A MinD in MoTown

I’d be the mom whose child got stuck in a well.
April 30, 2009, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Adventures in "Motherhood"

My morning started like every other… The alarm sounded, I rolled over and promptly turned it off, giving myself another 30 minutes of rest that I likely didn’t need before jumping out of bed at 8:30 a.m. After a quick visit to the restroom, I tossed a hoodie over my tank top and went outside with my dog so she could do her business.

Just last week, my landlords – who are also my next-door neighbors – fenced in our yards (together) so their one-year-old son could play, and my Sophie girl as a result, without worries of little bodies meandering into the streets filled with oncoming vehicles. Sophie had been behaving very well in the yard while enjoying her sans-leash freedom for the last few days, so this morning I tucked the purple leash into my hoodie pocket as we greeted the morning air.

NOTE: As I continue this story, follow the diagram*. My neighborhood is really old and strangely planned, but this is what the block of Mill Village – all small mill houses, nearly identical in size, layout, etc. – looks like. The numbers detail my story and the sequence of events. The *blue lines* are fences; the *black lines* are streets; the *red blocks* are houses; the *green dots* are trees and shrubery; and the *purple dot* is my trash can. We begin in my yard, bottom center.


She did her thing – #1 and #2 – and as I dumped her droppings into the garbage on the other side of the fence after ensuring my dog was still within the gate’s perimeter, her tiny puppy frame squeezes underneath the door and makes a run for it (1).

At first, I don’t panic. A dog lives next door so she’s slowly sniffing every blade of grass as I walk back into my yard and start yelling her name in the hopes that she’ll come back through the now-open gate. But she doesn’t. Instead, she moves further into their yard. And then, because they used to live around the corner, she slowly moves into that yard (2) to work on smelling each inch of that area.

I follow her despite knowing my dog is not one to be chased. If you go after her, she runs, but I simply could not turn my back on her and cross my fingers she’d return home. I had to stay as close as possible to ensure she didn’t dart into the streets and become another piece of roadkill. What kind of doggie-parent would I be, after all, if I let my one-year-old puppy be smooshed by a Nissan Sentra that zoomed by?

And just when I’d get close enough to possibly snag her collar, boom, she’d swiftly back away then bolt elsewhere (3).


Sure, she looks all innocent and nice here, but I warn you, my puppy is a pro at deception.

The corner house posed a problem: two streets, i.e. two opportunities for my dog to be flattened. Not good. So I snuck around to the edge of the property. Clearly she had no desire to run to me – I apparently suck – and was maneuvering the opposite direction. Thus, if I stayed on the perimeter, she’d wander inward. And she did (4).

At this point, I’ve been eyeing my dog for 20 minutes, repeatedly yelling “Sophie!” in a variety of tones and voices, and trespassing onto my neighbors’ property all while wearing blue sweats from Victoria’s Secret, a Penn State hoodie reading “I tailgate with the best,” and without a bra. Awesome, right? And since I naively assumed my outdoor adventure would last no more than five minutes before my morning shower, I was without glasses or contacts with the ruins of my Wednesday evening makeup still adorning my face. More or less, I was a hot mess chasing a black blur around the block (5).

Then I saw a glimmer of hope. With her nose to the ground, she wandered into a yard where I knew two dogs resided (6). These two animals were notorious for barking at everything just before you heard their owners screaming as a result of the noise. Realizing how long I had been outside at this point – my feet slipping around my flipflops because of the morning dew – I quietly begged and pleaded for those dogs to cause chaos because my Sophie was in their terrority. All I wanted was for those owners to come outside and perhaps they could help me catch my 20 lb pup.

But no. Instead a six-year-old boy chased his terrier mix, Oreo, around as that dog and mine played in the yard. I waited for her to tire, to stop and catch her breath so I could make my move. But Sophie grew bored with Oreo and left the scene (7 & 8.).

My frustration levels were high, my feet were wet, my hopes dwindling that I’d ever get my ass to work. And then this dog of mine crept into another corner yard (9).

I’d chased Sophie around most of these parts before, but this was unfamiliar territory for her and I. This was a new yard. The others, she had a brief familiarity with, but not this one, and I was entirely unsure if she’d finally make a break for it and cross the street or not.

