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Monday, September 25, 2006

Talk about Scary…

Yesterday, I let Ozzy out for one of his sunbathing sessions. He found a warm spot in the sun against the house and dozed off into bulldog bliss. He had been out there for almost 20 minutes when Earl needed to take the car and do an errand.

I forgot Ozzy was outside and Earl had no idea.

Earl opened the gate and backed the car out. Since he was coming right back, he left the gate opened. I stood in the window admiring my new car as it left the driveway, then started cleaning the house. Almost 10 minutes passed before I remembered –

I never let Ozzy in before Earl left.

A horrible sinking feeling washed over me as I started to run to the door, yelling OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD –

I flew open the door, jumped off the porch, and looked frantically over the yard –

And there he was still leaning against the house with his eyes shut.

I dashed over to the gate and shut it, then looked back at Ozzy who now had his eyes half opened and was lazily wagging his tail.

He must have seen that the gate was open but just didn’t feel like caring.

Had someone walked by with a dog or on a bicycle, it would have been a different story. He would have been out the gate and into the highway.

Just one night before, my best friend was telling me how Ozzy helped her get over her fear of dogs. We were both cooing about his incredible nature and loving character as he sat with his head on my lap. I shutter to think that if things had been different yesterday, that might have been one of my last memories of him.

I wish I could just pick up my house and move it away from the highway. I absolutely hate my road and worry constantly about the animals getting out onto the road. I’ve experienced my worst fear come true when neighbor’s dog ran out in front of an 18 wheeler right in front of our house. I have to constantly be aware of the latch on the gate being shut. Every time I let the dogs out, I look out the window to see if it is before I open the door for them. When I have guests, I go outside and recheck the latch incase it wasn’t closed properly.

And here, it was a matter of me actually forgetting that he was still outside when Earl had to leave.

I know every mother has gone through something similar, and knows all too well the guilt and horrible sick feeling from not paying attention. I just keep thanking God for the way it turned out.

Perhaps we are not supposed to dwell on the “what ifs” - because they can rip us apart - but in a way, the “what ifs” remind us of the gravity of the situation and how serious things can get in just the wink of an eye. We have to really appreciate being reminded of a lesson without having to suffer any serious consequences.

And believe me, I do.