Tonight was a full lunar eclipse that was visible at the perfect time of the evening for me to enjoy it with my kids. So there we were – hanging out in the front yard with camera in hand waiting for the clouds to thin out a bit. I was holding the baby and Erica was running around the yard trying to throw rocks and wood chips high enough to hit the moon.
Suddenly I hear and see a large dog barreling full tilt down the street straight for us…"Erica, come here quickly please" – it was the first thing I could think of to protect her in case the dog felt like biting – place me between her and the dog, and move towards the house.
The dog raced right up to us and came to a screeching halt, flopped over on its back, and waited for a belly rub. Relieved, I let Erica pet it for a bit, but the dog quickly got too excited over having made new friends, and began to overdo things enough that I worried it would snap from excitement. So, baby in one arm, camera in the other, Erica leading the way, and strange dog circling us in a frenzy, we headed for the front door of the house.
Now, I grew up with dogs (ok, little dogs, but still dogs) and I know how quickly they can dart in and out of places… I managed to keep the dog out long enough for Erica to get in the house, and just as I was crossing the threshold into the house myself the dog darted past me and into my living room. Then family room. Then kitchen. Then family room, then kitchen, then living room, then. . .you get the picture. So here I am, standing in my doorway holding a (now) crying baby in one hand, camera in the other, and my 5 year old has jumped up on a couch to get away from the crazy dog that has decided to take control of my home.
Crud. Now I’m missing the eclipse!
I’m happy to report that I gently put the baby down in a corner where I could prevent the dog from getting to her, put the camera down where it would not be broken, and then calmly called the dog. Surprisingly, the dog immediately snapped out of its euphoria at being in a strange house and came directly to me. I took hold of its collar and directed it back outside.
To make a long story short, she (I now knew it was a female) had proper tags on her collar with the owner’s phone number prominently displayed. I pulled out my cell phone and called the number.
"Yes, hello, do you own a dog named Kasha"?
"Uhm, Wait, Oh no!… Crap! I didn’t even know she was gone!"
"Well, she’s not all that gone. She’s on my front porch."
"Where do you live?"
So I got to spend the next few minutes out in my front yard making friends with Kasha. She loved to be scratched under her chin and behind her ears. By the time her owner arrived I had her calmed down enough she was laying pretty still and watching the eclipse with me. Her owner soon arrived and fell over herself both apologizing and thanking me for calling her.
So, the moral of the story is to make sure that you get proper tags and ID for your pets – when they stray from home (as they inevitably do) hopefully whoever finds them will be kind to them and call you.