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.
He didn’t even turn around.
Please, God, let me catch him.
(Still exhausted, now terrified.)
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?
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.
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.