Apollo is nearly ten months old, and while he has become more independent in many ways, he’s still a puppy. He goes on what I call the “Puppy Tour of Terror” – opening the trash can with his nose so he can grab discarded chicken wings, chewing up TWO LAPTOP CHARGERS IN A WEEK, and his random meth puppy runs. I sprayed him with water yesterday to stop him from going in the trash, and he immediately retaliated by pooping on the carpet. He’s potty-trained, so I don’t know what’s up with that. Do I not spend enough time with him? I feel like his rampages are equivalent to a teenager stealing her dad’s car.
This weekend, I opened Boyfriend’s front door so I could go outside and get better reception. It was only when I came back inside and saw his look of shock, accompanied with his tight grip on Apollo’s collar, that I realized that I’d nearly lost our puppy. AGAIN.
So several weeks ago, we were walking Apollo in a park. All was well. It was a beautiful day, our pup was prancing in the grass, and there were several other puppies frolicking. They were running around the park without their leashes, unlike Apollo. We talked to the dogs’ owners, letting our dog play with theirs. “I can’t take him off his leash,” I explained to the owners. “He would just take off if I did.”
As the pups were playing, I noticed Apollo was getting extra squirmy when the larger puppy approached him. Apollo’s collar was getting really loose. I remarked to Boyfriend that Apollo’s collar looked loose, but I didn’t fix it. This was a mistake.
Then, before we could process what was happening, Apollo squirmed out of his collar and immediately took off.
I think I blogged before how my family’s dachshund, Harry, had taken off on us when he was a puppy, and how Dad and I hauled ass to catch him. We couldn’t catch him, and we were decent runners. But we were on a long, empty beach, so Harry wasn’t in too much danger.
But now we were in a park, right next to a street. Further down the street was an access road. I know that dog trainers say the last thing you want to do when your dog gets loose is chase him, because the dog thinks it’s a game. But how can you override your instincts? I knew that if Apollo ran into the access road, it was over. And he was showing no signs of slowing down.
I ran after him, allowing myself to be slightly amused when I heard a little boy saying, “Wow, she’s running FAST.” But it wasn’t good enough. Neither Boyfriend nor I could catch him. My heart sank when Apollo ran into the street. I started mentally preparing myself for the possibility that I would see Apollo get hit by a car.
I looked both ways – miraculously, no cars were approaching. Apollo ran in the parking lot and ran back out into the street. I was so scared by this point, because I was afraid he’d start running towards the access road. Then I would be unable to save him.
Thankfully, one of the puppy’s owners started to help us and the three of us cornered Apollo in the middle of the mercifully empty street. Apollo looked confused as Boyfriend scooped him up and held him tightly to his chest.
I adore my dog, but I won’t miss his puppy tours of terror. Not one bit.