Dog Day Of Winter

This column didn’t start out this way.

But as I gazed out my home-office window the other day, I saw a perplexingly familiar sight: a pair of dachshunds on the lam, lumbering down the street headed for nearby Bayshore Boulevard – and possibly an awful demise. I cringed at the prospect of such an unnecessary, unfair fate.

Since this had happened before – more on that later — I knew the drill. I raced out with a couple of leashes (not then needed by two resident peek-a-poos) and gave chase.

And chase. I am not a runner or a jogger — just a stamina-challenged pedestrian.

With the help of a Good Samaritan I caught one, gave it a big drink and put it in the back of my Jeep for safe-keeping. And, by the way, to the South Orleans Avenue jogger who wouldn’t alter his gait, his glance or his course to help out, thanks for nothing. And, no, I don’t apologize for what I said, but you deserved every hyphen.

Up and down Hyde Park streets and alleys went the discouraging search: foot by unfit foot. There were a couple of sightings and subsequent near captures. I regretted the stationary-bike time misused watching ESPN with the lowest level of resistance. I also grew increasingly irritated that these same dogs had gotten out yet again, and frustrated that I couldn’t recall the owner’s name or street. And, still, no second dachshund.

But knock on enough doors and inquire of enough people, and you get leads. One led to the right house, where the residents were out of town. The dogs had escaped again from the backyard. It appeared a gate had been left unlatched.

And talk to enough folks – especially on South Boulevard — and you get an earful. This wasn’t the second time these dogs escaped. It was simply my second experience, one that left me wondering why I cared more about the safety of these canine Weiner-mobiles than their owners seemingly did. Nor was it the third time. Or fourth.

Now for the editorial comment. Some people – and you know who you are — don’t deserve the company of and responsibility for innocent, unconditionally loving, totally dependent pets. Goldfish included. Such pets deserve better than clueless, careless owners.

Next time, I’m taking them to the pound – or I’m keeping them – incumbent, turf-protecting peek-a-poos notwithstanding.

As for that other dachshund, it finally found its way back to its owner’s porch. The bad news is that it didn’t look so much at home – as between escapes.

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