Thursday, July 1, 2010

When inspiration strikes


Having a dog is kind of like having children.  You love them.  You really do.  But there are so many days when you want throttle them.  The problem with a dog is that you don’t feel like you HAVE to keep it no matter what.  It’s not a moral obligation, unlike children.  This lack of permanence allows you to indulge those thoughts for far longer than you would with regards to the kids.

I had those thoughts on Monday.  To preface, I KNOW that the advice is to never let a greyhound off a leash.  These dogs, in case you didn’t know, are FAST.  If they take off, it’s adios.  But I have never been one to let rules stand in the way unless I am certain they’re good rules.  I love taking Lando on walks in the mesa by our house.  And he LOVES being let off the leash to explore.  He’s such a momma’s boy that he’s always kept fairly close, and will always follow if I turn around.

Except for Monday.

Apparently Lando’s got an independent streak that’s just starting to show, because on Monday I turned around to head back home and called for Lando to come.  He didn’t come.  He wasn’t finished with his walk yet.  So I kept walking toward home, thinking that he would surely follow.  And he kept walking the other way, thinking the same thing.  Eventually when he was quite far in the distance, I realized that he wasn’t coming, so I’d better follow.

I was irritated.  But I knew that he’d come back or stop and let me get him.  After 5 minutes, I started to worry.  Aaron had a meeting he had to get to in the morning, which meant that I had to be back in the house to watch the kids soon.  After a few more minutes, I began panicking.  What if he didn’t stop?  There was no way I could catch up to him.  As long as I was walking, he walked as well, but always 200 m or so ahead of me.  If I began to jog, so did he.  I started offering little prayers: “Heavenly Father, please help me get this dog back.  Please help me get this dog….”  After we’d gone over a mile like this, I was really freaking out.  What was I supposed to do?  Follow until he decided to lay down?  Go back and…do what?  I was kicking myself for ignoring all the advice about NEVER letting a greyhound off leash.

Calling wasn’t working.  Whistling wasn’t working (I can’t whistle anyway).  Acting excited and running in the opposite direction wasn’t working.  Promises of treats weren’t working.  Shouting and casting aspersions upon his ancestors wasn’t working.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I needed to think more logically.  What makes Lando run?  Rabbits.  But what makes Lando come faster than anything except rabbits?  Other dogs.  But I didn’t have another dog with me.

Then suddenly inspiration struck.  I didn’t have to have another dog.  I just had to sound like another dog.  So out on the mesa at 7:30 in the morning I began barking.  Immediately Lando stopped.  His ears pricked.  I kept barking, trying to sound as convincing as I possibly could.  He took off running toward me at full speed, and I kept on barking.  He came to a stop about five feet away from me and cocked his head, trying to figure out where the dogs were.  I seized this moment and was able to grab his collar before he knew what was happening.  And then we ran the entire way home.

Lando has been banned from all off-leash privileges.  And I have learned to recognized and respond to those moments of inspiration, even when they seem as ridiculous as barking on the mesa.



Stef said...

That is great! You will have to demonstrate your convincing dog bark sometime. Yet another talent we did not know about you.
What a blessing, though.

Jess & Jessica said...

Great story Chelsea! I felt like I was there with you. That feeling is frightening, when all you can do is pray and hope. I am so glad that he came back and that you made it home together. :)

Brian said...

Chels - That was such a great story. When do you submit it to the Ensign? It is better thn most of the stories I read in there. I'm so glad that you listened to the inspiration and the promptings you were receiving. I know it sound strange but that is exactly the way the Lord work. I love you sweet daughter and keep on doing what you need to be doing. -- Dad