07 September, 2010
Pursuit #37: Who let the dogs out? Well, I did.
Only this time, one of them ran away. In the pitch blackness of night. In a wholly unfamiliar neighborhood. On my FIRST dogwalking/sitting gig of my dogwalking/sitting career.
I called for him. No answer. No sounds. An eternal 15 slow-motion yet hyperactive minutes of searching. I paced. I searched for a flashlight in a foreign house. I panicked. I cried. Never before have I literally wanted to just crawl under a rock and hide. Scratch that: not just hide, but die. I was a mortified, terrified mess. I had to call the owner of the dogwalking company and explain to her that on my first assignment, I...lost....the...dog. Oh, but wait. I FORGOT TO SAVE HER PHONE NUMBER IN MY PHONE!
Then I hear howling in the woods in one general direction of a not too distant neighbor's house. I run. No dog in sight, just sound. But a disembodied dog howl from the woods is not particularly helpful WHEN YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY A FOREST AT NIGHT.
I finally got ahold of the company owner (that's another stressful tale, but not worth getting into). I am waiting for her call back (thinking I'm surely fired), when I decide to make one last attempt in the general direction of the disembodied howling. And what do I hear? Dog toenails clanking on the pavement. I see his silhouette standing on the edge of the neighbor's driveway like he did not just cause my veritable heart attack slash almost make me commit suicide. I dragged him home while calling the owner back to call off the crisis.
Lesson to be learned: Dogs that look and walk like walruses covered in fur, are actually stealth ninjas, so do not be fooled. That, or just always use leashes for dogs you are responsible for the well-being of...