Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Near Disaster

Yesterday morning I finished making the chicken pen secure by placing the garden staples I had bought last year around the bottom of the wire. They are just what they sound like, huge staples that stick into the ground, holding the wire in place. I let Hannah and Demeter out, where they happily spent the day. As I came home from buying milk at about six o'clock I saw Lynn walking Mike along the street. We had talked about getting Mike and Patrick together for a "play date" so I thought I would hurry home before she passed my house and get Patrick outside to meet Mike.

I rushed into the house and snapped a leash on Patrick. The other dogs, of course, thought they were going, too, and leapt at the door. It takes only a modicum of imagination to imagine what happened next. Benny bolted through the door and headed around the house and straight for the chickens. I managed to keep Lytton from following and ran (yes, RAN) after Benny, Patrick in tow. I found him snarling and jumping against the chicken fence, certainly putting my security measures to the test. Demeter and Hannah were in a state, clucking and screaming, but flapping around the yard rather than running in the house. I managed to get Benny by the collar and pull him away, though he resisted and struggled, trying to bite me until I talked him down. Just as I was rounding the corner of the house toward the front, Lytton streaked past, having opened the front door himself (it doesn't latch). I watched him go toward the back yard helplessly, my hands full of dogs already. Either he didn't see the chickens or he wasn't interested, because he took off behind the neighbors' houses down toward Water Street. It's the first time I've been happy to see that happen.

I dumped Patrick and Benny in the house, closing the doors securely, grabbed another leash, went out to the back yard and put the chickens in their house, and went after Lytton. By that time he had run back up the street and was running up toward Mitchell street, where he was apprehended without much of a struggle. I took him back home, got Patrick and walked down to Lynn's, where we had a peaceful visit over a cup of tea. The dogs got along well.

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