On my way home from work yesterday, with the window down and a pleasant breeze coming through the truck, I decided I’d take Sensi out for a little romp in the yard.
We don’t have a fence, so I thought it would be nice to put him on the 30-foot training lead I bought a few years back. That way, he wouldn’t be tied to my side and could at least move around with a little freedom.
If you haven’t read my blog entry, The wonderful, magical Halti, please do. It was how I first discovered that yes, I could walk my dog without him pulling me to the moon and back.
But Sensi’s not exactly a spring chicken any more.
As he’s aged, he tends to stay by my side more and more regardless of whether he’s wearing the Halti. If anything, I have to tug and pull at him to get him to stop grazing on the grass and walk with me.
Though I use the Halti for any walks, I was only planning to hang out in the yard last night. I didn’t even consider using the Halti.
Sensi was excited to see the long lead — it’s been a while since he was last out on it.
We walked outside and I lead us around the side of the house, heading toward the backyard. There’s a small mowed path that runs along the house’s side. It’s on a rather steep downward angle, and to the side of it, there’s a large gully where the grass grows tall.
As I started heading down the hill, Sensi stayed behind me, chomping on the tall grass like a cow would.
As the length on the lead began running out, I called for Sensi to come. He jogged up to me, and then kept on going. And he picked up speed. He picked up a lot of speed.
I was about half-way down the hill at this point, and I barely had time to realize that he wasn’t stopping.
I didn’t see the chipmunk in the tree at the bottom of the hill until the very last second, right before the slack on the lead ran out.
My arm jerked forward, and like usual, I was determined not to let go. I have always had this unrealistic belief that I could hold on.
So I went flying. Literally — flying. With my hand still clinging to loop on the lead, my feet picked up off the ground and my body jolted forward.
About four-feet later, I landed squarely on my hip. The lead had finally been pulled out of my hand, but it landed just a few more feet in front of me.
As my husband later noted, it probably would’ve quite comedic to watch my little mishap — my body being flung forward and then landing clumsily, picking my head up to see my dog scratching at the tree.
But no one was around to see. And just as I began picking myself up and reaching for the lead, that darn chipmunk exited the tree.
He disappeared into the long grass, in the direction of the swamp, and off my dog went after him.
A bad situation, I thought, was about to get a lot worse. I’ve not only been yanked off my feet, but now my dog’s running off too.
“Sensi!” I yelled. “Come!”
The old boy stopped dead in his tracks and returned to me. And wouldn’t you know it, he walked right up to the hip I landed on, sniffed it and gave me a quick lick.
Yeah, like that’s going to make it OK.
We went back inside, and I after I’d gotten my wits about me, I grabbed the Halti and we went back out in the yard. This time, Sensi was an angel.
But incidents like that remind me, even good dogs can have bad moments.