Friday, May 11, 2012

terrific moments of terror

"Mom, I'm going to have to let you go." Click.

Tuck had run over to the neighbor's house and had not heeded my command to return. So off I went for the second time in a row to fetch him and instruct him (again!) that when I say "here," I mean it.

It happened the other night, too. What should have been a simple obedient response to "here," turned into 15 minutes of "you need to learn that when I say it, I mean it."

So, forget the work I was doing on the computer at the time, or the conversation I was in the middle of, my dog disobeyed and I had to attend to it.

It was a trend tonight between both dogs. We headed down to the river, Tuck on a leash, Skye loose. She was the one who was misbehaving (completely ignoring me), and in a terrific moment of terror, decided to chase something on the other side of the river, which meant she had to swim across. It also meant she was stuck swimming across a swiftly running river and I could see from my vantage point that there was no way she could get up on the other side.

I started envisioning her drowning body and my inability to do anything. Then I wrote the headline in my head: Dog drowns while owner watches.

All the while I'm calling and yelling for her to join me on my side of the shore. She was swept downstream and eventually worked her way over to me.

I was terrified.

And when her excited dripping body climbed out of the water, I started: "Don't ever do that again! Do you know how scared I was? There's no way I could've swam in there and saved you."

As if she understood a word I was saying. In her mind, she got a great swim in.

It's a matter of perspective, isn't it?

Tuck thinks he's being a friendly visitor.
I think he's being disobedient and rude.

Skye thinks it's a good night for a swim.
I think it's not a good idea to swim across a body of water that can sweep you away.

I guess there's room for compromise.

Tuck can visit, but must return when I say.

Skye can swim, just close to shore.

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