Initially, my heart skipped about a dozen beats. My very first thought was that Cooper had somehow managed to get out of the yard, again. Thankfully, that was not the case. I ran up a little ways to ask the woman if she needed help catching her dog. The dog wasn't hers, but we could see that the dog had a collar with tags so we wanted to grab him so that, one, he wouldn't get hit, and two, we could call his owner.
The dog was being INCREDIBLY evasive, so I ran into my house to grab some milk bones, hoping to lure him close enough for me to get a grip on his collar. He did come up for the milk bone, but snatched it out of my hand and took off before I could grab him. This woman (who's name I never got) and I walked/jogged/ran this dog for over 40 minutes. Two more women in the neighborhood joined us in our efforts.
Collectively, were getting really concerned for this little guy. It was getting dark and our street is not well lit in addition to having a lot of trees, so it gets pretty dark, and this dog is solid black. On top of that, people have a tendency to drive down our street way too fast. One man in particular came flying down the street as we're standing in the middle of it, waving flashlights at him and waving our arms for him to slow down. He sees the dog at the last minute and slams on his brakes, barely missing this dog. He was suddenly ambushed by four women cursing him out to "Slow the F down when you drive on our street!"
For 40 minutes we followed this dog, circling back, venturing down different driveways in the attempt to get him out of harms way and back to his home.
In the end he ran into someones front yard where there were two children, a boy and a girl. When he allowed the little girl to hold on to him, we thought he'd found his home. Not so, he lives in the house across the street. The little boy started walking over to the dogs home, telling me that he had been trying to bring the dog home since he got out of school that afternoon and had chased him about 2 miles down the road, but stopped when they got to a busy intersection because he was afraid that the dog would run out into traffic and get hit.
When the boy went up to the door of the owner and told her that her dog was over in her yard but that he didn't bring him over because he didn't have a leash and was afraid that the dog would get away again.
Now, if I go back to last month, and if a neighbor had come over to tell me that Cooper was in their yard across the street, I would have been pounding pavement to get my behind over there to bring him home. This dog had been out at least since that boy had gotten out of school that afternoon - about 4 hours - and this woman was not out looking for him.
Do you want to know what he said to the boy who had her dog over in his yard?
A flat toned "oh, do you want his leash so you can bring him over?".
I was outraged that she showed so little concern over her pet. Add that lack of concern to how obvious it was that the dog was not well socialized around people, and I would be willing to bet money that the poor thing is put out in a yard and left there, alone, given very little interaction with people. At that point, I just walked away because I knew that if I started to say anything to this woman, it would not go well and that I would probably be less than kind - not a good example to set in front of the boy that was there. So, I walked back home.
I was sweaty, out of breath, and realized that considering I had just had more exercise in those 40 minutes that I have had in several months, that I am in the worst physical shape that I have ever been. When I got home and sat down, I started coughing... a very productive cough. Not. Good. Smoking. Bad.
So, what did I do? I sent the following text message to a couple of friends:
Omg. Just spent 40 mins running trying to catch a lost dog in my neighborhood. fat + smoker = not meant for running. So going to pub
Because what do you do after coming to the realization that you're in incredibly poor physical shape? You go drink and smoke.
Cooper and I get to the pub and as I walk in to the bar, one of my friends looks at me and starts laughing.
"Can I tell you what my first thought was when I got your text?"
"So, thats what it takes to get Vanessa to exercise. Just dangle a poor lost animal in front of you."
I looked at her and said, "yep, you're about right."
So, if I could just find a lost animal to chase for about 40-45 minutes, twice a week, then that could save me from some monthly gym fees. Or, I could just join that gym.