If you asked Trev, he’d probably tell you that this is a funny story. It’s isn’t funny. Don’t you dare laugh.
On Thursday morning Trev went to work too early to help me out by taking the dog for a walk first. I’d had a rough night with no sleep, and Iris had been cranky all morning. As a result I squeezed a dog walk in, after morning nap but before a feed. I knew I wouldn’t have long. I knew Iris would get hungry soon. I tied her into the wrap, and we headed for ‘the pit’ which is currently just a huge area of mud and muddy puddles. Seb loves it there, and I love it because we rarely see other people/dogs/bikes/joggers. Perfect.
I was cranky already, if I’m honest. The walk does me good though, and I was enjoying it. Squelching through the mud singing to little Iris. I was calming down. I had got a grip on the tension. Seb was happy, rolling in the mud. I was happy. Iris was hungry.
I decided to head back home before Iris screamed the place down, so she was still fairly happy when I called Seb back to go on his lead. He looked at me from across a muddy puddle, and when he saw me take the lead out of my pocket he bolted.
I don’t know where he went. I was pretty confused. He hasn’t done anything like this in a long while and I thought he was over it. I called and whistled and shook his bag of treats. No sign of him.
After a while I heard barking. I headed that way to find him barking at a nervous man who was trying to shoo him away. Unfortunately the man didn’t have the sense to stop and I just couldn’t catch up. I lost sight of them. I didn’t know which way they went. Another 20 minutes of walking and calling and whistling later, Iris was seriously annoyed. Poor kid wanted her 2nd breakfast. It was also about time she slept.
My kiddo doesn’t do patience. When she needs something she needs it right now. If you don’t provide she lets you know. Loudly.
I headed for him, Iris’ crying making me feel tense and flustered. Sticking her dummy back in over and over again just wasn’t working. I needed the dog and to get home. Now.
As I approached he sat perfectly still, watching me. I showed him his bag of treats, to let him know I came in peace. I used my silly voice that he likes. He didn’t move a muscle.
Until I reached him. Then he was off!
He ran towards the mountain, and probably up it too knowing him. I couldn’t see him anymore. I decided to pretend I was going home without him. A technique I’ve seen parents use with tantruming kids in supermarkets. It never seems to work for them but it worked for Seb. I crossed the bridge out of the pit and hid. Luckily Iris had gone quiet. In a few minutes I could see him, stealthily sneaking after me, to see where I’d gone.
When he was pretty close I softly called his name. He ran. Iris lost it, big time. I text Trev at this point, to find out what he would do, but he was somewhere in North Wales where mobile phones just don’t work. I had to feed this baby. Had to. I headed home.
As I crossed the road I felt guilty. I went back. One last try. Iris was not amused.
He sat at the top of the steps, totally still, watching me. As I reached him he ran again. Not just out of reach. He ran right away across the pit towards some trees.
That’s when I decided I wanted to kill him.
With nothing I could really do about Seb at this point I really did head home. I fed Iris and I fed myself. I even made a cup of tea, which I left to go cold. I wondered if somebody would find him. They’d never catch him. He hates other people. He barks at them sometimes but never lets them close. I didn’t think he’d follow me either. He’s terrified of the road and reluctant to cross it even when I’m with him. I sat and nursed Iris until she was calm and I was slightly calmer than before. My blood was no longer boiling. I felt incredibly bad for leaving him.
I bet he didn’t feel bad, the little monster.
I grabbed his lead, popped Iris in the wrap and headed back. Really I should have been settling Iris for a nap. Bloody dog. The teenage boys that are always on the bridge, day or night, informed me that they’d seen him a while ago, heading along the cycle path towards Pontypridd. Great.
He’s been running away from me for an hour at this point. I’m furious and have decided I will never ever walk him again. I’ll stop buying big bags of Dentastix from the discount shop too. Horrible dog doesn’t deserve them.
I call, I whistle and I walk. I try to hide the anger in my voice because I know it frightens him and will only make him run further away. Eventually I spot him. Oh how I wanted to shout at him! But I didn’t. I called him and called him. He sat down. He didn’t appear to have even noticed that I’d left him there for half an hour and gone home. He certainly wasn’t frightened and frantically searching for me.
The same trick again. Staying totally still until I’m near, then off he goes! Thankfully Iris had fallen asleep. I stopped approaching him. Instead I showed him a treat and chucked it into the space between us. He went to eat it. He really is that dumb. So I chucked another, slightly closer to me. This went on for a few minutes before I could grab his collar.
What I would have liked to do at this point is scream at him, obviously. But I didn’t want to wake Iris. So I dragged him home without once looking at him or talking to him, and I shut him in the kitchen and went straight back out. I went into town for a few hours, still fuming. See, I told you it wasn’t funny.
The trouble is that this means I just can’t risk letting him off the lead when I’m on my own with Iris too. I just can’t. So he’s gone and ruined the lovely morning walks that I enjoy so much. Now he’ll have to stay on the lead, trying to pull my arm off, and nobody will enjoy it as much as before.