A couple of days ago I went out for a run. It wasn’t by choice, my dog had skipped past the hallway defences and leapt through the front door to freedom. Now this isn’t any old dog you can catch with a little perseverance – he’s a Lurcher, which means he’s a rug wrapped around a missile on legs.
Now the road I live in is a cut through during busy times and drivers do their best to ensure they make the most of it by travelling at unhealthy speeds, in fact we’ve given up having cats as the back garden was beginning to look like a commemorative to WWI casualties, and so it was imperative that we caught our escapee quickly. Moving at my best pace this clearly wasn’t going to be anytime soon if it were not for the fact that Dog is out to find things to chase, which means he diverts up the many alleyways and tracks that provide rear entrance to garages. And so we have the picture, something akin to the old silent movies, of Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton under chase in a hotel corridor where first our hero runs through a nearby door, only to burst from one at the bottom of the corridor a moment later. Dog would disappear down one alley to flash out of another soon after only to vanish once more on the other side of the road.
On this occasion I turned the first bend in the road to see two children. The elder (brother I’m assuming from the classic brother-sister confrontational pose) of around 12 years-old was holding his four year-old sister tightly by the arm and shouting at her in that way that older brothers and sisters do trying to mimic their mothers and fathers when getting a good telling off. She was red-faced and crying and trying to get away. As I got closer I heard the girl shout that she wished something horrible would happen to him.
It was at this point that Mr Missile appeared from a nearby exit and, without time to avoid, slammed head first into the boy. Now, Lurchers aren’t small dogs, and combined with the momentum that comes with velocity, and the height of a small boy’s nether region at that age, the resulting collision didn’t bode well for the youngster who, taking a few seconds to divert all attention and hands to the change in circumstances, promptly hit the pavement like a bag a spanners. The little girl of course found this the answer to her call, and laughed her head off.
Dog in the meantime didn’t know what hit him and looked for Master for help. One call and he gratefully returned with ears and tail down in submission. Whether he thought I had perpetrated his sudden stop I couldn’t tell, but he knew he’d had enough.
I apologised to the boy who quickly recovered enough to limp away from the embarrassing scene, his sister is tow, skipping along.
I wish I could say this episode had taught Dog something. But no, he still eyes every opening of the front door like a prisoner in Colditz, and if we’re not on our toes, he’s off on another jolly.
So far we’ve witnessed him colliding with three cars and two near-misses. Fortunately his speed and agility combined with the reactions of the drivers involved have averted serious injury, but it is a concern. We now have a wooden gate in the hallway which hopefully will allow him to live to a ripe old age.
I wonder if you have any good dog stories…