Reason #56: Why I Should Never Have Children

Last night I learned something new about myself. I panic quite easily.

I was walking the dog at the usual time, just after six pm. We headed in the direction of one of the soccer fields that is off-leash friendly this time of year. Since it was dark and drizzly I figured it would be a good time to go; we would have the entire area to ourselves. Other than the lights from the school yard, the field is not lit up at night. It can be a great space to play hide-and-seek.

Apparently, it can also be dangerous.

As usual, I made Shiva wait after I unclipped her leash. Before releasing her I ran out ahead in a version of a chase game. As soon as I give the “go” command Shiva typically runs after me. So confident am I of this action that sometimes I don’t even look back to make sure she’s following me. I just keep running, waiting to hear the jingle of her collar. This time there was a jingle, but it headed in the opposite direction.

Frustrated, I stopped and turned around to look for her. As I mentioned, it was dark and I had trouble spotting her anywhere on the field. With all the clouds I couldn’t even use the moon as a light. Not good. I figured Shiva  was probably sniffing at something disgusting and I headed back to where I’d left her. That’s when I caught movement up head. That’s also when the panic took over my normally logical brain.

There Shiva was, on the other side of the fence, right next to a very busy road, in the dark.

Eating dirt, of all things.

I lost it. I started screaming her name like a banshee. Naturally, she didn’t even look up. Shiva was probably hoping nobody would associate that deranged human with her. I wouldn’t have come to me either. Once I forced myself to calm down, I took a deep breath and called out to her in a bright, cheerful tone.

Now that I wasn’t howling like I was on PCP, she came trotting over to sit beside me like she hadn’t just been inches from death.

Which, of course, she hadn’t been. It was only my over-dramatic brain that imagined thus. Evidently where my dog’s safety is concerned, I lose all form of common sense. This does not bode well for the future.

The solution?

I have decided to wrap one of my husband’s reflective vests around her every day for the rest of her life. It should fit over the bullet-proof jacket and ten layers of bubble wrap that I will also strap over her delicate body. My bicycle helmet doesn’t quite fit but I found if I stuff the insides with more bubble wrap and staple the straps together I can make it stay on. It should work until I can afford a house big enough to fit an indoor track so that she never has to go outside again.

Even then I’ll probably still keep it up with the bubble wrap. Just in case.

22 thoughts on “Reason #56: Why I Should Never Have Children

  1. I am the exact same way. We have reflective vests for all the dogs and always put them on when we walk them at night. People have actually commented about them. I am that crazy dog person in my neighborhood 😉

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  2. LOL! A friend of mine gave a same remark as yours sometime ago!

    I have never walked my dogs at night because I don’t feel safe at all!

    Glad Shiva was alright at last! May be a reflective vest is a good idea because you can spot her easily. I won’t care about what other people will say about it as long as I make sure I can see my dogs and know where they are whenever we are out! Their safety is the main concern!!!

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  3. I know how you feel. Marc and I are not having kids, and I always tell him we made the right choice, because if you base how we are with Alex the cat, the kids would need mental help at 2! We are so nutty! If he doesnt run to his food, we are practically calling the vet. We even have a nanny cam for him…. We so have issues!

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  4. I’ll need pictures when you’ve got Shiva dressed to go, please!

    I’ve done the same thing…taken Stumpy out to the same ol’ place with the same ol’ routine, in mind, and she changes it up and I go berserk. The worlds not a safe place for human or dog, knowing that makes me lose my mind.

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  5. You do make me laugh.

    You should also think of your own safety. It didn’t sound a very safe place for you to be. I’d carry a torch and some kind of personal alarm.

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  6. Oh boy – serious laughing on this end. I’ve been in that situation a few times too many. I got Charlie a reflective *harness* that he’s walked in every single day on every single walk. Both dogs have lights that I attach to their collars that blink at different speeds, so I know who’s who. I’m considering getting them cowbells as well, though I don’t think they’ll appreciate it. And then don’t forget the reflective collars, as well as the straps that go around their feet, which move, and so are more visible. Oh the things neurotic people buy for their pets!

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  7. I would be JUST the same, Kristine. Winter is always such a conundrum for those of us who want to give our dogs off-lead time. I can’t take Macaulay across to the forest in the pitch black, and he’s totally unreliable on the road. I make do with one of those horrible extending leads which are not great because they teach the dog to pull….Someone could start up a business providing safe off-lead winter walk areas!

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  8. Not having children is the only true regret I have in life :(. Think carefully before seriously going down that path. When it gets to be dusk, I wear a reflective vest and my dog(s) wear reflective collars. Weather sounds similar to here; lots of pee in the house this morning, as one knows, a hound cannot go out in the rain, mon dieu! I am blessed, however, with over an acre fenced in which my dogs can run off leash. You and Shiva will get there some day.

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  10. I have a feeling Shiva is going to have other plans! Bubble wrap doesn’t quite sound like her style. It’s a lot more fun to keep your people on their toes when you can go full tilt at the windmill!

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  11. Ken and I long ago came to the realization we would probably only have 4 legged grandkids – canines and felines I mean – not strange humans – however – I think that they way you have taught Shiva – and how you have nurtured her – you would be a great parent

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  12. I would react the same way you did. Whenever Erin escapes from the front door she zooms across the street. it’s always my biggest fear that she will get hit by a car. Naturally I start screaming too which only makes her go further away. But I think you came up with a smart solution. Thank’s for visiting and commenting on my blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  13. I think everyone who lives with dogs can relate to that moment of panic. But remember, that sinking feeling of worry and panic is probably also part of the same thing that causes a mom to gain enough strength to life a car off her kid. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

    And I too am dying to see Shiva in bubble wrap. My guess is you wouldn’t have to worry about her because she’d spend all her time rolling around to pop the bubbles.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  14. Having both kids and furkids, I might offer you a ray of hope – except for maybe when they were wee babies, I’ve tended to worry and freak out more about the furries than the kids! There’s something that feels very vulnerable about the pets, I think it makes it hard to not be concerned.
    But the reflective vest is an awesome idea! lol

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  15. That would have freaked me out too… but that should not be a good reason to NOT have kids 🙂

    I hardly walk my dogs at night because i am afraid of snakes… or creepy stuffs that might get at them. But we do go for some walks at night at a safer neighbourhood.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Shiva, Kristine + hubby 🙂

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  16. I can SO relate! No children here. Just the fur-kids, and believe me, I’m super protective of them. If I had a child, I would probably never let him (or her) out of sight. I can imagine how scary it must have been to realize Shiva wasn’t where she was supposed to be. I’m glad for the happy ending!

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