(Sadly, not the exceptional book by Paul Brickhill, nor the film based on it by John Sturgis)
I rent-a-room from my ex-gf J. We dated a few years ago for about four years, and have remained friends. Hell, she offered me a room in which to land when I lost my home!
The point being, we have been acquainted for going on eleven years(!) And I with her menagerie – a smattering of chihuahuas and cats. Some of whom have passed on (Mike was a terrific boy kitty!). Others remain, and continue to age.
Fooling us into complacency.
The drill used to be to make certain the gate from the back yard into the parking lot was secure, because DYLAN could escape. And has.
When I first met Dylan (which I privately spell Dillon – gun folk will get it), she was three, and very animated and active.
And she did get loose a couple of times, running willy-nilly, constantly checking for pursuers over her shoulder and laughing. She was a rescue dog, and had probably lived on the street for some time. Of course, the main fear was she’d run into the street and get killed.
Now, she’s going on 15-years-old, and has an arthritic back leg. Spends most of her time sleeping, sometimes with one eye pealed for the cats or the puppy. She moves kinda slow.
We were alerted by the (evil) HOA to keep our back gate unlocked (an impossibility, due to the spring-loaded lock) lest they need access to make ‘authorized’ repairs and improvements. For a specific three day period. And we were used to the gate being closed and secure.
So we had to leave it ajar for the three days.
I wasn’t worried. Dylan could barely walk, and D.J. (the happy boy idiot dog) wouldn’t leave, regardless. And Lola (the puppy) generally used paper inside by the back door. (She was a showgirl, ya know!)
Part of the morning routine was to check the backyard for maintenance folk, close the gate, THEN let the critters out. But the habit, based on years of programming, was just let them out.
You can see where this is going, can’t you?
I let them out, then looked up to see the gate still ajar about a foot. I wasn’t worried.
Then, Dylan looked at me and bolted out the gate like a shot! I quickly ran (well, relatively quickly) and called to her. There she was, as if she were again three, running away, looking over her shoulder at me.
I let D.J. back inside, secured Lola in her kennel and yelled to J that Dylan was loose. She ran out back with her car keys. I searched the opposite direction on foot.
J. is asthmatic. Going to her car is her best bet. I’m crippled. Hobbling slowly after a very fast
puppy old lady dog is the best I could do.
Dylan did her best to stay about 60 feet ahead of me, even taking time for a ‘rest stop’ – just to mock my pursuit! J. drove around the parking lot slowly, searching. After about 15 minutes, I chased her to Judy, who scooped her up into her car and went home!
She ended up running a few hundred yards. Which I ended up walking. Slowly and painfully.
The important things are Dylan is back home safe, Judy is breathing okay, and I have additional pain medication.
Here is Dylan, after her little ‘adventure’.