As we ended our evening out on my neighbor’s deck, it felt good to just walk with Dickens. The minute he left the house he started barking. As I quieted him I had to smile as I felt pleased that I didn’t rip another guest’s head off, proud that Dickens didn’t do too badly, and grateful for the lessons the night sky taught.
As we started up the hill Dickens kept crossing in front of me and stopping. I urged him onward, but after two more steps he repeated the same behavior. “Come on lad, I’d like to get to sleep before Friday. Let’s go!” To no avail, this little guy wouldn’t let me walk another two steps this time stopping in front of me and laying down.
“OK, this is going to take a while.” I said as I continued to press him forward. Then as he stopped me in my tracks for the umpteenth time and laid in front of me, I spotted the cause of his concern. Emerging from the side of a house came a black dog. An off-leash black dog. An off-leash, BIG, black dog without a master black dog. Dogs roaming unleashed in these parts usually spell trouble. Black dog started towards us.
Admittedly, I froze. The darkness prohibited me from analyzing Black Dog’s intentions. I knew an unrestrained animal approaching a leashed animal might not bode well for my guy. What’s my next step? Pick Dickens up and run like the wind? Pray something got Black Dog’s attention? Hell, just pray.
As I bent over to pick up my charge, the owner of Black Dog appeared. “Oh, don’t worry about her. She’s a puppy.” He said.
“Um, so, how did she escape her six foot tall stockade fence?” I asked.
“Oh, I just let her out.” He responded as he grabbed the dog by the ruff (no collar, no tags, no nothin’) and dragged her back to the gated area.
“Glad she didn’t run into the road. Traffic can be quite thick even at this time of night.” I said as we trotted past them.
After a treat and a bowl of water, I thanked Dickens for what I thought constituted a genuine Lassie moment. He sensed something wasn’t right to the point where he stopped our journey by laying in front of me.
Well done, my boy. Well done.