Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ba Ba Bad to the Bone!

The weather has turned cooler in Los Angeles and, in fact, there's a slight chance of rain in the forecast tonight. I don't put much stock in that prediction as my knees are not hurting more than they ought to given that I'm being faithful about running on my Brookstone Stepper every day, but then again, in the past few years, they only give me short-term warning about inclement weather. So it's possible that I should be trusting the weather people on TV. So far, though, it's a crisp and cool evening in the San Fernando Valley. Perfect for walking dogs.

There's been a dog walk scheduled on my To Do list, and sooner or later, I was going to need to cross that line item off. So at about 5 pm tonight when I was hurting from bending over my current beaded jewelry project, I decided that it was the perfect time to take the boys.

These days, I have to walk them separately because Cosmos just can't keep up. As a rule, Sunny has the first shift - he's always been a difficult walk - and then I stroll up and down the block with Cozie. I got up and stretched, found my shoes and put them on, and called out for Sunny. No response.

Sometimes when Sunny is in the garden, he doesn't come when called. (Actually, whenever Sunny is outside, obedience goes by the wayside.) My front door was open so that the boys could enjoy the patio; I casually walked out there, calling for Sunny. I expected to find him on the rocking bench at the far end. He wasn't there.

My condo isn't very large. A little under a thousand square feet. It isn't so easy to get lost inside. I quickened my pace and walked from room to room. "Sunny!" I called. "Sunny!" No response. As I looked around and didn't see my boy, I started to worry. He's well known for being an escape artist. He's also known for running and not coming when called, only pausing to stop and attack small animals. I typically keep my patio locked when my door is left open so that he can't escape. I walked out there to assure myself that it was... it wasn't.

"Oh shit." I thought.

Back into the condo. "Sunny!" I called. "Sunny!!!!" No response.

Shit. Shit. Shit! I tried to stay calm as I put my sweater on, thinking of where he might have run off to. Images of dogs mangled passed through my mind. Small dogs. Sunny dog. He's not street wise. I've seen him run right into oncoming traffic, and an old scar from before he was mine speaks of at least one direct hit. Shit!
I tried to envision when somebody let him out of the yard. The gate is normally locked because kids peek in to see what they can see. But I just couldn't imagine the gate opening and Sunny whooshing by without attendant screams from the bypassed.

Then I heard it. One small creaking sound coming from the studio. I walked in there and looked around me.

I walked out and heard the sound again. Quickly returning, I stood quiet. The sound of a tail thump and another creak. It was then that I realized that Sunny was behind and underneath my loom, chewing on the rawhide that Claudia had so kindly brought him all the way from Florida.

I offered to take him for a walk. Uncharacteristically, he ignored me. Kept right at the bone. (He is not normally a food-oriented dog.) As he did when I offered Cosmos the first walk, leashed him up, and left. He hadn't moved even as we returned home. So I pushed the envelope and tried to take that bone away from him so that we could go on our sojourn. (I needed the longer walk. I needed to burn a few calories.)
No growl, no animosity in his eyes, but Sunny would not let go. I kissed him on his forehead and tickled his nose. His jaws tightened. So I emitted one sharp bark, "Sunny!" That did it. He begrudgingly released his hold. I put the rawhide on top of our entertainment center for safekeeping, leashed him up, and took Sunny for his walk.

Upon our return, after the Sun got a drink of water, I returned his bone to him. He returned to position. And life continued as it had before.

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