For those of you who are curious, I think we’ve figured out what happened to Max yesterday. See, the dog that lives next door to my parents thinks their yard is her yard, and she doesn’t like the little dogs that occasionally come and invade.
When Mom let the dogs out, Dixie was probably around. Of my two, Max is definitely the aggressor, so he’s usually the one who ends up in the power struggles with other dogs. Dixie probably chased Max off in a direction he wasn’t familiar with. If he wasn’t completely lost then, he may have run into other dogs who continued to chase him further and further away from the territory that he knows. Maybe he was trying to get back to the house where he lived before he came to me; I don’t know. I really don’t think he meant to run away, I honestly think he just got lost.
All I know is that the first words the girl who rescued him said to me was “He’s been so sad.” Of course, Lulu and I had been quite sad, too.
I’ve been thinking about how I handle myself in times of stress, and the answer is, not very well. Yesterday, I did what I needed to to get Max home, but my instinct was to find a corner somewhere, curl up in a ball, and cry.
My reaction to Mom’s “I’ve been a school teacher for 20 years, and this is a Very Important Lesson” voice doesn’t help, either. I know she’s trying to help when she says stuff like “You need to take Max and Lulu for walks around the neighborhood, so they’ll know how to get home”, but what I hear is “This is your fault, because you didn’t make sure that Max and Lulu know where we live.”
Although, I’m not sure that Max and Lulu know where they live, they tend to get confused as to which stairwell leads to our house, so trying to make sure that they know where my parent’s house is might be a losing battle.