Delinquent dogs and crying babies

I kicked a dog. But before you slate me for animal cruelty, hear me out. It really was an accident!

Dropped the wee boy off at his granny’s for some quality time with her. And was so looking forward to a quiet evening at home with the furkids and hubby. But before hubby got home from work, I was a little stress ball ready to explode. And here’s why:

So I’ve told you about my delinquent dog with his tendency to dash for freedom when the gate opens. I’m not a bad owner. And he’s not a bad dog. He is actually really easy to train, he just forgets. It’s not his fault really, he has a broken brain. See, he suffers from canine epilepsy.

For weeks on end he is fine and then one day, we see the warning signs: he starts pacing. Within a few days, he has a number of grand-mal seizures. He has had up to 15 seizures in 48 hours. Then, for a few days he continues to have petit-mal seizures and stumbles around dazed and confused. And then, when the seizures stop, we have to train him all over again: to stay inside the gate, to not jump up on the table and the visitors, that the children’s food is really not meant for him, even though it’s on his level.

But it wasn’t my dog that I kicked. (I know, that doesn’t make it any better!).

As we’re driving home from Granny’s house, the tension in my body builds. The baby is crying. Talking to her makes no difference, leaning back and trying to rock her car seat a little has no effect. Telling her that we are almost home does nothing to change her discomfort or her mind. She is crying gut-wrenchingly, inconsolably, and I am utterly unable to help her. To a mother, there can’t be anything worse. It feels as though my shoulders are attached to  my ears and the the tension creeps up my neck. We seem to catch every single traffic light on red.

After what seems like hours, we stop in front of the gate. The fluffy dog is waiting. He is like the runaway bride. As long as you can keep eye contact, he manages to sit-stay. But lose it even for a moment, and he’s away! This always leaves me with a most unpleasant decision to make: jump out, catch the dog before he disappears around the corner, but leave the gate open, car running and the children inside. OR. Drive the car into the yard, close the gate and risk never seeing the fluffy dog ever again. He is remarkably fast for a fat, furry Golden Retriever!

But today is different. The neighbours across the road are in their garden and their two dogs decide that a chase is in order! I remember checking the road for oncoming cars before I dash across (at least I’m not completely careless!). The fluffy dog evades my attempt to snatch his collar and the neighbour’s dogs dart in front of me (This is the part where I accidentally kick the dog, see). I trip over the dog and grab the neighbour-lady’s arm to stop myself from hitting the tar face-first.

We’re both babbling, trying to apologise for our respective ill-mannered hounds. In the meantime, the little lady is still screaming her lungs out in the back of the car, so I don’t have time to stop and make nice. I drag the dog back into the yard, unpack the crying car seat and try to breathe deeply.

So much for a quiet evening at home…

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