It’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with our dogs.
One thing I’ve really hated lately is that Comet habitually runs off every night after dark… sometimes twice in one night… when we take him out in the yard to pee. No, we don’t put him on a leash or a chain just so he can pee in the front yard. We’ve never done that, and up until recently, he’s never seemed interested in wandering too far from us.
But, one night he did run off. And now he knows he CAN, so he does. In fact, he seems to look forward to these excursions every evening. And every time he runs off, I panic, wondering what I’ll do if he doesn’t return… or if someone knocks on my door and says they found him in the road and he’s either dead or injured. Even though part of me hates this dog, the other part of me loves every square inch of his furry self, and I would be positively devastated if anything horrible happened to him.
I am even more anxious when he runs off on the nights when Nick is out late DJing. Because I don’t like being the responsible adult on duty when the dog is off running around, doing God knows what, pissing off God knows which neighbor. I definitely prefer for Nick to be here to act as the fall guy (’cause that’s just the kind of wife I am!).
Last night, Nick was out DJing, and Comet ran off twice. The second time he was gone for almost an hour, much longer than he’s ever been gone before. So I was in full-blown panic mode, running to the door screaming for him every 3 minutes until he FINALLY decided to grace me with his presence and come home for the night.
So, tonight, we refused to let him out the door unless he was hooked to a chain (that’s attached to a railing on our porch)… a chain that is really meant for Lizzie, our expert escape artist, who never gets outside with our knowledge unless she’s chained. We should’ve named her Houdini. Anyway, tonight, I took Comet out three times, attaching him to the chain each time. And he didn’t really know what to think about this change in his nightly routine. He would stay out there for a few minutes and then start barking to be let in. Then, he sat at my feet and whined. And Comet never whines, so clearly he was unhappy and wanting me to know it.
Now, I should back up a bit and tell you WHY I think Comet started running off in the first place. The main reason (I think) is because he doesn’t like to poop in our yard (even though we have the largest yard in our neighborhood and there’s more than ample room for him to do his business here). And, well, because his parents are lazy, lazy, lazy and don’t like to get off their butts to actually WALK the dog like they should. So, if he won’t poop in the yard and we won’t walk him to poop elsewhere, he’s going to run off, right? And, once he started running off, he probably decided he liked the simple act of RUNNING (he’s a big dog, after all). Also, this time of year, I suspect he spends many a night chasing deer through the neighborhood; they’re all over the place!
I couldn’t handle the dog whining at me tonight. That’s a great way for the Mommy Guilt to set in (yes, there’s even Mommy Guilt of the canine variety!!). So, at 10:30pm, I actually hunted down a leash and took Comet for a walk around the block. He was beyond excited about this. And as we were walking down the street and I watched his big tail wag with joy, I realized that this is really such a simple little thing. To take the dog for a damn walk. So why don’t I just walk him twice a day like a good Dog Mom would do?? It takes five minutes to go around the block… and Lord knows the exercise would do both of us some good! And, aside from the moment of panic when I found myself face-to-face with three deer in a yard down the street, our walk was very enjoyable. (I was extremely relieved when the deer gave in and ran off in the opposite direction, instead of charging at Comet and me!)
And now, we’re home… safe and sound… and Comet isn’t anxious and whining at my feet. And I feel no more Mommy Guilt. Of all my charges, Comet is certainly the easiest to please, so I’m going to try really hard to keep my promise to him and take him for walks every night, instead of risking his life (and my heart) by tempting him to run off into the night.
And, Comet’s Dad, if you’re reading this… I would NOT object to you stepping in every now and then and taking him for a walk around the block for me. (Unbelievably enough, Comet’s Dad is even lazier than I am when it comes to walking a dog!)