August 03, 2009

Today was pick-the-dog-up-from-the-kennel day.

As I walked in, two of the staffers were just about to leave for the day, and they were at the front chatting with the girl behind the desk about work stuff. All three all smiled and greeted me when I came in. I told them I was there to pick up Chloe, and one of the girls went back to get her while I paid.

You can always tell when they’re walking out with your dog, because all the other dogs in the kennel start barking. So I can hear them coming … and then…

I see a brown streak go by, running down the hallway behind the front desk. Quickly followed by the diminutive girl sent to fetch my dog.

“Chloe, come back here!”

Chloe has managed to wriggle out of her collar and immediately proceeds to run like crazy for whatever destination her little doggy brain has fixated on.

One of the other girls standing by the front desk steps into the hallway with the intentions of blocking Chloe’s path and forcing her capture. Like a slippery fish, Chloe eludes her.

At this point, I’ve paid, and the girl behind the desk has now joined the other two in their effort to capture my dog. The hallway dead-ends at a closed door, and the three of them come at her but she bolts, managing to elude all of them, and sneaks by headed for the other end of the hallway. They follow. She hits another roadblock, turns around, and runs past them, back down the hallway in the direction she came from.

I feel a bit like I’m watching a tennis match. Or a Wiley E Coyote cartoon, with my dog starring as the roadrunner.

They have her outnumbered 3 to 1, and my dog is winning.

“Chloe,” I shout sternly, thinking that her owner’s voice might actually make her obedient, “come here.”

She completely ignores me, and continues running in a crazy zig-zag across the kennel with the three girls chasing after her, one of them holding up her collar like she’s a cowboy about to lasso a calf.

Finally, two of them manage to hold down my dog while the third fastens her collar. They hand her off to me, but the collar’s still too loose and within minutes she’s free again, this time running in circles around the lobby.

We readjust her collar and one of the girls gets it back on while I hold down Chloe. This time she’s not getting free.

“Thanks …” I shout as I bolt out the door, wanting to get the dog outside and in the truck before she causes any more havoc.

Seated in the backseat, Chloe pants heavily. I look at her, “well, you need to listen to those nice ladies at the kennel.”

She just continues to pant, looking at me with those innocent chocolate brown eyes, “Who, me?”