This blog has been a great tool to keep everyone in the loop as it relates to Orso and his adventures. I have rarely used it to rant, but today will be different. I just had the absolute worst dog-related hour of my life. Hands down. No doubt. It was horrible. It was scary. And I have profound need to write what happened to me. I cannot even say it, just write it.
Yesterday was a tough day for the dogs. They spent a big part of the day in their crates. Our house was a mess and they had just gotten baths on Friday, so I spent most of the day scrubbing every last inch of the exterior of our house. I promised them that I would take them out today to make up for them being locked up.
Trying to make good with my promise to take the dogs on an adventure, I woke up this morning and pondered the plans for the day. I went to the gym and came home to think of something enjoyable to do with them. I decided to take the 3 of them to a dog park close to my house.
Luna, Mouse and Orso piled into the Jeep, excited to go somewhere. I was prepared. I packed toys, treats, a video camera & my recall whistle. Driving to the park, which is only a few miles away from the house, I could tell that the dogs were in particularly energetic. I started to doubt whether this was a good idea. As I pulled down the street facing the park, I could tell that it was slammed. There were families everywhere, little kids, bounce houses, cars parked on the street from the overflow and dogs. A lot of dogs. I’m talking a ridiculous number of dogs. And they were everywhere.
The minute my dogs noticed all these dogs everywhere, they went nuts. Insane. It was pure insanity inside the Jeep. The barking was incessant. All of them. All 3 of them at the same time. Anyone looking at the Jeep would have sworn it was a Disney ride the way it was rocking back and forth from the hysterical dogs inside. I pulled into a parking spot and seriously questioned myself. I looked around and was convinced that it would be best to pull out of the spot and go home. It’s called intuition and we are blessed with this sense for a reason. But I am stubborn. And relentless. And downright senseless sometimes. Today was a perfect example.
I gathered my belongings, turned off the Jeep and got out. I walked to the back of the Jeep to start letting the dogs out. I will say that for the most part, my dogs are very obedient and seldom blatantly disregard what I tell them. I was careful to ensure that there were no dogs around when I opened the hatch since I know that my dogs are extremely dog aggressive when they are inside the Jeep. I saw no dogs. As I prepared to allow the first dog – Mouse – out of the Jeep, a woman approached me to tell me about a Doberman “just like yours!!!” that she had found running loose the day before. Knowing that my dogs grow impatient quickly, I tried to blow her off in a very nice way. No such luck. She kept on. Asking everything about Mouse that she could think of short of his date of birth. At that very moment, a man in the car next to mine gets out with the furriest, most innocent dog surely ever born. All hell broke loose. This man walked right up to the back of the Jeep’s hatch with his little dog and my dogs had a meltdown. I immediately shut the hatch of the Jeep but the window was still up. I pulled it down as far as I could, but the spare tire is in the way and doesn’t let it close fully. It was too late. Luna was the first one out. She jumped out of the Jeep through the window. I don’t know who went next, I think it was Orso. Then Mouse. Orso went straight for the little dog, now being raised into the air by the owner – picture Simba from the Lion King movie being held up into the air. Orso swore this little hairball was a toy. Luna and Mouse didn’t care about this dog though, they had a better distraction – a rooster. Here I was in the middle of the street and my 3 dogs were gone. There were cars everywhere.
My first thought was a whistle recall and I thankfully had the whistle around my neck. Orso responded immediately but lost interest when he heard the little dog bark at him. He turned around and went right back for the dog. I whistled again. This time, when he came to me, I grabbed all 106.2 pounds of him and hurled him – literally hurled him – into the back of the Jeep and closed all the doors and windows. One down. My precious puppy was OK. My other 2 were gone.
The last I had seen of them was them chasing a rooster around a block. A crowd had gathered but no one was really helping – except for the chatty girl from the beginning of the story. I start yelling their names and I see Mouse start running toward me. At the very same time, an Audi sports car was flying by and he ran right in front of the car. The driver stopped in time to not hit him, but it scared Mouse enough to take off in the other direction. Panicked, I get into the Jeep and peel out of the parking spot. I didn’t even look back, I just drove. I spot Mouse running in absolute fear toward the Jeep. I open the passenger door the second I spot him – I’m still moving, by the way – and he flies into the Jeep. 2 down. Where the hell is Luna???!!!
I put the Jeep in park and leave it in the middle of the street. No joke. I was blocking traffic. I run out and start calling for her. Nothing. No Luna. Nowhere. Then I hear a rooster. It was a scared rooster. Right behind it goes Luna. Thank God! She hasn’t been hit by a car. I run back to the Jeep and open the passenger door and give her the stearnest “COME!” command I have ever issued in my life. She stopped dead in her tracks and just stared at me. I think she seriously considered not coming to me just by the anger that penetrated my voice. But she came. At least close enough so that could grab her by the scruff and shove her into the passenger seat. Meanwhile, I was yelling obscenities at all of them and swearing I was going to kill them when we got home. The ironic part is that my Jeep is covered with bumper stickers that are anti-animal cruelty and pro-treating animals with kindness. And here I was. Acting like a complete lunatic. Despite this, it was 3 down. Everyone was safe.
I took a step back and looked around. There must have been close to a hundred people staring at me. I was horrified. I was shaking. I was relieved I had my dogs. I was also downright embarrassed. This had never happened to me. I was suddenly one of those dog owners that I had so many times sneered at for lesser situations. It was an accident. It could happen to anyone, even people like me who treat their dogs like their kids and strategically plan everything. I walked up to my Jeep, got in and left. I drove home shaking, my head hanging in shame. Almost in tears. I got home and let everyone out into the yard. My safe, enclosed yard. Then I sat down outside with my laptop, watched them play and wrote this. I thanked the powers that be that I am fortunate enough to be sitting here watching Luna chase a pigeon, Orso eat the landscaping and Mouse “guarding” the fenceline. I feel better now; thank you for letting me vent.
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