Not My Dog!
I drive around the corner, almost home, and there he is, a cute yellow dog. He is adorable. He is loose. He is alone. He has not been taught to look both ways before crossing the street. I must catch him and reunite him with his family.
I park my car and approach him. He stops to watch me, tilts his head to listen, but when I get close, he backs away. I offer to take him for a ride in my Prius, he declines, if only I was driving a Maserati. I offer him a doggie treat, which he takes cheerfully, but when I reach for him, he moves just out of reach, treat safely devoured. He is fast. I would probably have as much success tackling him as I would sacking Patrick Mahomes.
I try to lure him close with treats – I toss him a treat, closer each time, but he carefully keeps his distance, just out of range. I hold out another treat, try again. What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? Perhaps a prime rib would do the trick? I run out of treats and he decides to explore the neighborhood. I follow on foot.
As he trots down the sidewalk, he is distracted by our neighbor’s cow. Yes, a cow lawn ornament. The dog slows, stiffens, and starts barking wildly at the cow. The cow nonplused, watches and does not move. A man steps out, presumably to protect his cow. He shoos the dog and then sees me and asks, “Why isn’t your dog on a leash?” “He is not my dog; I’m just trying to catch him.” “Do you need help?” he asks. “No, I’ll manage.” Really, seriously, why did I say that? Yes, of course I need help, I turn to change my response, but the man is already inside, back to guarding his cow.
The dog moves on and spots a cat; a fearless cat who is definitely not going to put up with any nonsense from a mere dog. I hold my breath as the dog sets off to chase the cat, but the cat does not cooperate, the cat does not run, she stands her ground, arches her back and suddenly looks the size of a bobcat. The dog turns, but it is too late, the cat thumps him on the nose. The dog runs off with his tail between his legs. The unscathed cat looks at me as if to say, “Why isn’t your dog on a leash?” “Not my dog,” I tell the cat as I trot by.
He keeps moving, I keep following. Great! There is a nice Easter party, kids, Easter egg hunt; surely, he will slow down and be distracted so I can catch him. The dog trots over to a child who is busily examining her Easter basket swag, the girl is surprised and screams, one of those high-pitched screams, only children are capable of, the kind that makes your eyeballs pop and your brain rattle. The dog and I bolt. A parent calls after me, “Why isn’t your dog on a leash?” “Not my dog.” I respond. Sizing up the situation, she then asks if I need help. I turn; say yes, I tell myself. “Well, you look pretty busy with your Easter party.” She happily takes the out I give her and turns back to her kids.
The dog and I move on. Another neighbor sees me and the dog. “Why isn’t your dog on a leash?” The dog holds up a sign, “She is not my person.” The kind neighbor offers to help, he is grilling and suggests we use the meat to lure the dog into his backyard. I gratefully agree. It works! The dog is safe, and his family is found. I go back to my Prius and reassure myself despite what the dog thought, it is just as good as a Maserati.