Dumb dog! I thought as I trekked down the driveway. Pain shot through me as a piece of rock embedded itself in my heel. I swallowed back tears as the bilious rage entered my throat. I could shoot him right now. I bit my lip. It was my own fault. His perky ears and wandering eye should have told me he was anxious to escape. Then I wouldn't be out here right now.
Crunching gravel caused me glance back. Boy eyes stared into mine. Solemn eyes. He was only four-and-half but I could tell he'd begun to grasp the gravity of the situation. Or maybe he knew Mommy was mad and feared for his dog.
I reached the end of the driveway. No dog.
I didn't know where he could be. I listened. If he had found a person or a dog, his boisterous yap would led me to him. If he'd found the neighbor's bunny, a series of excited yips and wild panting would have weaved in and out of the grass allowing me to know he was even in the area. As it was, all I could hear were the birds chirping, unaware of the volatile situation below.
“I'm going back,” I informed my follower.
“But Gussy will be lost!” squeaked the boy in protest.
I almost said, “So be it,” but held my tongue. Better to be a bit more civil.
“Let's go back and get the car,” I reasoned, “Then we'll be better able to find him.”
I hauled the kids into the sedan. Abigail's buckle refused to fasten. The baby wiggled out of his seat before I could strap him in. I didn't bother with a belt. We were just going down the road a bit.
I whistled. I called. I listened. I drove. Then I did it all again.
“I see him!” A backseat voice called.
“Where?” I stared out the side window.
“There!” came the boy's voice again.
I looked out and thought I saw white lightning appear out of a bush near the neighbor's yard. It was gone before I could know for sure. I crept the car up the drive and turned around again. Then, yep! That was him! I flew back into our driveway and jumped out to catch him.
“What a good dog,” I cooed as I crept toward him, “come here.”
Gus cowered, ears back as I approached. I said nothing as I led him to the door. A slinking step replaced the once confident stride. We both knew there was scolding to be had.
He looked at me, brown eyes wide with sorrow. I realized then that I couldn't punish him. Restless legs have nothing to ease them except a good run. And he was listening now. Let's forget the incident and start anew.
“Come here, boy!” I called.
The sudden change made him tilt his head slightly and turn an ear in my direction.
“Want a cookie?”
He jumped up and licked my hand. He was ready any time I was!
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