Take a close look at this picture and see if you can figure out what is going on. Note, the keys are in the door.

We brought Cassidy to Sausalito with us this weekend. We do not take Cassidy a lot of places because shortly after we rescued him from the pound, we discovered he was “fear aggressive.” Unfortunately, we learned about his fear aggressiveness on a 9000 mile RV trip around the United States (a trip fondly remembered by Kip and Ralphie as The RV Trip of Boredom).

When one is fear aggressive one attacks anything one is afraid of. In Cassidy’s case it turns out he is afraid of everything: bicycles, hats, people of different ethnicities, small dogs on leashes, people in uniforms, wheelchairs, the homeland security officer who inspected our RV at Hoover Dam (he was African American, in a uniform, and wearing a hat), fans, vacuum cleaners, cloud formations in the sky, etc., etc. . . .  if he hasn’t seen it before, he’s going to get it before it can get him(unfortunately, he also suffers from short term memory loss).

If Cassidy had been a human when we first adopted him, he would have had all four appendages covered in tattoos*, sported a spiked dog collar, and owned a beat up old pickup with a full size flag waving from a fence pole tied to the back. Fortunately, he has matured with age (aren’t you glad you didn’t get those tattoos* Cassidy?). He’s still afraid of  things he’s not familiar with, but now he just barks a lot instead of going into full fledged attack mode. Today, if he was a human, he would be us: an aging worrywart.

We didn’t realize just how much of a worrywart Cassidy was until we arrived back at our little cottage last night after a great dinner, a single glass of wine (we are counting calories now so we can have two 100 calorie glasses of wine on weekend nights), and a challenging walk up the hill to our new place. A great meal, exercise, beautiful view . . . .and then, “I can’t get the door open,” Tony explains after trying several combinations of turning the key in both of the locks.

Two and a half hours later after prying off every screen, using a tire iron to try to force open every window (even the ones we would need to be trapeze artists to get into), listening to Cassidy bark and whine and cry as he wondered why his stupid parents didn’t just open the door, hearing the exasperated and ticked off commentary of our new neighbor who was irritated with all of the barking (she has one of those “Neighborhood Watch” signs posted on her house, yet the police never showed up to ask what we were doing with a tire iron – obviously not a worrywart), waiting in silence in the cab of the truck for the Big B Locksmith van to arrive, having a new deadbolt installed, marveling at the wireless capabilities of the credit card scanner as it charged us $310.70,. . .  after all of that, at 11:19 p.m. we sat down and had our second 100 calories of  wine in plastic glasses with Dan the locksmith who loves to snowboard at Sugar Bowl.

So what happened? Cassidy locked us out! After we left for dinner, he turned the the keyless dead bolt (there are three locks on the door – apparently the former tenant was a worrywart) with his nose (I can’t get my kids to do that with their fingers). Did he attack Dan, a stranger armed with a noisy drill (much worse than a vacuum cleaner or a fan) and trained to break into homes? No, he licked his hand . . . . I guess Dan was Cassidy’s hero, too.


* On tattoos – I don’t know a lot of people with tattoos, but I have met some since starting this blog and I’m starting to get the tattoo thing. Chalk one up for communal blathering.