When He Almost Became Squashed Stanley

I’ve been having trouble sleeping the past few nights. That means two or three hours, tops. I get grouchy when I don’t get enough sleep and frankly, I have to work twice as hard to focus on my work when I’m sleep deprived. Yesterday, maybe it was because I was tired (read exhausted) or just dumb but I didn’t pay enough attention when I went to the front door.

I never, never, never, ever, ever, ever open the front door without putting a leash on Stanley and making sure it’s secured to something fixed. I was always worried he might do as Flash did one day and run out the front door to chase a UPS truck. (Flash turned around the minute I said COOKIE, however.)

Well, numbnuts that I was, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I had a small envelope just beyond the security door. I opened the door just a sliver and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Stanley began to run. He made it through the door. I immediately saw the huge dog on the other side of the street. Then I saw the truck. I screamed. Stanley raced across the street and the truck missed him by inches.

I began to run, screaming, “STANLEYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!” (Please bear in mind that the following was going through my head:)

You idiot! (To me.)

You damn fool! (To me.)

Damn dog! (Not to me.)

Oh, f***!! (Just on general principles.)

Stanley’s going to be Squashed Stanley!

Holy crap! (Again, just because.)

God, please, let me catch him!

Thankfully, the huge black dog on the other side of the street was on a leash. The woman at the end of his leash screamed. I screamed. Stanley jumped up on the dog. The dog ran behind his owner, looking terrified. (The dog was 4 times bigger than Stanley.) I have no clue if Stanley was just saying, “Hi, I’m Stanley and I NEVER see other dogs. Let’s sniff butts!” Or: “Hi, I’m Stanley, this is my street. Go AWAY!”

The woman screamed again and I joined her.

STANLEYYYYYYY!!!!!! HERE!!!!!

He didn’t even turn around.

F***!

Please, God, let me catch him.

(Still exhausted, now terrified.)

STANLEYYYYYYYYYYY!

As I was making it across the street, he gave up thinking of going to war with the dog and raced across the street again, toward me, then swerved at the last minute.

I don’t think the driver of the white car saw him. I screamed. The woman with the dog screamed. I think we both thought Stanley was a goner.

He got across the street in one piece. No blood.

I was running like hell. I was still terrified, but I was also furious. Why the HELL wasn’t Stanley listening to any of my commands?

COOKIE!!!!!!!

Nothing. Not even a blink.

He raced down the street. My next door neighbor came out of his garage and stood there. Just stood there. He was close enough to Stanley that he could have grabbed him, but I have no idea if Stanley would have nipped at him. It was the ONLY reason I didn’t send the guy a dirty look.

I was still running. I was pissed. I was scared. I was hoping that I could get to Stanley before he was run over.

STANLEYYYYYYY!!!!!! HERE!!!!!!!!

Nothing. I might as well be mute and invisible.

He stopped to pee on a neighbor’s yard and I grabbed him.

I have NEVER been as angry at a dog as I was Stanley at that moment. I remembered when John was three and ran into the street. Luckily, there wasn’t a car coming. I felt the same terror followed by fury.

I picked him up and hauled a wiggling 24 pound dog back three houses. I was still exhausted, still furious, and the adrenaline was starting to burn off. I was shaking so hard I could hardly stand. Stanley was giving me attitude and I was SWEARING at him all the way home.

Stanley and I are going to undergo remedial training. He is going to understand HERE, COME, and other commands that may save his life one day. I honestly thought he knew those commands, but he has to obey me regardless of where he is.

I may even call the same place I took Flash to for obedience training, but one thing I can guarantee: I’m never, never, never, ever, ever, ever opening the front door without Stanley on a leash. No matter how exhausted I am.

21 thoughts on “When He Almost Became Squashed Stanley”

  1. Oh God Karen! That was a close one. I am so thankful that Stanley is okay. Brisket used to escape all the time and she was fast. One time she got out…did get hit by a truck. The truck stopped she got up and barked at it! She was a tough little booger. She was young when that happened and full of spunk.

    They’ve all gotten out so many times but I really believe you can’t train a terrier, at least an older one to listen to you once they get loose. Good Luck!

    • I don’t think you can train a terrier. This afternoon I’ve been reading about it. I’m willing to admit that he’s doomed if he ever gets out again.

