I was on my way downtown when a funny thing happened. And I mean funny ridiculous, not funny haha. I rounded a corner to merge onto the main thoroughfare in my little town, (about 20 minutes from the festival), and I noticed a police car make a sharp right turn from the left turn lane. He was right in front of me, so I was glad that I was paying attention. I looked to my right to see what the heck was going on and saw what I thought was an accident: two cars, a burgundy SUV and a red sedan pulled over on the grass adjacent to the emergency lane. One woman, we’ll call her Karen, looked rather distraught, and since there didn’t seem to be any damage to either vehicle, I briefly wondered why. Briefly because I hadn’t yet finished my first cup of coffee, and I was on my way to get an Egg McMuffin because I needed something to eat.
Before I could fully merge into oncoming traffic, the reason for Karen’s distress became clear. A tiny, tiny brown dog was trotting down the middle of the street. As I watched in mild amusement tinged with a pet owner’s anxiety, I watched the dog run from the far right lane to the middle lane and back. The man in the SUV was already out of the car and trying to coax the dog over to him, but ChiChi (the dog looked like a Chihuahua, so I’ve named her ChiChi) paid him no mind. The police officer pulled over to the far right lane and jumped out to try to get the dog. ChiChi was like, “Nah, folk. Not today.” Karen just stood there.
Like any good citizen, I stopped my car because I didn’t want to hit the dog. Neither did any of the cars behind me. The traffic light had turned green, so now traffic was piling up, but ChiChi didn’t care. She continued to zigzag across three lanes, daring any of us to drive past her. Only a couple of cars did. The rest of us (including the police cruiser), inched along, trailing several feet behind ChiChi who was now I’m sure, putting on a show. I was stuck in the center lane, which means that I had no safe way to go around the darn dog, because I didn’t know which way she was going to run. And let’s be clear, the one thing I was NOT going to do today was hit Karen’s little rat bastard dog.
At some point the police officer, (who was rather young), decided to give chase. ChiChi took off on her little three-inch legs and the officer gave up after about 30 seconds. Sir, I was almost embarrassed for you. By this time, I was on the phone with my daughter, because I needed to tell somebody that the entire highway (both sides) was shutting down because Karen’s dog was on the run. No less than five people jumped out of their cars to try to catch the dog, and while ChiChi ran up to some of them, as soon as they got close she’d dart off, taunting them. I didn’t know something so little could run so fast.
After about fifteen minutes of this, another police cruiser drove up and blocked off the far left lane. I don’t know why; none of us were actually trying to drive past the dog. But now, the far left and center lanes were blocked, so maybe ChiChi felt trapped, because she ran to the far right lane and off into the grass, where someone, NOT Karen, snatched her up and took her back to safety.
I have questions.
- Karen, what the cuss did you do to ChiChi? Did you change ChiChi’s food from wet to dry? Bring home a new pet? Clip her nails too short? What Karen?? What did you do that made ChiChi want to run away from home? Because let’s just be real here, she was running away from you, Karen. YOU.
- This wasn’t her first time running away, was it Karen? ChiChi knew exactly what she was doing and she knew that none of us were going to hit her. She’s been planning this for a minute.
- Why weren’t you trying to get her back? Half the darn county was trying to save your dog, or at least actively trying not to hurt her, and you’re standing in the grass looking like you don’t know what to do. Get thee to running, Karen. That’s what you needed to do!
I need answers, Karen. And more than anything I want to know how this dog, who couldn’t have weighed more than five pounds, got out of the car in the first place. She jumped, didn’t she? She wanted away from you so badly that she leapt out of the car and into oncoming traffic to get away from you. You’re a bad pet parent, Karen, and you know it. I’m not usually one for shaming folks, but you kept me from my breakfast, and nearly made me late for my volunteer shift. And you know I don’t like to be late. So, shame you I will. And maybe next time you’ll put ChiChi in a carrier!
I’m glad someone rescued your dog, Karen, and I really hope that you’ve learned a lesson from this. I know I did: Eat breakfast before you leave home, and nothing bonds a town like a slow speed chase after a small dog.