Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Addingtons to the rescue!

Yesterday afternoon started out pretty quiet around our house. Gavrel was napping. I had finished doing dishes and was working on cleaning out my wallet/purse pocket of my diaper bag. You know, when you have half a dozen gift cards with unknown balances, receipts that have surveys that need to be taken, or are at least a few months old and barely still legible, and foreign currency that's been taking up space in your wallet for well over a year? Ok, so maybe that last one isn't normal, but it's what I found today. The beagle was sitting out on the porch, keeping an eye on the neighborhood, and Benni was curled up on the couch.

Suddenly the dogs started barking - pretty frantically. It's normal for them to bark some during the day (and no, it's doesn't wake Gavrel up), but this was a little over-the-top. So I stepped out onto the deck to see what Nellie's deal was. Below, sniffing at the bushes, was another puppy.

I didn't notice anything wrong at first - figuring maybe it was a neighborhood dog out for a walk or something, until I noticed a girl chasing after him with a leash, frustration evident in her voice. "Do you need help?" I called after her. Her answer was less that committed either way. So I grabbed a handful of dog treats and ran out after her. (Yes, I left my baby in the apartment. Go ahead and be shocked and indignant, I'll wait.... I wasn't going far enough that I wouldn't hear the dogs if someone tried to get in.)

I caught up with the girl in the woods directly behind our building. The dog would get really close to her, only to leap away again and run off. He knew she was mad, and it had become a game. I watched her almost catch up to him, only for him to run off through the woods into another apartment complex behind us. I thought the girl might cry. "He's not even my dog; he's my roommate's dog. He got loose and I don't know what to do. He knows he's in trouble, so he won't come back."

I walked a little further into the woods, calling for him and offering treats - hoping he would come to me. No luck. I couldn't hear him any more. Suddenly, I had an idea. "Does he like other dogs?" I asked. "Would he come to see other dogs?" She thought he might. "I'll be right back," I said. "I'll go get my dogs and come back."

When I walked in the door, I could hear Gavrel waking up. I quickly got him up and changed and in the wrap, leashed Benni and Nellie and headed back out. Sam, the runaway dog, had come back as far as the parking lot. The poor girl was trying to get him to jump into the car, but he was mostly just chasing her in circles around the car. As soon as my crazies saw him, they started barking and whining and making all kinds of very undignified noises. Sure enough, that caught his attention. He came right over, and the three commenced the usually rounds of sniffing. I offered him treats, and he stood still long enough for the girl to sneak up behind him and get him by the collar.

I thought she might cry again, she looked so relieved. "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I don't know what I would've done. That was so nice of you!" She turned to my handfuls and said, "You be nice to your mommy today, because she's been awfully nice to me."

Really, I just know that awful, sinking feeling of watching a dog run away from you, not knowing how badly it could get hurt. Not knowing if you're going to be able to catch it before something or someone else does. It's awful. I've literally pulled the beagle out of oncoming traffic before - and that's scary. I was just so glad to be able to help her.

And my puppies got treats for their part, too. :-)

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