White Dog, Queen of the White Dog Army, made sure the California boys were awake bright and early. "Two days in a ROW?" Quinn mumbled. "Do we at least get breakfast?" asked YoYoMa. The girls, awake since the birds started singing, hurried everyone through a bit of kibble, vitamins, toast and coffee. They then lined up pertly before Steve. "Time to keep your promise, Dad. Let's go to the Park!"
"Let's get those White Dog Army harnesses on Puffy and Nuka...you, too White Dog!" He helped them get ready and Quinn (who wears his harness all of the time) joined them at the door. YoYoMa played Gandhi Dog and passively resisted Steve's dressing attempts. It wasn't until WD's threat to "just leave him behind" that he cooperated.
A mad dash into pumpkin and settling in then we were off! The Duck Park was very crowded with kids playing sports and families and other dogs; the WDA has gotten used to the solitude of mid day Fridays.
WD, rock solidly trained and always reliable, took off in a crazy dash the minute Steve had her and YoYoMa and Puff at the far side of the park. She headed for the parking lot. When he saw WD head in the wrong direction he lunged after her, tripping in the terrain and falling. Puff pulled her leash out of his hand and followed White Dog. YoYoMa whirled in frightened circles around Steve not being able to see but sensing the wrongness of the moment. Steve caught the girls in the nick of time and snapped WD's leash on...then came over to where Quinn, Nuka and I were watching the ducks.I saw none of what happened but saw the panic in Steve's eyes as he came limping up with the three dogs.
"I think she was trying to get back to you," he said referring to the equally shaken leader of the WDA . She pawed at me frantically. "It is all right. Be calm." I said stroking her. "What you did was VERY wrong and you could have been hurt...or Puff could have. Dad IS hurt. WHAT were you thinking?" WD was contrite. "I think no more off-leash for awhile," I said to Steve. "We are going to have to practice stops and recalls for some time before she earns back the privilege." I hugged Steve who was still trembling at the thought of what could have happened. WD pressed against him whimpering her apologies. The others herded around us in a circle of protection.
We loaded back into the van giving each pup a special hug as they entered and got situated. After finishing a few errands we decided on a lunch picnic in the car to soothe the nerves...and a big nap when we arrived home.