6 a.m. already? As if the alarm wasn’t enough, Daisy made sure that I knew it was time to wake up with her perfectly timed tongue assaults. Every time I would start to nod off again, she’d be there to lick my face, reminding me to get up. Mumbling to myself about how much I hate getting up in the dark, I stumble into the kitchen only to be blinded by the fluorescent lights. Two bowls of cereal later, I’m putting on my makeup, getting dressed, and getting out the door.
I have quite a bit of time to think during my 30 minute drive to work, usually zoning out and then all of a sudden, I’m turning left and into my elementary school parking lot. I teach preschool Special Ed., so my day wouldn’t be complete without something totally random happening. Today Robert threw up and when we called his mom she asked if she needed to come pick him up. Your son is puking all over the nurse’s office, so yes, Robert’s mom, you do need to come pick him up. Thank you.
After school, I went next door to talk to Alexa, another preschool teacher, and found out that not only is she moving and having a yard sale, but has a brand new Belgian waffle maker and a very nice strainer that are looking for a new home. Coincidentally, Eric and I could really use a nice strainer, and who can say no to a Belgian waffle maker? This conversation occurred just days after I bought pumpkin pancake and waffle mix from Trader Joe’s. It was obviously meant to be.
Since money is tight this month, the dogs are only going to be able to go to doggie day care once a week, which means I’m going to have to step up my dog owner responsibilities and take them for more walks, starting today! The dogs are psyched to be going for a walk, so we got out the door in record time.
We take the usual route down Broadway and stop at the first intersection. The dogs sit and I have them wait. On command, we jog across the road and when I go to switch their black leashes into my other hand, I accidentally drop Sadie’s leash. She turns her jog into a sprint and takes off down the sidewalk. I start chasing her while screaming her name and that’s when the flashback happens. Four years ago we moved to California with a dog named Chilli. We were at the beach, she was off leash playing with our friends’ dog, got scared, and took off. I chased her down the sidewalk, and she just kept running and running. Chilli ran into an intersection and got hit by a car. She didn’t make it, despite getting her to an emergency vet within 10 minutes. I was devastated to say the least, and it was potentially about to happen again.
Every part of me wanted to keep chasing Sadie until I caught her, but my mind told me to do what I have read in every dog training book ever – stop chasing her. So I stopped and squatted down. The second I stopped, she stopped and turned around to look at me. I called her name and after a slight pause Sadie came trotting back to me. I shakily told her “good girl” and from that moment on held both leashes with a white knuckle grip. After I regained my composure, I called Eric. “We need to get Sadie a different colored leash”.