I’m sprinting through a field of alfalfa, in rain boots and a winter coat. Car headlights on CC illuminate a brown, shaggy silhouette. A dog. Our dog, I curse. Do the drivers see my headlamp bobbing in the dark? I turn on my cell phone light and wave it in the air. I’m yelling, “Duke!” I’m 30 feet from him on the other side of the road. He looks up at me, considering. And bolts again. Another car comes slowly by. Makes space for Duke on the road but otherwise uncaring.
I’m mad at myself for leaving the door unlatched. Who would guess a senior giant breed that sleeps all day turns into a gazelle with the thrill of escape? This fucking dog is living his best new life because of us and he has the balls (well, not really) to run away at dawn, into cornfields and over county highways. Worse yet, I am following him like a caring idiot. Well, not anymore. I’m back home now.
I spend maybe five minutes inside, jabbing at the computer to make a lost dog flyer, before going out again. There’s another car stopped with flashers on. I hear whistling. There he is again, trotting/limping along the edge of the road as if he’s taking himself for a walk.
A car stops. Eric on one side of the road and me on the other. Duke has to be tired by now. Eric lunges at him and grabs his collar.
Duke sulks behind me on the leash. I’m mostly annoyed that my morning was stolen. I do feel responsible for this beast. I enjoy his gigantic body laying in the kitchen. Maybe that’s what I was chasing after…. Something just shy of fondness for a dog that is new to us and old to this world.