This is my dog, Tucker - twice this week he's gotten away. And both times he's scared the mess out of me. The first time, we were out for a walk and he jumped into a patch of kudzu. If you don't know what kudzu is, it's a vine that takes over everything down here in the south. It's kind of pretty, covering up everything, but it will strangle the life out of all living things, too.
Right now it's in bloom, with beautiful purple flowers that smell like grapes. The old wives's tale is that it grows a foot each day. I don't know if that's true, but it grows pretty quickly and it's very thick. Well, Tucker must have been a police dog in a previous life because he loves to try to find things in the field that nobody else sees or hears. We'll be walking along, with him on a leash, and suddenly he leaps into the weeds or the kudzu, after something that nobody else saw or heard. That's what happened the other day. We're walking along, suddenly he jumps into the kudzu, he jumps again. I call him to come out, I tug on the leash and the next thing I know, I'm pulling back a leash and a harness, but no Tucker! I start calling him but nothing. The kudzu is so thick, I don't see any movement. We're walking on the High School Road and school has just gotten out and traffic is picking up, so I'm beginning to get a little worried. I walk around to the other side of this huge patch of kudzu, still calling his name - in a playful way, mind you. I don't want him to think he's in trouble - (you'll see why this is important in a minute). This goes on for 20 minutes! I am in a complete panic. I have no idea what has happened to him - has something gotten him? is he tangled in the kudzu? This field is so large, where would I begin to try to chop down the kudzu? HOW would I chop it down? They (the infamous "they") say it can't be done! I am now back up on the High School Road. The track team is running toward me - a deranged-looking woman, yelling "Tucker, Tucker" over and over. You know what that must sound like to a bunch of high school kids! Suddenly I see him down the street, running toward some of the kids. I should have known - he always thinks the world revolves around him. Of course, he would have thought these kids were running to see him! He came out of the kudzu because they came to play with him! It didn't matter that I had been calling for 20 minutes and had now lost my voice. No, it only mattered that he had new playmates! Seriously, though, when he came out, he was exhausted, panting, heart racing, and could barely walk. I had to carry him home, and he usually will not let anyone pick him up.
That was Monday, and today, Wednesday, he ran off again. This time he wasn't on his leash so it was sort of our fault. We've gotten a bit slack because he's been pretty good about staying in the yard or on the deck if we''re with him. This afternoon, Randy and I had been out and when we came home we let him out in the yard with us. We were playing with him and he was running around, all excited, and then he ate some deer feces - why do dogs do this??? So I fussed at him to not do this and Randy told him it was time to go in. Randy and I started toward the door, calling Tucker to come with us, but he started down the driveway. Randy called him, but he looked at Randy, and took off as hard as his short little Corgi legs would run! We both took off after him, yelling his name. This time, we were not being playful! When he got to the end of our street, he stopped, looked back at us (we're still a half a block away!) like he was thinking it over, but FREEDOM won! Randy went back to the house and got his bag of dog food, thinking that Tucker would come back if he heard that - WRONG! Meanwhile, I'm running down the road after him, trying to get him before he reaches the High School Road - it is about 6 pm, busy traffic time! I see him disappear around the corner on the road, and I'm dying, I can't breathe, I'm yelling, trying to run. When I get to the road, I see him down the road, going up a driveway, after a truck. We run down there - no Tucker. He finally comes out from somewhere when he hears Randy rattle the dog food! Needless to say, he will not be allowed out without a leash for a very long time!