      I have a double fence in the backyard. He would be hard pressed to ever burrow out of there. But the front yard? That’s up to me to keep him safe.

  2. So glad you are both OK. My Rupert (AKA Devil Dog) escaped a few times when we first got him and went God knows where. We live in the country and have many acres of woods behind our house. I couldn’t keep up with him and would lose site of him. He came back to our general area each time and then
    since he was worn our from the extended running we could catch him–but each time I think took a couple years off my life line.

  3. OMG! Karen, I thought since Stanley lived on the streets that he would not go through the crazies like most young dogs do. Every dog I’ve ever had has done this exact thing the first time they get loose into the yard. One even got hit by a motorcycle and spent weeks at the vet. Thought we lost him. He walked in circles the rest of his life when he got anxious or bored. Had a cocker spaniel who I thought was one of the smartest dogs ever but no, she got out one day and ran all over the neighborhood with me chasing after her like a crazy person. I finally caught her and put her in timeout by putting to kiddie gates close together in a hallway and told everyone not to look at her or talk to her. She never did it again. I knew she was smart. Marco even did it and he had more freedom than most since he had a huge yard and a little buddy to run around with in it but…the first time I left him with my folks when I went on vacation, he not only got loose and ran all over the neighborhood, he nearly cut my mom’s finger off with the nylon leash. That caused quite the scene!
    They think it’s a game, you chasing them. I used to watch Tika and then Marco run around the two yards with the little mixed terrier from next door. That little dog would run huge figure eights from one end of our huge front yard to the other end of his and back, over and over. He wanted my dog to chase him, which of course each of them did. It’s a game. It’s a bad game because the road is a very dangerous place.
    I’m hoping you reprimanded him well and he knows now that Mommy is not happy with that behavior. Glad he’s okay and you didn’t have a nervous breakdown or worse while chasing him around. It’s terrifying. I know – been there and done it too many times. You want to kill them but instead, hug them to death because you’re so glad they’re okay.
    Happy Christmas to both of you. xox

    • Happy Christmas to you, too, Amy!

      I can’t tell a lie – I fussed at Stanley all night. I no longer give him any treats unless he works for them. He has to either SIT, STAY, LEAVE IT, COME, HERE, WAIT or do some other command. We’re working on HIGH FIVE, too. Oh, and he knows SHAKE. It’s the long distance stuff I’m concerned about, though. Being able to call out to him wherever he is and have him come to me. That’s vital.

        • You know what, Amy? I’m with you. I don’t think I stand a ghost of a chance if Stanley gets out. He just has one thing on his mind and that’s to run. I’ll just have to be ever vigilant.

    • This has been a great experience because it forced me to evaluate Stanley’s training. I found this on a terrier site:

      “…terriers will never be dependable off leash because of their deeply rooted hunting instincts and natural impulsiveness. Their instantaneous reaction to anything that looks like it should be chased or investigated causes them to completely forget their training. Instinct will always override their owners’ commands. Therefore, Pam says, a terrier owner should never depend on obedience training when the dog is in a potentially dangerous situation. ”

      I learned that, unlike most dogs who are dependent on their owners, terriers were bred to work independently of humans. I didn’t know that. By accident, I’ve always trained Stanley with treats and lots of fun. I’m going back to that, but with new knowledge – he will never look to me for guidance. He’ll do his own thing.

  4. Oh lord have mercy. That’s all I’ve got. I aged five years just reading about it. Thank the lord he didn’t get hurt.

    • We’ve had a couple of come to Jesus meetings today. I’ve been running him through all his training and he seems to have remembered everything. I’m still going to work on distance training with HERE and COME. That’s what he really needs to know. Baby steps. 🙂

  5. Wow! my heart was beating faster just reading that! So did using up all that adrenaline help you get to sleep?

  6. I am grateful that you and Stanley are both OK. I agree, he MUST learn to come when called and not continue to run.

    But, life is good, he is OK, you are OK and that is most important.

    • We’ve been working on HERE all morning. Then we’re going to do door training. Then we’re going to do 30′ lead training. I’m not giving up until he gets it.

    • I’m sure I looked like a loon, especially since he wasn’t paying me any attention. Poor woman with the dog. She screamed at least three times.

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