Cell phone in my pocket, dog on leash and off we go. Leaving the house to walk Max is always an adventure. I have this vision of walking peacefully and being able to get lost in my thoughts. It rarely happens. Our walk is about to be anything but peaceful tonight.
I live at the end of a cul-de-sac and it’s this little area that Max and I walk and down the street. Max and I are safe on our street at least we think we are. He is comfortable doing the same thing repeatedly as it calms his fears of just about everything.
As we walk the half-circle to the house across the street from mine, a blur of black flys in front of Max. He stops in mid-step pulled from his own thoughts. One blur flys under the safety of the parked car next to us and the other blur no longer a blur, but a black cat unfolds himself and whirls at Max and hisses before dashing off into the bushes.
I reassure Max that life is okay, he’s still stunned from the actions of these cats and not really sure what to make of these cats. He doesn’t hate cats at all and ignores them. None of this would have happened if Tasha were on the leash. She was always a very alert dog, hated cats and she would have heard those cats and chased them before they ever had a chance to cross our path. However, Max isn’t aware of such things, he doesn’t see ahead or pay attention to what’s going on in his surroundings. He is not an Alpha Male and it’s questionable if he is even my protector. When we are walking, I get to be the Alpha Female and his protector.
My family says that Max is autistic, if that’s even possible for a dog. He is just so uninterested in his surroundings and fearful of everything, but I will leave his fears for other stories.
Max stood still not quite believing that he had been at the mercy of two cats. I coaxed him to keep walking, hoping to get back to our peaceful walk.
A few more loops around the cul-de-sac, with Max forgetting all about the cats and we were doing just fine until we come to the house again with the cats. This house with the cats happens to be the same house where a girl lives who is mentally disabled. Usually she is very quiet, but one in a while, she rages in terrible screaming tantrums and throws things. It’s at this point that she is starting one of her screaming fits. Max doesn’t like this noise and wants to walk in the street as far away as possible. I drag him down the sidewalk, encouraging that it’s okay and we pass the house.
By this time, Max is ready to head for home, his walk has been upset enough and he’s not having fun. I on the other hand enjoy walking and want to do one more cul-de-sac loop. It doesn’t bother me that the girl screams, she can’t help it and it’s just noise.
By the time we walk the loop and get in front of the girl’s house, she is having a full-blown tantrum and screaming so that the entire neighborhood can hear her. Max is so scared and takes off running across the street and I’m helpless to run behind him. Normally, he walks with only about two feet of leash and stays right beside me. At this moment, he is fully extended on the leash running six feet in front of me, dashing across the street through the center of the lawn and he doesn’t stop until he came to the safety of our front door.
In the safety of his yard where nothing bad can happen to him, Max sits inside his doghouse. I wonder if he’ll ever leave the yard after this wild night of black cats and things that scream in the night. And it’s not even Halloween.