Girlchild is working a 3-11 shift at a group home for the developmentally disabled. She likes her work, and we are on very different shifts with about a half hour of overlap during the day.
But Murphy feels he must have an evening walk. So I walk both dogs at once, and it's not that hard, there's a little pulling, a little tangling, a little Ghostbusters-like "Don't cross the streams, or something bad would happen," but it's not hard, because they are both mostly good and they are not very big.
So we're on our own street, at the other end, and suddenly Dudley somehow pulls his head just the wrong way while sniffing a sniff, and I hear a clink, and that clink is his training slip collar hitting the street. He somehow moved just right and pulled back just a tad, and his slip collar was loose and he was totally out of his collar and leash. And he took a few quick experimental steps away, realizing he is FREE.
And I said, "Dudley, NO! Sit Right Now!" and Dudley sat right now. And I picked his naked uncollared self up and dragged Murphy, who was doing the, "Damn, do we have to go home already? I was sniffing something!" reluctant thing, and we all got home safely. And Dudley will be fitted for a sturdier, tighter collar tomorrow. No more casual slip collars for him, he CAN get out of it. And I am glad he is so well behaved. Because I am still freaking. But he is a good dog.
I know there are people who have their dogs off leash all the time, but I am not one of those people. I know my dogs are good, God knows they aren't a threat to anybody, but 30 years ago my cousin's poodle got hit by a car while trying to be a good boy and run to mommy, and he was killed right in front of her. I don't think I could survive that at this point. I freak at any unleashed dog on a city street with potential cars. It's not the dog, it's the things that can hurt the dog.
But Dudley is safe, and he will wear his sturdy red big boy collar from now on.