Thirty minutes ago I decided to take three of my dogs, Trudy, Olive and Maggie for a walk around the block. Trudy, my 36-pound Boston Terrier, is a bit of a handful, but she does power along at a good enough clip for you to get a good walk in, yourself. Olive, the small Boston, just motors along, as does her black Schnauzer sister, Maggie.
Very different walking these three, as their brother Griffin makes numerous pit-stops on his walks, sniffing and peeing, sniffing and peeing, maybe a poop, then more sniffing and peeing.
The four of us took off down 4th Avenue when all of a sudden I see Maggie without her harness on. She just slipped right out of it. I don’t know if I didn’t buckle it well enough, or if she simple pulled a Houdini. “Maggie, sit. Maggie, sit,” I tried not to shout. While keeping a tight hold on the other two dogs, I tried to reach out to grab her, but she got frightened and shied away. Trying so hard not to panic, I kept coaxing, “Maggie…Maggie…snack? You want a snack?” She kept walking out of my reach, looking a bit puzzled.
4th Avenue is a very busy street, even on a Sunday, and all I could think of was my sweet little dog running out and getting hit.
“Maggie, please,” I was almost in tears. Finally she kept still enough for me to catch up and gently grab her. Trembling, I fumbled to get her harness back on, at first putting it on backwards, and then getting it right. The Bostons were tugging a bit, as I fastened Maggie’s harness; I snapped at them to be still. I felt my whole body convulsing, as I tried to regain my composure.
There was a gentleman who had walked by us a few minutes earlier (before Maggie got loose) and he was now walking back toward us in case I needed help. I smiled feebly and signaled to him that I was okay.
We continued on our walk around the block, and then headed home. Once inside I unhooked the dogs, put their leashes away and just collapsed.
“Maggie got loose,” I cried to Chuck, making sure that he could see her right in front of us before breaking the news. My whole body was shaking. I told him the story, and he was very comforting, even choking up a bit, himself. “Maybe just walk two dogs next time,” he gently advised.
We’re now sitting quietly upstairs, the dogs are all resting, and the Cubs game is on. In spite of feeling grateful, all I can think of is, was I making too big of a deal out of this little mishap? A lot of people would say I was nuts for breaking down over something like “my dog getting loose.’’ I mean, the story had a happy ending, as she didn’t go in the street and get hit, so why am I still so upset?
Just writing about it makes me feel better. And more importantly, having another chance will definitely make me take better precaution by making sure Maggie and the others are strapped into their harnesses extra well before setting out on our walks.
I’m sorry if this seems trivial to anyone reading it, but those who know me best know how much my dogs mean to me, how they are the closest thing I have to kids, and how devastating it would be to have something tragic happen to one of them. I have lost pets in the past, but fortunately all due to natural causes, after healthy, long lives.
Maggie just now curled up on the ottoman at my feet. I reached over and drew her into the chair with me, partially in my lap. She gazed up at me with her soft brown eyes, and now I am crying again.