I am a creature of habit. Luckily I am not OCD but I do have my routines. For instance I have to select my work outfit before I go to bed otherwise I will find myself staring at my closet for a good 45 minutes the following morning like a deer in the headlights trying to decide what to wear. Yes, it makes no sense, but neither do I, much of the time.
The pups and I also have a routine. Before we go for a walk, I put their harnesses on them, making sure they are on correctly and they are intact (ie Marshall had not chewed any part into two pieces.) Next I put plenty of poop bags in my pocket, as well as my phone and my keys. Then we go to the door and I make Marshall sit while I open the door, then I make him continue sitting while I lock the door from the inside. Next we all emerge, all Hell breaks loose, and it is Katie bar the door.
It did not take Marshall but two times before he learned I was not going to open the door until he would calmly sit. Although to see him, one would think Santa was on the other side of the door with a sleigh full of dog bones. Needless to say, we do not go silently into the night.
Last Thursday, our final walk of the evening around eight started like this. The weather was nippy but we had a nice 15-20 minute walk. When we got back to the apartment I reached in my back pocket and realized, with horror, I did not have my door key. Immediately I realized what had happened. While we were going through our routine preparing for the walk, my daughter called. We talked for 10 minutes or so. As one can imagine the pups did not have much patience given that to them, it is one fluid movement from my saying, "Let's go for a walk" until the door opens.
After I got off the call with her, the dogs were so rattled about having to wait I just got their leashes (she called just as I had put their harnesses on) and we walked out. I never thought to pick up my keys, luckily my phone was still in my hand. But I digress.
Now what in the Hell was I to do? Here I was in the hall of my apartment building locked out of my unit. I called my landlord. Naturally the call went straight to voice mail. Yes, I had two extra keys. One was with my DH in Orangeburg (75 miles away) and the other was in a drawer in my kitchen - like that was a lot of help now.
I checked with one of my neighbors to see if she had another number for Alex (our landlord) or the maintenance guy - which she didn't. My only option left was to call 911. So in 5 minutes I was face to face with a Charleston City policeman, for the second time in as many days. He was as friendly as he could be. Naturally he wanted to make sure I had called my landlord. He offered to take me to pick up another key. (I passed on that.) I asked if he could find me a locksmith. He hesitated, "I will be happy to, however, you realize you will be responsible for the cost of that?"
I smiled. "I don't see that I have any other choice." In two minutes he had a locksmith on the way - 20 minutes away. Meanwhile the pups were raising Hell at anything and everything that walked by. I thanked the officer and said we would be fine. He left and I took the pups inside to wait.
Naturally this was the time of night everyone was taking their dog out. And, naturally one has to pass my door to exit the building. I had no place to go but to try to hold on to my two and to attempt to keep them quiet which was not happening. Marshall was squealing like a pig every time someone came by. Ellie was just whining as if she were totally disgusted about the entire situation.
Finally the locksmith arrived. In a frightening 2 minutes he was inside my apartment. (Somethings one does not need to know, like what goes into BBQ hash and how fast a locksmith can get into your place - just saying.) I thanked him and paid him - the price was well worth it.
As I closed the door and prepared for bed, it dawned on me. I better bake cookies for everyone on the hall and deliver them with a nice note of apology after the loud fiasco they had just endured. It was bad enough that my pups barked, but tonight they had been so loud and out of control I could not explain to anyone why I was in the hall with them. Ellie and Marshall may very well have put themselves on the short list to be evicted.