I recently had to take Shadow to the vet. Max had already had his checkup, but I decided to bring him along. He'd only been there for unpleasantness, and I thought (and was told) that taking him there just for a regular "hi, how are ya?" to the receptionists would help keep him happy to go there. He's 90-some-odd lbs, so naturally I'd like him to always cooperate when it comes to a vet visit. It beats claw marks in the asphalt.
Besides, he's a big baby and cries if I take Shadow but not him. The boys were all in school, Mr W was at work, so I didn't much relish the idea of Max being alone, howling and disturbing neighbors. And Shadow is a little skittish; I figured having Max along would reassure her.
I got them leashed up, and off we went. Audrey thought it was fantastic to have both of them along.
I'm thinking, as I made the five minute drive, 'this is not so bad.' I forgot Rule of Life, #248, section B: Pets, like children, are unpredictable. Equalizers. Stealers of dignity.
Because, believe me, there is no way to look dignified as you run after two dogs, a leash flapping, four year old on your heels, shouting like a maniac.
As soon as I shut the door to the van, Shadow did this minor head shake that got her out of her collar. She took off, after all the amazing animal smells in the parking lot.
Max, being very puppy still, started to chase her.
Me, being an idiot, dropped Max's leash.
I probably would've spun in circles, in a classic 'what do I do, what do I do' Lucy-mode, had not my four year old given chase too.
I'm calling out to the dogs, and it's like they've forgotten their names. I'm a little freaked out, as a major roadway is at the end of the drive, and really don't want to explain "splat goes the puppy" to Audrey.
Luckily, a horse at the horse-vet next door neighed, whinnied, made some noise. Shadow stopped for a second and I stepped on Max's leash just as Audrey slammed into me from behind.
I crouched, and held out my arms to the sides, and called Shadow. Surprisingly, I was able to pull it off, using a voice that belied the fact that I wanted to save her from traffic so I could throttle her myself. She wasn't fooled, and was getting ready to go again, when I heard another voice.
One of the receptionists had viewed my little parking-lot-tableau through the window and had come out to lend me a hand.
I wanted to hug her, but I was in a position I've not been in since my naked Twister days, and getting up quickly, gracefully, was not an option.
She got Max's leash and I managed to get my hands around Shadow's neck. It was a briefly satisfying moment before I put her collar back on and we went straight inside. (I adjusted her collar once we were in a room waiting on the doc.)
Why does this come to mind today?
I'm taking Max to PetsMart this afternoon to be groomed.
Four year old? Check.