It was snowing when I woke up in the morning. The streets were clear white, covered in what looked like ice cream everywhere. I put on my boots, mittens, and cap—battle ready to walk my dog outside.
Puppy was ready before his leash went. on. Tongue lolling and a spring in his step. My dog loves snow. He digs his nose into it and tries to eat mouthfuls when I am not looking.
I have the opposite attitude. After living in Detroit and Syracuse, my honeymoon with white wonder was short-lived. In New York, I am more anxious about stepping outside on a day like this one. I worry my puppy will pull me hard, I’ll slip on black ice, and let go of the leash.
That happened to a man in my neighborhood. A bike messenger cycled right into him while he was walking his dog Bo. It was a day like today—snow melting into slippery mayhem.
The man lost control of the leash. His dog panicked and bolted head-on into oncoming traffic. The man ran after his dog, helpless. “Come back Bo!” He shouted. “Come back!”
Bo only ran faster in the opposite direction.
I was in a dog park on the other side of the road when I saw it all play out. I ran outside to try and help. By the time I crossed the road, the man and his dog were three blocks away.
I watched the man flail his arms helplessly in the air, gesturing to Bo to return to daddy. If only someone could tell him not to run after the dog, I thought. The dog knows no better and will always run faster away from the master.
Despite knowing the rules, I know I would’ve run after my puppy too, if something like this were ever to happen. My husband had done the same, one night when the leash slipped from his hand. Puppy had run onto the main street and my husband directly after. Luckily both had made it home safe.
It’s best to stand at a distance, make eye contact, and call the dog to you. If you feel the need to run, it’s best to—in the opposite direction. High quality treats come handy on days like those.
I thought these futile thoughts. In the meanwhile Bo continued to run farther away from his master.
Then, out of nowhere sense prevailed and Bo stopped. The man leapt forward and caught him by his hind legs and finally the leash was within his grasp. He sat there in the snow for a while.
I along with other passerby’s ran up to the man to make sure he was okay. He merely blinked back. Words eluded him, as he hugged his dog like a baby.