I was just looking through some old post when I came across this. I did not realize how easy I had it when I only had one dog.
Max ran away.
It was a lazy day for me and it seemed the less I did the less I wanted to do. I looked at Max as I sat back on the overstuffed lazy boy with my feet up in the air. He was sitting right beside it and I was patting his head.
I pulled back his bangs from the top of his rag mop head and looked into his huge teddy bear eyes. Before I knew it he leaped off the floor and was on my lap.
“Take it easy Max, there’s not room for both of us in this chair” I said to him as his toenails dug into my thighs. But for him, there was more than enough room as he sat with his head totally blocking my line of vision.
I brushed him off of me and got up out of the chair and headed out the door. “Come on Max I’ll comb your hair.” I didn’t want a repeat of the snarls and tangles that had overtaken his fur the week I had not been home.
I sat on the chair outside and began to slowly comb his head, ears, back and down his legs as he twisted, flipped on his back and turned away from which ever side I was trying to comb. I looked at him and ordered him to sit.
“Max, your just too much dog for me” I told him as I thought about having to walk him that evening. I sure wish someone else would help me out with you. I knew he was getting antsy and needed to be walked that night but I just did not want to do it.
That afternoon I had left the gate to the yard open to bring in a shelf. Max stood back and was very good about not going out as the large garden shelves were brought in.
When 4:00 PM arrived Max was doing his Velcro thing. He followed me everywhere around the house. “Oh, it’s your dinner time.” I put his food out in the patio and he began to crunch.
Ten minutes later I listened for his whine to come in to the house. He was not at the door. I looked out into the yard and thought, “Good. He is doing his business.”
Then all of a sudden I remembered. “I left the gate open!” I ran to the front door to look calling out to my son-in-law, Alika, “Max is loose, I forgot to close the gate!”
Alika ran out the front door and I passed him Max’s leash as he headed down the street.
Alika ran to the park down the block, I started calling up towards the end of the cul-de-sac thinking maybe he had chased the neighbors cat. Then I jumped in the car. The whole time Max’s big brown eyes stared at me through my mind’s eye. ‘Please, please, please, Max. Don’t run out in the road.’
He was such a willy, nilly never paying any attention to what was going on around him. I looked to my left and to my right as I started to drive down the street. My son-in-law was just coming home with an empty leash. He said he could not see him anywhere.
It had only been ten minutes. Could he have run straight down to the main road? As I headed out to the main drag I called out the car window to a boy, standing in his bare feet, staring down the road.
“Have you seen a black shaggy dog?” He answered in the negative and asked me if I had seen a gray spotted dog running loose. I remembered the dog as he always got loose in the early dawn when I would walk Max. He would always run after us trying to get Max to play. I would always have to cut our walk short to take him back home.
“No I haven’t seen him but I know where to bring him if I do.” In my mind I could see Max and his wayward pal running down the busy street jumping and playing. I was afraid to drive to the big park. I was so afraid I would see Max, dead, his black fury body, motionless in the street.
Of course all the things I should a, could a, would have done for Max went through my mind. Was this going to be the last time I ever see him again?
I drove everywhere, asked everyone. I even thought maybe he’s still in the house. I thought about the time I tore out of the house looking for Zoe, crying because I could not find her only to realize that I had accidentally locked her in my closet and there she was crying to get out when I got home.
No, I knew Max was outside and I knew he was gone. So I slowly drove home. I could hear the boys dog barking to get back into his yard as I drove by, but no Max. I gave it one last call as I passed our house. I yelled as loud as I could and looked in the front screen of the house from the car. I thought I heard click, click, click on our wooden floors. I started to turn the car around to head out again when Alika called out to me that Max was back.
He had been where I thought he was in the first place. At the neighbors, chasing their cats and eating all the cats food. I was so relieved and happy to see my little guy. The water bowl that I had filled up with clean water just before Max had run away was now full of red dirt. Max was panting and I think he was smiling too.
I took him out in back once again, this time the gate was closed. I started to re-brush all of the weeds that were stuck to this Brillo pad dog. Lifting his bangs, I looked into his eyes and said to him.
“Well, I guess I won’t have to take you for a walk tonight.”
It turned out to be a great day for both of us.