If you have ever watched Corgis run, they’re surprisingly fast. They stretch out and come together like a very elastic rubberband. Sometimes, when they are excited or very happy, there is an extra bounce in each stride. It’s fun to watch them – most of the time.
Now, Memphis, my male Corgi, preferred to conserve energy. He was not big on chasing anything – balls, squeaky toys, or other animals in the yard. He was curious, and may canter a few steps in the direction of a squirrel or chipmunk, but his heart was never in the chase. That was the case until one summer evening around twilight time.
Ralph and I had just walked the dogs, and we were standing on the front porch, ready to go inside. I unleashed Memphis just before I opened the front door….a big mistake….HUGE. Somehow in the waning light, Memphis spotted a rabbit and was off the porch and after it like Superdog. I shouted. But I was completely ignored, so I started sprinting after him. “Ralph, put the girls inside and get a flashlight and some doggy biscuits!” I shouted as I followed Memphis into the backyard.
He zigzagged from our yard to the neighbor’s backyard, hot on the heels of the terrified bunny. Finally, the rabbit disappeared into Sandy Run Park behind our house, and so did Memphis! I charged right through a bed of poison ivy, but when I stepped into the tree line, it was darker and Memphis was not in view. I kept screaming his name, not knowing whether to turn right or left. Ralph appeared and we started walking down the path, continually coaxing, “Memphis, come here, boy! Don’t you want a ‘cookie’?”
My heart was in my throat. Memphis was almost all black and would be hard to spot back here. We didn’t walk in the woods because of ticks and poison ivy, so he was not familiar with the trails. We turned back towards home. “Let’s try the other way,” I whispered to Ralph. I could hardly talk now, fighting back hot tears. We had retraced our steps to the place where our house was in view when we heard something in the undergrowth. There was Memphis! We called to him, my heart singing with joy!
Memphis dashed right past us like we were perfect strangers or trees of the forest. He had a wild look in his eyes and was headed for home. We ran after him, and when we arrived on the front porch, Memphis was standing at the door. He would not look at us until he was inside the house. I think he either encountered a creature much bigger than him or when he stopped running, he realized Ralph, the girls and I were not right behind him!
I learned my lesson. No more unleashing before we get inside the house. As much as you think you know your dog, there are some things he may reveal when you least expect it. Faster than a speeding bullet….