BEAR: Mom asked me to tell you that the pictures she used for this story were taken after the “adventure” took place. Mom said me and Maddie could tell “our exciting little tale”, but there was no way she was letting Maddie off her leash and harness on purpose just to take pictures. You will just need to imagine that the harness is NOT there in the pictures of Maddie. Mom said if she had been carrying her camera when all this was going on, she would have just thrown it on the ground with all the other stuff anyway – she certainly wouldn’t have been trying to capture it on film!
BEAR: It was Friday, the day before the day when the night lights up with stuff that isn’t the moon or the stars – I think they call it fireworks. Anyway, mom had taken me and Maddie out for a walk. Then she was going to feed us and walk down the hill and meet dad for dinner. Dad had gone down to the Pony a little earlier, and that was where mom was meeting him – it’s becoming kind of a Friday night tradition for them. They call it date night – I think that’s sweet.
MADDIE: Who cares! I was outside where I wanted to be, and I intended to make the most of it! I wasn’t too happy about the date night business though because that meant I was getting stuck at home alone with Fur Boy. Boring!! So I thought tonight would be a perfect night for “the plan”.
BEAR: Mom always walks us over in front of the Carriage Museum, then across the road, then by the horse corral. She took me off my leash as soon as we were in the big yard. She knows I do not like “doing my business” on a leash, and as we have discussed before, I can be trusted to come when I am called.
MADDIE: Whatever. While Goofy was running around, rolling in the grass, and thinking happy thoughts, I was finalizing my plan of escape. Mom didn’t know it, but I had figured out days ago how to get out of that straitjacket she puts me in. All I had to do was seize a moment when mom was distracted, and I was going to be off and away!
BEAR: While I was “doing my business”, I happened to notice that Maddie had gotten both her front legs out of the straitjacket. I looked at mom and tried to tell her that, but she was busy getting the “poop bag” out of her pocket so she could clean up after me. By the time she had taken care of that, Maddie’s staitjacket was all the way down to her skinny little hips. I looked at mom, I looked at Maddie. I looked at mom, I looked at Maddie. She FINALLY looked! Now mom was smart – she didn’t panic at all. She knew if she yanked on the leash she would pull the straitjacket completely off. So she slowly started walking up to Maddie from behind. Just when she was about to reach out and grab her, Maddie stepped out of that straitjacket and took off like a streak of lightning. THEN mom panicked!
MADDIE: I’m free! I’m free! I’m running like the wind. I’m tracking mice and rabbits and chipmunks and snakes. Maybe there are badgers and weasels and raccoons and bears! Look at mom! I almost feel sorry for her – she looks so upset – maybe I should go back . . . I don’t THINK so!!
BEAR: I was standing there waiting for mom to take off after Maddie (like dad does), and suddenly she looked at me and said, “Go get her, Bear!” What? Me? OK! And I’m off – faster than a speeding bullet I went after the crazy dog, circling ahead of her and cutting off her escape into the woods up at the Carriage Museum. I circled her back toward the condo and mom, who had dropped my leash, Maddie’s leash, the straitjacket, and the full poop bag and was hurrying up behind us (mom is not much as a runner). By this time, Maddie had gone into the green stuff that’s growing by the condo, and it’s so thick you couldn’t see her.
MADDIE: What the heck was that!! I saw a blur of gold fur coming up in my side vision, and I was forced to turn back toward home or risk a collision with 90 pounds of solid muscle. I was being forced closer to mom. Who taught Puffball that trick? I flattened myself out into a full run and disappeared into the green stuff at the corner of the condo where nobody can find me, or even if they could, they won’t come in here because some of this green stuff might be the green stuff that makes them break out and itch for two weeks.
BEAR: Mom called me, and I hurried back to her. She was praising me for trying to get Maddie back, and I was thinking SERIOUS dog treats for this one! She said, “Come on Bear, you have to go inside so I can concentrate on catching Maddie.” I didn’t like that too much – it’s like I’m getting punished for Maddie running away. But I followed mom. I’d never been off leash in the actual condo yard (against the rules), and all of a sudden I got a whiff of something that HAD to be investigated behind the bike racks. I ran over there before Mom could stop me, and by the time she caught up with me, I was doing some major rolling in a little something that a neighborhood dog must have left for me to find. I’ve never SEEN mom so mad!
MADDIE: I’m ticked! When I run off, someone is supposed to chase me! That’s the rules! Instead, mom had called Bear, and they were going toward our backdoor. Then Bear ran over and started rolling, and mom went ballistic (I’m watching all this from under the ground cover next to the far end of the condo). Mom is screaming, “Bad dog! Bad dog!” at Bear, and I am loving it! She grabbed him by his collar and dragged him toward the condo, all the time yelling, “Gross, gross, gross!”
BEAR: WHAT!! It was just a little streak of dog poop! Mom obviously had forgotten the time at the lake when I rolled in that deer that had been dead for two weeks. Now that was worth getting upset about! She shoved me in the house, almost in tears now. I felt really bad and somehow knew that I shouldn’t run upstairs and roll around on the carpet. I parked myself on the tile floor at the back door, as mom went rushing out again.
MADDIE: Well, I guess no one’s coming after me – which means the game is over. I started home, but just as I was rounding the corner of the condo going toward my backdoor, this new guy in the end unit appeared, and very softly called, “Maddie, Maddie”. Well, new guy has dog treat smell on him (they have a rottweiler – a very sweet one who hasn’t tried to eat me yet, so I have not had to attack her). So, I went up to him, and he picked me up and started walking me home. We met mom, who was coming from our house with tears running down her face. “Oh, John,” she says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” For what? I was on the way home all my myself – he just gave me a ride.
BEAR: Mom walked in with Maddie and put her down. She was suspiciously quiet. She took me outside on the porch and washed my neck with dry shampoo that smelled like peaches (truly gross). She never said a word. Then we went back inside, and me and Maddie and mom went upstairs. Then she lets us have it! Me for rolling in dog poop and Maddie for escaping. Wow, she was M – A – D!!! I listened to everything mom said, and I promised I would never, never, never roll in dog poop again (I know in my heart of hearts that I won’t be able to keep that promise).
MADDIE: Bear got in trouble today. It was the highlight of my escape!