Monday, November 18, 2013

Dancing with Chaos and a Runaway Dog

I'm reading Living Originally by Robert Brumet. On November 13 I read a chapter entitled Dancing with Chaos. I had no idea how soon I would be putting that message into practice.

My son and his wife have two Rhodesian ridgebacks they love as children, and I was taking the dogs for a long walk. On our way back from Forsyth Park we passed the house of a friend whose lawn I had cleaned a few days before. I had lined the dozen or so lawn bags up against the house because the city only picked them up on Thursdays. It was now Wednesday afternoon, so I thought I would move the bags to the sidewalk for pickup. It would only take a few seconds, and I attached the dogs to a large garbage container that was already on the sidewalk.

Something happened that caused the dogs to move, and the garbage can tipped over. The dogs panicked and ran down the street dragging the garbage can behind them. It looked almost comical, like the runaway Amish buggies I remembered from my childhood. Suddenly the garbage can caught on something that brought it to a sudden halt. The larger dog, Khiri, snapped his chain leash in half like a twig and took off down the street. He turned around after 100 yards to look at me but, unresponsive to my cries for him to return, continued like a rocket in the other direction.

I took the second dog, Zara, with me as we tried to follow Khiri. He was now far out of sight. Numerous people looked at Zara and said that a dog just like her had run by a minute ago. One man told me he had turned the corner to the right and then added, "You do know where you're going, right?" It was a poorer black neighborhood and he was worried about my safety. I'd walked through that neighborhood many times with no concerns and, at any rate, had a bigger issue on my mind right now.

There was no sign of the dog and I had to return home to inform my son and daughter-in-law I had lost their dog. I felt like the uncle who drives over the kid in the driveway. We posted signs all over the neighborhood, contacted the police and animal control, and put notices on craigslist. Three days went by and nothing happened. A few people called to say a dog fitting that description was wandering through their neighborhoods in the evenings, and I spent hours pedaling up and down streets and alleyways on my bicycle. Friends also got involved with putting up posters and a bicycle brigade, but to no avail. Someone called us after midnight to say he had just seen a dog looking like the picture on the posters. We drove to the address he gave us, but there was no sign of Khiri.

I had already decided to post a blog about the experience, with the realization that no matter what the outcome was we would be OK. But I was still unprepared for the call that came Sunday morning. Khiri had entered someone's back yard and that person had closed the gate to fence him in. He then checked craigslist, saw our notice, and called us. My daughter-in-law, so stoic for three days, collapsed in tears when she heard the news. My son drove to pick Khiri up, who has been sleeping like a baby since he got home. Who knows what he went through during those three days. It is a story that ended well, even with the unexpected opportunity it gave me to dance with chaos.


10 comments:

aemish said...

Wonderful ending. I still owe God a favor. The day I was scheduled to induce delivery -- apparently when they get around 8 lbs. they're medically ready and modern conventional wisdom says, um, don't go further (my sister's 1st child was natural birth 12 lbs. so I can see their point) -- my husband lost our Pekingese. I was so distraught. I called the pound, I called the animal control, I called the police (as is custom for missing animals up north) and nothing. I cancelled my birth much to the alarm of my obstetrician. At the last minute my husband reminded me that he lost our dog in a different township. I called them and lo and behold, they had her. We picked her up and I made it just in time for my daughter's birth day. It took like 36 hours and an emergency cesarean, but here we all are, seven-and-a-half years later. Dogs are a special part of all families.

Quotable Quotes: said...

aemish, wonderful story! And glad you are still reading my posts, even though I'm not blogging as much these days.

aemish said...

I sooo wish you were. Miss you terribly, QQ..

aemish said...

>>"I am a Muslim by default, but I don't believe. Many books tell me how to be a Muslim, but none tell me why I should be a Muslim." - a young Arab man<<

This was a comment on another of your recent posts that went unanswered.

Care to comment?


Quotable Quotes: said...

aemish - that wasn't a comment on a post, but one of the quotes that i collected for the homepage. But it's a good question. Why should I be a Muslim believing that a divinity out in space wants me to fast and pray and believe in a guy called Muhammad? Why should I be a traditional Christian believing that almost everyone is "lost" when most of the people I meet every day are wonderful? I'm thinking about writing a book with the premise that to understand god you have to realize that EVERYTHING you have been taught about god all your life is wrong.

aemish said...

That would be an interesting read. I don't know that I would go so far as to say everything per se; I kind of feel it's a cumulative situation meaning a little bit of this from over here and a little bit of that from over there...

Quotable Quotes: said...

aemish - i'm reading a book of poetry called "Book of Love - Poems to Light Your Way Home" by Amy Adams, available on Amazon. It really reflects what I'm thinking these days.

aemish said...

Oh, nice. I will have to check that out.

aemish said...

Happy New Year, QQ

aemish said...

<3