Then she stopped. Completely stopped. For some unexplainable reason, the resident of this home had thrown two halves of a ham and cheese sandwich into his/her tiny garden growing within cinder blocks. I kid you not. A row of cinder blocks with potted plants sat behind the home and my dog was desperate for a piece of that sandwich, which I took fast notice of … so I picked it up.

With no clue whatsoever if this sandwich would be dirty or moldy or filled with bugs, I threw one half back into the garden and held the other. Luckily, and most certainly to my relief, the sandwich was perfectly clean and fresh as if it were made only minutes ago. My dog stared at my hand.

“Sit, Sophie,” I said. And she did. I squated down. “Shake hands,” I told her, and her little left paw raised up.

And bam, 45 minutes after our excursion began, I grabbed her collar, throwing the sandwich piece back into the garden. I pulled the leash from my pocket, snapped it on, and trotted back home as I repeatedly said, “Bad girl. Very bad girl” to the still-hungry puppy by my side.

* Yes, I know how lame this is, but serious confusion may erupt without my super-awesome drawing.

10 Comments so far
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Oh I feel you. My cat is allowed to roam around in my parent’s fenced backyard but one time he escaped. I wasn’t there but my parents were freaking out. They found him in the front yard.

You should carry treats w/ you when you go for walks from now on.

She’s not easily enticed by treats. And she still doesn’t respond to the word “treat” either. =/

Comment by phampants

Wow, she does look too sweet to give you so much trouble. This reminds me of chasing our dog all over the neighborhood when I was a kid.

I had dogs growing up that behaved SOOOOO WELL. And then I get stuck with this one, who I love and adore, but does not listen to me whatsoever. She’ll listen to my boyfriend, but I guess my voice is too happy or something? Beats me.

Comment by Ashley

The title of this post is hilarious!

And sadly, it’s probably true!

Comment by thatShortChick

Whenever one of the dogs gets loose, we usually ignore them for a little bit, then entice them with a “special” treat like ham or turkey at the front door or in the car. The more you chase, the more they’ll run! Especially puppies. They’re indefatigable.

Not a bad idea. She likes cheese, too. I’ll have to remember that for next time.

Comment by Justin (Oats)

Dogs will be dogs…

I guess.

Comment by Matt

Our dog normally gets out of his leash and runs all the way up the street and takes off. He has even jump out if our window, through the screen, and taken off that way when we aren’t home. He has always come back, but when he gets away from us he will normally run if we pursuit him. He thinks we are playing a game or he is the leader all of a sudden an could go where we he wants. I’ve learn to get down on a knee and then call for him. If I’m low to the ground he always runs back but never if I’m following or just standing.

Oooo. Are you talking about Sebastian, or did you get another dog?

Comment by Jonathan

Ha Sebas is too dumb to run away you know that. We got a beagle named Milton a little over two years ago, pain ever since

Ohhhhh, okay. That’s right, I remember the beagle now. Duh.

Comment by Jonathan

My dog, Dexter has gotten out a few times… my mom lives near double train tracks, so I worry some. Generally he comes back, and most of the neighborhood knows him… He’s gotten better at listening to my mom in his old-doggie age (nearly 11!)… Bear, my cat — who lives at my mom’s — has gotten out too, and he generally returns.. though only after terrorizing and fighting with another animal, fur still in his mouth…

… As for my girls, who actually live with me… they haven’t gotten out yet, but they have gotten into the laundry room right off my apartment. Which resulted in a nice 2-inch gash on my hand as I tried to pick one of them up (Tuija)…

At least they return. My dog just runs, runs, runs. Perhaps though she’d return if I let her be, but I’m quite hesitant to do that… Cats seem to do better on their own then returning than dogs though, or so it seems anyway.

Comment by Rini

The cutest ones are always the most trouble…

and bras are overrated. 🙂

With boobs as ginormous as mine, bras are a necessity… Ha.

Comment by LiLu

I love that you’re posting diagrams and puppy pics in the same post. She is beautiful and you are brilliant!

Haha, well, thank you! I figured without the diagram, nobody would have a CLUE what I was referring to. I clearly live on a very confusing block of town.

Comment by hautepocket

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