I love my dogs. Really I do. I love them like people. They are my family, my children, my friends. They make me happy when I'm depressed, and when I've had a bad day, they are always ready to cheer me up. I consider it my duty - maybe even my biggest duty - to make them happy. They have little choice but to be with me. They can't eat unless I feed them, they can't drink unless I provide water - I give them toys and take them for walks and play with them. They don't know it, of course, so they can't possibly appreciate it, and that's okay. A large part of their charm is the simple, single-minded and myopic view of the world that they necessarily have. They aren't self-conscious, they don't get embarrassed, they don't willingly do anything that they don't want to do. Their natural honesty is very refreshing.
I was on my way to the post office today and I saw a pair of dogs running down the street. Since it had just rained, it was difficult to tell if they had been 'free' for long. They had collars on, so I tried to catch them and call the owner. The thought of Lux and Julian getting loose terrifies and saddens me, so I was extremely interested in reuniting these dogs with their owner. Not to drag out a boring story, I was unable to catch them. They ran away from me every time I approached (I was very friendly, not running after them, stooping low to make myself less intimidating). I don't think they were frightened, but were disinterested. They were having too much fun. I pursued them for about ten minutes by foot and by car with no luck. I truly hope that they find their way home.
Obviously the runaways made me think of my dogs. One of the disadvantages of whippets (Lux) and greyhounds (Julian) is that they are the sorts of breeds that should never, never be off leash when outdoors. They wouldn't run away because they wanted to leave us, but they most certainly would love to explore. The two dogs I chased today did not look frightened or even very focused. They were just having a good time roaming the world (I anthropomorphize to a fault). So I guess it is not a terrible thing to have an extra incentive to keep my dogs close. All the same, it is tempting to let them run and play with the off leash dogs in our apartment complex lawn. But whenever I get that urge, I just remember the runaway dogs I've seen and my imagination runs purple with tragedy.
Keep your four-legged friends on leash!