Ninja, Stop! I mean go!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

When Ninja was about 3 months old we would walk down to the park almost every day, especially since it was still Summer. Often we would wait until dark when it was cooler to head down. I liked this time of day because it meant fewer people and dogs in the park, and I could let Ninja off the leash to run and use up some of that famous Aussie energy. It made for better nights for us all.

Little Ninja would always stick close so, thinking that I had total control over him (ha!) I would let him off of the leash on the way to the park. At the time he was afraid of other dogs and would cower behind me if one came around rather than act aggressively.

So this evening it was already dark and we were heading down to the park. DS was on his bike and DD and I were walking. DS got rather far ahead of us on his bike, even crossed he street at the bottom of the hill and waited for us. DD liked to run down the hill, so she started flying down. She knows to stop at the corner and wait for me. Unfortunately Ninja does not.

As soon as DD started to run, Ninja did too. She stopped at the corner. Ninja saw DS on he opposite corner and just kept going. About that time I could see headlights coming and all I could think about was that Ninja was almost all black and any driver would probably miss him in the dark. I must confess, I panicked.

I was about 15 feet from the curb and I screamed and ran as fast as I could go. As I got to the corner I saw Ninja fly across the street and I made the worst mistake I could at that moment. I screamed at him to stop. And he did. Sat right down in the middle of the street (like he thought I wanted) with a mini van bearing down on him. If I had had a cooler head at that moment I would have had DS call to him and he would have just continued to fly across the street and been perfectly safe.

So I screamed louder, waived my arms in desperation, and ran into the street myself. Luckily the lady driver of the mini van wasn't going very fast and she must have seen and heard all the commotion, so by the time I entered the street waving my arms and screaming stop, she had stopped. The poor woman must have thought she had entered the neighborhood of an asylum or something.

I was able to scoop up Ninja, get DD across the street safely, wave thank you to the driver, and burst into tears of relief.

Ninja stays on his leash the whole way to the park now.


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