My older dog, Tralfaz, is a hero.
I had to take the boys out to make some more brown patches on the lawn, because the lawn isn't bad enough as it is, and hey, they gotta go. The big fella decided he didn't have to, though, just wanted to enjoy some fresh air and chillax on the porch, so I let him. Figured it wouldn't be long.
Well, I started around the back with the little guy, Nipper. Nipper apparently had to do more than just pee, judging by the fussiness level, but he seemed to be having a bit of trouble getting the engines going. So in the back I let him off his leash to play a little fetch; a little exercise usually does the trick.
See, it was a blustery day, and the kid is not yet five months old. He's never seen autumn before. He's never seen leaves blowing around in the yard before. What I saw as a typical fall afternoon became a magical wonderland of flying toys to the little guy.
Gotta get 'em all!
So he goes charging after a leaf, then another, then another, never put off by the disappointment of any of them turning out to be just a leaf. A leaf! Bah! On to the next! Hey! There's PLENTY more up there!
In the street!
Nipper goes streaking alongside the house. Two months ago I could have caught him; not anymore. He's gotten much, much faster since the last time he ran amok. Also now he can maintain a single direction instead of toddling hither and yon.
Also the last time did not occur in the middle of the day when there was traffic.
The trajectory was undeniable, and I could not catch him. And there was a car coming.
Then, flying off the porch...
Tralfaz shot passed me, barking; he swung right around Nipper and distracted the little dude from his prey (leaves in the street). Nipper, alarmed, ran, and Tralfaz drove him in an arc back toward the house, back toward the porch.
By nature and by breed, Tralfaz is built for hauling, not for herding; built for muscle, not for speed. And, I ought to mention, Tralfaz himself was reprimanded severely for crossing the street on his own a few months ago when one of his pup pals was being walked over there. But this time he seemed to know what the right thing to do was, and he executed it in nothing less than heroic fashion. He may have saved the little squirt's life.
Well, you never heard so much praise since the national political conventions, except I meant it. Milk-Bone's largest treat was dispatched to much rejoicing. Tralfaz got so much love, so well-earned. His stature went up quite a bit in my eyes, and it was already up there.
I, of course, got a well-earned lecture on letting puppies off the leash before they were ready for it.
As for Nipper, he did drop his load soon after. He had to by then. Tralfaz had scared it out of him.