We have an electric fence for our dog, but the other night, my husband decided to take her collar off to let her run in our street with the neighbors’ two dogs, who are much older and better trained. They were playing fetch.
Our dog ran right to her friends, but after a moment’s greeting, took off down the street toward the park.
The two older boys and their Dad took off after her.
About five minutes later, they returned, minus the dog and our eight year old son.
I was annoyed by the missing dog, but now a boy too?!
We split up. I ran a leash to the nine year old, who went with my husband back to the park, then took the four year old back to the house. With him safely occupied there, I stood outside our garage and started yelling my son’s name.
And he appeared, looking exhausted, followed by a very nice woman in flip-flops, who I had never seen, leading the dog on a leash.
The family gathered back at the house. No harm done.
We gave the eight year old hero a bath to heal his “aching” legs (he had run for several blocks with no shoes). After telling him that we are okay losing a dog, but not a boy, I tested everyone on their ability to recite our address and phone number. They passed with flying colors.
But then from amidst the bath bubbles, he said, “I didn’t tell that lady our address. She’s a stranger!”
Now what’s the point of knowing your address if you won’t give it to the nice lady who helped catch your runaway dog?! Luckily, he knew the way home this time.
Sometimes the lessons we teach our kids get slightly warped in translation.