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Happy Tails: Close Call for Harley
November 14, 2009 - Dorian Gossy
I nearly killed my dog last weekend. Here I’d been planning my overdue blog for you with helpful hints about dealing with allergies to animals, or cat mood swings, but when Harley, my hound mix, darted out in front of a car in front of the post office last Saturday, everything else seemed dwarfed in importance.
And it would have been completely my fault. Harley has no road sense, being a country dog these days. Usually when I take him to the post office in Jay, New York, and bring him in with me to say hi to Kevin the postmaster, he trots right out of my Subaru into the office and puts his front paws up on the desk to get a scratch from Kevin. No leash needed. Harley might pee outside the door, but normally he doesn’t linger and heeds my commands to stay close. I prided myself on how well-trained he was, how attached to me.
But that was mere hubris on my part. I know there are people who think that their pets are “fur persons,” little people in animal suits. It can certainly seem that way sometimes. But I’m pretty sure that Harley thinks that we are dogs. Which is why he didn’t understand why I was screaming at him to stop when he was running pell-mell across Highway 9-N to make friends with a boxer dog standing across the street with two people chatting on the sidewalk.
He paid my shrieked commands no mind, nor did he care a veal bone for the pick-up truck bearing down on him. I honestly can’t tell you whether the driver stopped in time or swerved, because I fully hallucinated my dog’s white-and-gray spotted body flying through the air in his last seconds of consciousness. But everyone froze, and soon Harley was running back toward me with a frantic wag. An old-timer going into the post office said, “I’ve never seen such a close call.”
I got Harley back into the Subaru and buried my face in his thick neck fur, breathing in his dogginess. Of course I wanted to strangle him, too, but mostly I just thanked Whoever It Is Who Saves Me from Myself, and in this case, saved my dog from my carelessness.
Here’s my Memo to Self to share with all of you: Leash dog if there’s a road around. Remember he’s a dog and at times wants to chase something more than life itself. Just because he minds me most of the time doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have his own will, his own passions. He’s not trying to “defy” me. He’s merely being himself. And thank Who Ever It Is for that!
This blog is sponsored by the North Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Find out much more about the SPCA at their website, www.ncspca.org.
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