Leave it to the Dog…

…To provide me with the post for today. Not that she hasn’t been the inspiration for a number of posts (and for that, to those who are not as dog-centric as we have become, I apologize – in retrospect, as well as in advance).

Today, while on our morning walk, I wondered what to post about. I lacked  blog inspiration. Strolling along our lush street with its trees, ivy and sweet-smelling flowers, I was lulled by the warm rays from the shining sun, cerulean sky, and sparkling aquamarine sea. The trilling of the birds mingled with the sounds of people going about their lives – garbage can lids clanging as garbage trucks made their rounds; the voice of the neighborhood collector with his cart, calling out his service to whoever might want him to pick up unwanted items; the occasional hammering of a home project; dogs barking…all of these things sedated me with contentment. The only blog topics that came to mind were “Beautiful”, “Exquisite”, “Lovely”, “Niiiiiiiicccceee.”

All boooorrriiinnng.

Making our way slowly back to our house, we met Kur, the German Shephard-next-door and sometimes playmate for Zoya. If I see Kur loose, I’ll generally let Zoya off the leash to frolic a bit with him, watching for cars all the while (luckily, the street is a dead-end at one end so not heavily trafficked; unfortunately, the non-dead-end part of the street meets up with a busy avenue at the top of the hill about 150 yards from where the dogs romp). She rarely gets to play with other dogs, so, even though Kur lacks the stamina for the pounce-run-hide-repitend game of Zoya’s choice (eventually eschewing Zoya for a flat soccer ball he has) it’s better than nothing.

As we approached Kur and his owner who was out washing the car (okay, probably the driver, not the owner), a large man, also approaching but from the opposite direction, said something in Turkish to the “owner” while pointing our way. Given the look on his face, I assumed he said something like “watch out for that big black beast coming your way, it looks like it could swallow your dog in one gulp.” (Note: Zoya is an enthusiastic carnivore, however, she prefers her meat served on a platter medium-rare, showing no signs of being a willing part of the hunt-and-kill process.) The “owner”, being used to Zoya (and me), just nodded.

Kur and Zoya started their normal pounce-run-hide routine when their play was interrupted by a dog frantically barking. The dog was somewhere behind the brick wall lining the street and obviously was watching Zoya and Kur, wanting in the on the action. Which Zoya thought was an excellent idea. If she could just find that dog to issue him / her an invitation.

So, she promptly took off in a sprint that would have made the Black Stallion jealous, streaking up the hill where she apparently thought the dog was hiding. I wasn’t thinking ‘dog’ but rather ‘cars’ as our dog – the treasured and beloved angel of our sons, the light of their lives – headed smack toward the street with its abundance of fast cars zooming pell-mell.

In the meantime, the man who had uttered a dire warning about Zoya to Kur’s “owner” was at the top of the hill, exactly where Zoya was heading. I was sprinting after Zoya but my 2-legged run was slow motion compared to her 4-legged souped-up streak. The man heard the commotion (i.e. me screaming at the top of my lungs.., people sleeping peacefully in their beds be damned) and turned our way.

Upon seeing a black buffalo-sized creature barreling in his direction, his eyes widened to a degree I didn’t think humanly possible. (I swear I could see the whites of his eyes and the instant stain of sweat on his t-shirt from 30 yards away.) However, the only scene I cared about was the one repeating itself over and over in my brain, the picture of a broken Zoya lying in the street, my sons looking at me with accusing, tear-filled eyes.

I yelled out to the man “PLEASE!”, gesturing frantically with my arms for him to catch Zoya (good thing for non-verbals because I yelled out ‘please’ in Russian, Turkish not yet flowing off my tongue in a crisis situation). To which, upon comprehension of my wishes, I could see the whites of his eyes even better, as well as his tonsils when his mouth dropped open into a gaping “0.”

BUT being the awesome, nice, Turkish person that he was, despite his obvious reluctance, he actually started to try and corral Zoya. He began dancing back and forth, this big bear of a man, moving forward to stop her progress but then jumping back if she seemed to get too close. Zoya, in the meantime, stopped running –  either because she had reached the site where she thought the dog was or was in wonder at the funny man jumping to and fro in front of her. Their jerky waltz, which Zoya seemed to find quite entertaining, continued until I reached the rebellious canine.

(Side note: Dog trainers always tell you to never yell at – or God forbid hit – your dog when you call them and they don’t come. I wouldn’t strike Zoya but, man, I really would have liked to have loudly verbalized my extreme displeasure with her. Is there anything more annoying than your dog purposefully ignoring you? OK, it’s not great when your kids do it. Or your spouse. But they know better not to engage in that kind of activity very often because they will get a headache-inducing lecture and maybe even a loss of electronic privileges (at least the boys…I haven’t been so successful at grounding my husband). However, these strategies are wasted on a dog. Still, when I spied our audience of security guards and drivers amusedly watching us from the entrance of our compound’s garage, I was even more inclined to vent my frustration at the recalcitrant canine and deliver a severe verbal lashing she wouldn’t (actually, would) forget. Instead I just waved a hand at the gawkers. Thanks, folks, for coming. Hope you enjoyed the show!)

Our good Samaritan was visibly relieved when I put the leash back on Zoya. I gave him a hand-over-my-heart “teşekkür ederim” (thank you) and swiftly ushered my unruly charge through the garage and into the elevator.

Needless to say, there won’t be anymore leash-less frolics with Kur.

At least not until I get a shock collar.

Wonder if it works on teenagers?

2 thoughts on “Leave it to the Dog…

  1. Darcy, I could envision all of this happening. A husband, two teenage sons and Zoya have turned my little soft spoken daughter into a screamer…not in that order of course. Ahem.

    • See how great moms are? They always take our sides (as long as we aren’t duking it out against a sibling…then they’re like Switzerland). Absolutely…it’s definitely them, mom, and not me. ; )

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