A miss is as good as a mile

Chewed up toys on floor of child's room

Distraction is nothing new to me, not at all, but it appears that I’m capable of even greater levels of it than ever before thought possible. The other morning my husband and I both had meetings in the big city, and so younger son who is now homeschooling, came with us and was dropped off for a morning with his grandparents.

Somehow, during the hand-off at Grandma’s, the dog came up. The nine-month old lab who loves to chew and who is used to always, without fail going into his crate before we go out anywhere without him. Turns out, we’d all three of us assumed that one of the others had tucked the dog safely away before hopping in the car and driving for nearly 40 minutes into town.

Youngest son nearly completely freaked, as he takes all of the worries of the world onto his little shoulders as only a truly anxious soul can do. I calmly insisted that we would not be driving home to check on the dog because I could call the high school and get his older brother released for that very purpose. Turns out that was easy and the lovely woman on the phone didn’t bat an eyelash (well, I couldn’t see her, but you know what I mean). She even reassured me that she has, in her time on the school’s front desk, ‘heard it all’. I am so curious as to what other parents and families have had to tell this woman. But I digress.

Without indulging younger son’s worst fears, I was busily imagining what kinds of mischief Reggie could have got himself into in the hour or so between the time we left the house and older son turned up to ‘rescue’ him. Turns out, after a really good chew of some (thankfully inconsequential) toys on younger son’s carpet, he retired to the rug in the living room to do nothing more harmful than sleep. Same son is now having a blast claiming that his chewed up toy space shuttle looks like it came through a massive explosion at Cape Canaveral. Just the kind of thing that’s hugely amusing to a nine year old boy.

How lucky am I that this chewing machine did not experience his own anxiety at our completely sudden and strange absence and spend the better part of 60 unsupervised minutes disemboweling the sofa or worse?

As the father of Laura Ingalls Wilder loved to say, ‘A miss is as good as a mile’ (a favourite saying in our house).

Photo courtesy of older son.

7 thoughts on “A miss is as good as a mile

  1. You were indeed fortunate, but perhaps Reggie is almost old enough to be left alone. Our dogs destroyed a feather bed pillow once, and left big mounds of feathers in the living room. It looked like it had snowed!

    1. It’s encouraging to think that he could be approaching that kind of independence; I’d rather that he could have some freedom when at home, and for us not to be worried about what he might be doing. Your snow story is wonderful – that must have been wild!

      1. I’ll post a picture of it to the blogg someday (when I can find it). It was funny AFTER we got over being mad about it. Re Reggie, it takes about a year for dogs to get over needing to chew everything in sight.

  2. A near miss indeed. I’m glad they were they were not precious toys – I was waiting to hear that something irretrievable had been chewed.

    We once left 22 graham cracker gingerbread houses in a sealed Sterilte container on the kitchen table for me to pick up after a school concert, and rush to my Sparks meeting with….needless to say, the dog, who was about 2 at the time, got the box off the table, managed to get the lid off, and ate about half of the houses, smashing basically all of them. My husband who got home before me called the school secretary and asked her to find me in the concert, so I could call him with what he should do – she was fascinated in a horrorstruck way when, once she’d found me, and I returned his call in the office, she heard me say “that is a DEAD DOG”, like I really meant it (which I actually did at that moment – those houses took about 2 hours to make). My dear hubby then proceeded to make 10 houses out of the remaining box of crackers – another Guide leaders husband who was at the concert heard the tale and said they had another 10 at home leftover from his wife’s group – and so the day was saved by the menfolk. And most unfairly, the dog wasn’t sick at all.

    1. Wow, that is some dog destruction story! I can imagine that you must have had a pretty clear idea in your mind of how you might kill the damn dog in those moments before rage dissipated – so frustrating! The menfolk certainly earned their keep with that save, and I’m duly impressed. And now I have a better idea of some of the stories that school secretaries are privy to!!

  3. Oh yes, puppy destruction can be quite comical once you get over the horror, and fear they have somehow made themselves sick/swallowed something sharp.

    My beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback, one wet and miserable afternoon, found a bag of colourant for grout. She ripped it open and spread it everywhere in the back yard- which, when mixed with the rain, made for a spectacularly coloured mess. I had to give her a shower, because we didn’t have a bathtub and it was too wet outside to fill up her bath. She didn’t like the shower very much I remember, not that I was in the mood to care lol.

    So glad Reggie didn’t do any serious damage – to himself or the furniture!

    1. Oh my goodness, your Rhodesian Ridgeback may well qualify for one of the most spectacular dog-induced disasters I’ve heard yet! That is hilarious!! Yes, the anxiety factor involved with ‘what have they eaten and will it hurt them?’ is definitely there, and I was relieved to find that the toy shuttle did Reggie no harm. Finding the furniture intact was a big bonus!

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