lesson early in the day and then several more with a huge gap of four hours between them, I thought Ole could stay in his crate with a Kong (stuffed with peanut butter, yummie chummies, yoghurt and dog food) while Sofia got to be the work dog for a while today. My plan was to go into town, give the lesson, run by the post office and bank and come home and let Ole back out of his crate.
I wouldn't be writing this if it had worked out that way.
When I arrived at work, Sofia and I got out of the car and started toward the door. Suddenly we were being attacked by a Pekingese! The woman who lives across the street has a whole gaggle of these things, and there is one in particular that she carries around. He looks like a giant, fluffy purse. I don't know why she won't walk him or put him on a leash, but it almost got him killed today!
I had to drop my violin on the sidewalk (thank GOD for good cases!) and dash to the porch, meanwhile dancing around on the steps and practically hanging Sofia by her leash to keep her teeth away from the Pekingese (who can't be blamed personally for having a stupid owner) and madly trying to twist the doorhandle. I manage to get inside with the rabid little dog still scrabbling outside, only to be suddenly assaulted yet AGAIN by some stupid "teacup" (read: poorly bred) Yorkie that's biting at Sofia's ankles as, once again, I nearly hang my own dog to save the life of a stupider dog. This time I'm trying to get the door to the stairway open to get upstairs and away from all this madness!
The good news is that as far as I know, no dogs got hurt. Sofia was pretty ruffled for a while. I swear, next time I'm going to let her EAT those little suckers! However, some good did come of it because I went and talked to the Pekingese' owner and pointed out that her dog should be on a leash. That if a car had been coming he'd be dead now. It took her a minute but suddenly she realized that I was right and wasn't just mad at her! She did apologize and said that yes, her dog should be on a leash from now on. I hope she follows through!
The music lesson went smoothly, and I packed up my stuff and Sofia and I got in the car and went to the Post Office.
It was really hot here today. The forecast was for 85° and I'm pretty sure it got at least that hot. At the Post Office I almost left Sofia in the car with the motor on and the air conditioning on. It's a very good thing I didn't.
Then we went to the bank and did the drive-up thing. Sofia got her dog cookie, and I was ready to drive home and release Ole from his crate. I was a little concerned about the heat, him being upstairs, and no air conditioning at my house.
Just as I was stepping on the gas to head out into traffic my car stopped. Dead. I mean DEAD. It was strange how it happened. One minute it was running fine, and the next minute it was deader than a three week old sail frog. And I had no cell phone to call anyone.
I got out and did the old lift-the-hood-jiggle-the-wires thing. Nothing. I turned on my emergency blinkers. NOTHING. Yes, that's right, the car was so dead there were no emergency blinkers. And here I was, right in the bank driveway.
A nice man with tattoos came and jiggled the wires, too. Nothing. "It's either the alternator or the solenoid," he said.
Then he was kind enough to let me use my cell phone and I left messages for Scott telling him totally wrongly that I was on College Road (I was on University) and that I was at Bank of America (I was at Wells Fargo). Let's just say I was a bit rattled. If I recall correctly, I had lapsed completely into Michigander, too.
I tried fruitlessly to get hold of him, to no avail. I did call back and correct my directions but still couldn't get hold of anyone.
We attempted to push the car into a parking space, but it wouldn't come out of Park! The battery was so dead that it couldn't tell I had the key on and it wouldn't let me move the gear shift (it is an automatic)!
Finally I called a towing company, thanked my Good Samaritan, and settled down to wait.
I couldn't wait in the car because it has electric windows. At the time it died, I'd been using the air conditioning and all the windows were rolled up. Remember, it was 85 degrees and humid. The interior of the car was an oven, to put it mildly. There was a spot in the shade near a fence, and I stood there, holding onto Sofia, and periodically stepping out into the hot sun to direct cars around my dead car.
After about twenty minutes the tow truck showed up. We decided to see if we could get the car going before giving up and towing it, and he brought out his battery charger. He did some testing and it turns out the alternator had given up the ghost and my battery was dead from not being recharged. It could be jump started, but would die if I stopped anywhere without revving the engine.
The cost of towing it was $100. But the driver had a better idea. He pointed out that the alternator was an easy fix, and it could easily be done in the parking lot, especially since my boyfriend has a portable battery charger. So he got it started, and I backed it into a parking space and paid him $45 for the call and the jump.
The lesson here is that if you need a car problem diagnosed, the kind of person truly motivated to find the problem isn't a garage mechanic, it's the tow-truck driver!
So I got my violin and my dog and my purse and headed into the bank to tell them that my car was there and I'd be back to fix it by Friday. They were very nice about it!
Then in walks my friend Dennis! I was overjoyed to see him, my erstwhile band member, and I told him that I needed a ride home. Unfortunately he was on his way to the vet with his cat. The other direction, completely. But he could give me a ride back to my workplace.
Hmmm, Sofie and a cat in the same vehicle? Well....the cat was in a crate in the back of the SUV. Sofia could ride up front with me......would she go crazy killer prey dog if I took for a ride with a cat?
Only one way to find out.
All the way to work she was sitting on my lap, extremely perplexed about those loud MEEE OOOWWWs coming from the back of the truck! I don't know if she's just the best dog in the world or if so many things had happened already that she just decided riding on my lap was better than eating a cat....but she didn't do anything but look round-eyed and interested the entire ride. Good girl!
We got to my work and I realized I didn't have my violin.
This is where I started to lose it.
Scanning quickly for nasty out-of-control little rat dogs, I ran into the building and got to the phone and began calling the bank. My violin is how I make my living! If I lose it I am really in BIG TROUBLE!
I thought I'd left it in the lobby. They said it wasn't in the lobby. My voice was achieving that annoying trebly wobble. "It's got to be there somewhere, in the parking lot, in the lobby, somewhere!" The nice girl on the phone said she'd call me back after they'd looked. And the bank people sprang into action and looked all over for my violin. For ten minutes I was completely distraught, thinking it was stolen or run over and crushed and I'd never see it again......and Scott called.
At this point I wasn't the best I could be. He was annoyed with my trembly fears but told me he would come down and give me a ride. A few minutes later the bank people called back. They'd found my violin in the back of my car.
WHEW. Of course the car was unlocked because I couldn't lock it because the locks are electric....arrgghh.
About an hour later Scott showed up with my violin. He'd stopped by the bank and gotten it for me.
Scott and Sofia and I drove back to his place and he said, "The keys to my Toyota are in it, just take it." So I got all my stuff in it, Sofia, my purse, me.....turned the key........and nothing. It was dead, too.
I wasn't surprised. At this point I figured if I made it home without a meteor hitting me I'd be lucky. I was, however, very worried about poor Ole dog in his crate since noon....and here it was 4:30 and still no way to get home.....
....until Scott fixed the battery problem and the windshield wipers (which for some reason wanted to cross each other!) and I headed home.
When I got there it was quite, no barking. Oh NO, I thought, my heart sinking. I ran up the stairs and there he was, little Ole dog, just quietly smiling at me. No poop or pee in the crate, and just happy to see us.
And that was the best thing that happened all day.