Life with Lucy: There Goes the Neighborhood

14 Dec

BY LAURA SANDIFORD

I have mixed feelings about the massive amount of rain we received last week.

I love a good rainy day. It gives me an excuse to take an afternoon nap if I have the time and opportunity. However, there can be too much of a good thing. It’s my opinion that we crossed that threshold last week.

Our backyard morphed into a small muddy lake and my white kitchen floor served as Lucy’s paw print canvas. I gave up on mopping up the messes on Day Two of the persistent rain.

Lucy also has mixed emotions about the rain. On Day One, she looked out our swamp with disdain, knowing if she went out there it would result in a vigorous towel-down before she could come back inside.

On Day Two, she could no longer resist. The Labrador gene in her broke out and she decided it was time to go for a frolic in the rain.
Being naïve and believing she would follow her usual “business” routine when it was raining, I opened the door and let her out onto the carport.  Normally she would hesitate for a moment and then trot out to her nearest favorite spot and take care of business.

But something must’ve caught her attention, because as soon as she realized she was outside with no leash, she knew it was time for a master-less tour of the neighborhood.  She took off through the deepest part of our small lake, around the side of the house and across the street into the neighbors’ back yards (thankfully, we live on a quiet street).

This is not the first time this has happened. Lucy lives for a leash-less frolic. She seizes every opportunity she sees to dash out the back door and go on an adventure. Normally I am only a few steps behind her and wrangle her onto the leash before she can get too far.

This time I was only a few steps behind her, but my hesitation to run out into potential tornadic weather gave her the window of opportunity that she needed. She had disappeared into the dark.

The few times she has escaped to go on a little adventure, I always imagine the worst-case scenario. What if she gets lost, doggie-napped, or even worse, unimaginable things?

Because I had only anticipated being outside for a few moments, I had not dressed to go out, especially not into a storm. I was wearing comfy pajamas, so I was forced to improvise.

I ran inside, grabbed a flashlight and necessary rain gear, then I headed out into the thunder, lightning, wind and rain in search of Lucy.

I walked up and down the sidewalk and in the alleys between my neighbors’ homes calling out for Lucy.  It was not until my next-door neighbor peered out his front door that I realized how strange I looked.

I must’ve looked like a lost bag lady standing in the middle of the street. I was wearing hot pink rubber boots (a gift from my mom during college), a red hooded jacket, my tattered maroon and white Mississippi State T-shirt and baby blue capri length pajama pants.  Before becoming a pet owner, I would not have stepped one toe outside in this ensemble. I looked like a Halloween costume gone terribly wrong. The things we do for our pets!

It was only moments after my self-conscious revelation that my faithful companion showed up at my side wagging her tail, her eyes saying, “Here I am, Mom!” She gave me a reassuring glance as if she was saying, “It’s OK, Mom, I don’t mind your eccentric wardrobe.”

At that point I was so glad to see her, I didn’t care that she was muddy, soaking wet and smelly. I also no longer cared what the neighbors thought, but we did retreat inside quickly.

One Response to “Life with Lucy: There Goes the Neighborhood”

  1. tupeloginny December 15, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Oh, Laura! I can identify with your eccentric pet-searching wardrobe – only because of my two-legged animals! LOL Glad you found Lucy in the rain, and don’t worry, we’ll still be your neighbors!

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