After days of imprisonment, Grandma let me free in the house. But she kept a leash on me so that if I tried to dash out the door, she could stomp her foot on the leash to catch me before I disappeared. She got pretty good at it, actually, causing me to cut a backward flip just when I thought I was free.
She asked a dog training expert and appreciated her kind suggestions. But when it was insisted she use a firm voice, Grandma overdid it. It scared me, and Grandma started crying. That was the end of those classes.
I heard Grandma on the phone say things like:
“Petey is a terrorist, not a terrier!”
“He is a runner. I can’t stop him from running away! I’m not going to change my lifestyle and stay home all day because I can’t trust him to mind.”
“I don’t know what I’m going to DO with him!”
When she got on the phone, I would drag out my squeaky toy and play with it while I sat right next to her.
“SQUEAK-SQUEAK!” “SQUEAK-SQUEAK!” “SQUEAK-SQUEAK!”
This was so loud, she couldn’t talk on the phone.
One day Squeaker no longer worked. I looked at her after a couple of chews, and she said, “I took care of THAT!”
Grandma was invited to a dinner party at a friend’s who lived in the country, mostly away from people. She would be gone too long to leave me alone, so I got to go along.
Grandma and her friend went for a hike. Being on leash, I joined them. We passed one neighbor whose cackling guinea hens caught my attention. My ears perked up and I pulled on the leash.
“No way, Petey. Forget about it!” Grandma scolded me.
On the way back, the guineas were louder, but Grandma picked me up and carried me past them.
Once back to her friend’s cabin, we were far enough away, Grandma thought, to let me off leash. I made a 180 turn and went after the guineas.
There were guineas, more guineas and even more guineas…I was in guinea heaven, and they were crowing and squawking and carrying on while I tried to catch one. There were so many, I could not concentrate on even one. The chase itself was fantastic!
Added to this were the man and wife who burst out the door screaming at me to get away from their birds. Grandma came running up yelling at me as she tried to catch me.
IT WAS GREAT!
One guinea broke loose from the crowd and ran across the highway with me right behind it. I caught it and was happily chewing on its neck when two very strong hands grabbed me up and nearly smothered me under her right arm. The guinea was swooped up in the other arm.
Grandma marched us back to the owner who met her on the side of the road and hollered words at her I had never heard before. Grandma nodded her head, agreeing with every description he had about me.
“You’re right,” she said, nodding her head at each of his elevated phrases.
Her sincerity made the man even madder. Guinea blood was soaking Grandma’s ranch coat, so she handed the dead bird to the man and stormed back to the car where she tossed me inside and locked the door.
There was something different about Grandma as she drove us home after her dinner party. I could tell something BIG was going to change, but I didn’t know what it was. It was a fleeting worry for me anyway. I curled up on the car seat and dozed, remembering what fun I had.