We are in our first year of high school lacrosse, and so some of the other JV moms and I have put together a carpool. The other night I had driving duty, which entailed picking the girls up from practice, taking them to the team pasta dinner, and then bringing them home. The meal was at a varsity player's house, and several varsity moms were providing the food. It's a fun, team-building event.
Anyway, as I drove from practice to the dinner, traffic was bumper to bumper. I asked my daughter how long the dinner would last, because I really didn't want to get back in the soup if they planned to eat and run. She told me that I should leave and come back (of course) but ultimately, we compromised on me sitting in my car outside the house. This way, I was not imposing on the busy hosts, and I would not be late picking up.
We pulled up to the house and the girls jumped out. I positioned my car in a good spot, rolled down the windows, and proceeded to wait. Within minutes, I noticed a sweet, white Chihuahua running through the yard and out into the street, just as a large work van whizzed by. I realized that there was no invisible fence, as the dog then left the yard and started trotting down the street.
I took a moment to assess the situation. The dog seemed to be in mid-life, and may have been confused. With the girls going in and out of the gate of the back yard, it easily could have escaped undetected. I then took another moment to grapple with the decision between saving the dog's life and embarrassing my daughter.
Morality prevailed, and I opened my car door and called to the dog. Having recently watched a series of animal rescue videos on YouTube, I knew the proper way to earn his trust and calm any fears he might have about strangers. It didn't take long, and I was pleased with my success. I put the dog on my hip and carried him up to the front door. And despite his short-lived freedom, I could tell he was happy to be going home too - he gave my face a few enthusiastic, wet puppy kisses.
I rang the bell and waited timidly - I am still getting to know these moms, and I knew they weren't expecting me. As the hostess walked up and opened the door, I had trouble reading the look on her face. Was it concern over her dog getting out? Was it stress from the interruption of feeding a horde of hungry girls? Putting on a big smile, I brightly said in a sing song voice, "Did you lose your dog?" :)
Her response cleared it up for me. "That's not my dog."
A deep abyss of mortification opened wide in front of me. The aging family treasure I thought I had snatched from the vice grip of death suddenly morphed into a yellow-eyed, disease-ridden stray whose privates were rubbing up against my shirt.
"Oh. Whose dog is it?"
"I don't know. I think it lives in that cul-de-sac, but I am not sure. It just runs around a lot."
Huh, look at that. The dog doesn't have a tag.
Returning to consciousness, I realized she was talking, "Well, I could bring it in the backyard, but my dog would go berserk."
"Um, I think I will just send it on its way."
And with that, I set the filthy mongrel down and turned to begin the long walk of shame back to my car. Clearly, I needed to burn my clothes and find a sanitizing station as soon as possible.
"Why don't you come in and eat? We have plenty."
Knowing my fate as the team idiot was already sealed, I tucked tail and went inside, making a lame joke about seeing a raccoon that I could bring in as well. All of the hostesses were perfectly lovely, but I knew I could never see any of them ever again.
Driving home, the girls found my story funny, and I believe my daughter felt so sorry for me that she forgave my breach of etiquette. As for the little white devil, he better hope he never sees me again - I will go all Cruella de Vil on his @$$.
Until next time, keep crowin' and when in doubt, stay in the car!!!