Doggie Blues

My roommate’s dog made a run for it one day I was alone with him, and I’m pretty sure that day I experienced my first true panic attack. It’s a strange feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you see your roommate’s brand new dog sprinting down the neighborhood as fast as he can. I dropped my purse and started to sprint after him as fast as I could…in cowboy boots at least. According to Google Maps, I ran for 0.6 miles after this dog. Along the way I passed a group of kids playing soccer and got them to help me chase him for a little bit but eventually even they gave up. I lost him a few times, but then I saw a little kid sitting on the sidewalk breathing heavily every few feet or so. It was like a really messed up version of  Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs. After a while, I caught him in my line of vision and focused on him completely. Every once in a while, he would turn his head and look back at me, see me chasing after him and then run faster. I tried to slow down or stop when he did it again and he would stop for a second or two but that dog was having the time of his life right now. Holy crap was he was living life for those 10 minutes. I wish you could have seen just how happy he was during the worst moments of my life. Don’t worry, this story doesn’t end with him being lost forever or being hit by anything but it doesn’t end that great, for me at least.  

What finally made him stop was a high-schooler on a bike. “Is this your dog?” He yells to me. He has to yell because I’m pretty far back. “Stop him! For the love of god stop that dog!” I scream-cry at him, because I am beyond sobbing by this point. He causally get off his bike, starts to walk up the sidewalk and this dog…he decided to slow down, trot up to the boy and calming starts to use his paw to toy with the kid’s jeans. The boy picks him up and hands him over once I finally catch up. I’m still crying, and this dog is not having it. He does not want to be carried after all the freedom he just had but I was not letting go for anything. I thank the boy through my tears and then start to head home. I look around and have a terrible realization: I don’t know where I am. All I could do was run after this dog, I didn’t know what turns he made or what streets he cut across. I reach for my phone… and then realize that it was in my purse which I had dropped in front of the house when I started the chase. So I start to walk when a voice says “I know a short cut to get back”. One of the kids playing soccer had caught up to me. I find out later that he was in 7th grade. I think he knew I was lost, but didn’t want to make me feel any worse. But, not intentionally, he managed to do that anyway on our way back. He started by apologizing for not being able to keep up to which I profusely told him that I was grateful that he tried. “Yeah,” he said “I have asthma so it’s hard for me to run so much”. Mr. Salt, meet Mr. Wound. Why don’t you get to know each other better. Then he asked “Are you a student?” To which I wasn’t too sure what to respond. I was a graduate student who worked full time… but I think he was asking if I was a high school student. I thought about just going with it but I gave in and told him the truth. I think he responded with something along the lines of “Oh that’s cool” but his face said it all. “You’re an adult?!”

While I was trying to find my way home, holding a squirmy dog and being led my an asthmatic kid in middle school….meanwhile…. my roommate was panicking because when I didn’t go out to the parking lot to meet her, she ventured to the house to find a wide open door, a purse toss in the grass and a roommate and dog missing. She apparently walking up and down the neighborhood shouting my name (which of course I couldn’t hear because I was loooooong gone). It got to a point where someone asked her if she had lost her dog, to which she responded “No! I lost my roommate!”

 The boy successfully shows me the way home and we passed his friends on the way back (along with their parents who quietly judged the crying woman, carrying the wriggling dog who had sprinted past about 20 minutes ago). To try and save face I make a public announcement. “Dogs are a lot harder to take care of than you think.” It was a great statement, I don’t even think it was a grammatically correct statement. As I went up the hill, I hear screeching tires. And then more screeching tires from a different car. My roommates runs into view shouting “What happened?!” Ignoring the angry people in the car behind her. I actually didn’t know what to say. And I was still crying. So we got in her car, we got back to the house. My other roommate (the one that the dog actually belong to) was unnaturally calm and very sweet about the situation. She comforted me more than I comforted her. (I actually got suspicious and thought of all the silent ways someone could commit murder). But in the end, everything was settled. The dog and I both learned a lesson. Until it happened again a few nights later on Halloween. But a Power Ranger caught him that time. And that’s not a sentence you get to say every day.

Putting the Fuse in Confused