Tomorrow marks one week that Honey (Luke’s dog) has been a part of the family and today is the first time that she has met our granddaughter, Leya. Last night it dawned on me that in a few short hours, I would have to juggle caring for both a puppy and a baby. At 10 weeks old, Honey is at the age and stage where she thinks it is okay to chew on anything and everything – things that move (like small children) are one of her favorite targets. Having this adorable, scooting baby dropped off at our door, I was afraid that Honey would view this as the doggy equivalent to having pizza delivered!
In addition to the “nibble” issue we also have the, “Quick! Grab the leash. Honey is about to pee on the carpet!” issue which I try to prevent by taking her out on the leash regularly to tromp around in the yard and get her sillies (and other things) out. In our Minnesota winter, the frigid temps make it less than conducive to haul a baby outside every hour. But I hatched a plan and was ready for the battle.
This morning, when it was time to walk Luke to the bus stop (the end of our driveway), I was ready. I strapped little Leya to my back and wrapped her in 2 thick blankets. I then called Honey to the door and got her leash on her. We emerged into the great outdoors, kissed Luke goodbye and waved to all of the kids on the bus as it pulled away from the driveway.
This is the point when I normally take the dogs (Honey, Angel and Ozzy) into the backyard and let them run around and explore. (Honey’s exploration is limited by the length of her retractible leash, but it is fun for her nonetheless.)
Well today she must have been particularly excited because she took off running and the leash was yanked right out of my hand! Despite my calling for her, she was heading straight for the field that our yard butts up against – a field that is several acres of trees and grass which is taller than me (which, being vertically challenged, isn’t saying much but is still tall for grass). We have never even let her out of the yard, let alone an unaccompanied venture into the wilderness! If she got lost in the maze of the field, it would have been like dropping her off in the middle of Manhattan and hoping she found her way home. I was consumed at the notion that I might have to tell Luke that I had lost his dog while he was at school.
I simply could not bear the thought, so I gave chase. I frantically raced down the snowy hill as fast as my legs could carry me with Leya bouncing and laughing on my back while riding along during this high speed chase.
Well, gravity got the best of me. No, I did not fall to the ground, but something else did. I must have dropped a few pounds chasing Honey all week because apparently my pants didn’t fit as well as I thought. Down went the pants and I was at their mercy because with Leya strapped on my back, my hands were not as accessible as usual so I could not easily secure them back in place. With one hand holding the blankets around the baby, I tried to use the other to grab my pants while still waddling after Honey.
Sure enough, Honey made it to the field and was joyfully leaping over the sprawling grass and snow. With every leap she pounced farther and farther away from me and deeper into the grassy abyss. There was no way I could catch up to her and soon she would be camouflaged in the grass “Oh, Lord! Please stop that puppy!” I thought.
Just then a little miracle happened. The handle of her leash got caught in a mound of dirt that was slightly emerged from the ground. Honey yanked and pulled on the leash but was only running in place. This gave me a moment to catch up to her. With an overwhelming feeling of relief, I grabbed her leash to bring her safely into my arms – and I pulled my pants up, too.