I deserve a medal for walking to school

November 4, 2011 at 11:22 am | Posted in Daily Life | 7 Comments
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I set off on the short walk to pre-school this morning with my three-year old bustled up in his big hooded Parka, returning briefly for a brolly as the rain started to spit.  We soldiered on, despite complaints of cold hands and umbrella drips.  And that’s when it happened.

Two dogs approached us to say hello; a larger wolf hound looking gangly dog and a smaller, scruffy brown mutt, both of which seemed harmless enough.  The neighbour apologised briefly and shouted the dogs back.  One returned loyally, the other did not.

The one that did not was the small scruffy one and I thought it quite novel at first that this dog seemed to like us enough to tag along for a little walk along the path.  I’m not a dog owner – I have a distinct lack of dog communication skills.

I quickly realised that this was the case when it was still following us as we neared the main road.  My sit, stop, stay there and lie down commands were all ignored.  A little lump grew in my throat when I came to the abrupt conclusion that in the absence of a responsible owner, I was actually going to have to try to do something about this slightly fraught situation.

My first tactic was denial.  Ignore the dog and it will turn around and go home.  Fail.

Second, pretend it’s my dog and it will obey my every command.  Fail.

Third, panic – chase it across the road, grab it and tell it off.  Definite fail.

At the lights to the main road it started weaving in and out of cars, much to the disbelief of people making their way to work.  Their eyes were burning into me – I could feel the waves of disgust as people tutted at the stupid dog owner who needed to put a lead on her dog and also pay attention to the now slightly scared three-year old still standing at the lights.

I shouted ‘it’s not my dog’ in a feeble whimpering voice and threw my arms in the air.  I have always possessed a flair for the dramatic.

So eventually all three of us made it across the road and the dog decided to stop playing in the rush hour.  It proceeded to follow us all the way to the school gates, dodging the bin truck and parents leaving in their four by fours.  Comments of ‘aah look at that dog’ turned to ‘your dog is in the road!’.  ‘I don’t know what to do, it’s not my dog, it followed us’ I begged.  By this time the umbrella was inside out, the scooter was under one arm, my son was bobbing along nervously and I was looking like I had a run in with an escaped dog.

I was never going to be so pleased to see Mrs P the teacher as I would be today; she’d know what to do.  So I scuttled up to the door saying ‘can we close this door, can we close it, a dog has followed us, it’s coming, the dog is coming’.

And then it all goes black.

I was told afterwards that the care taker stepped in, and a school mum called the council.  The dog was going to be ok.


Actually it didn’t go black, I snapped out of panic mode and focussed no the task in hand which was my son, who was by now on the edge of his nerves and possibly no longer a dog lover.  Several pleas echoed through my head ‘mummy stop the dog getting in the bin truck’ and ‘mummy I don’t like the dog, make it stop’.  I’d been so worried about the stupid dog and despite trying to reassure my son throughout the process, the traffic dodging canine had won my attention.

So I reverted to my natural role, caring for a child – far easier, at least he sits and stays when I say so – mostly.

So we stuck bear’s counter on the chart and went for a wee.  I left him in the safe hands of Mrs P after he’d proudly told the rest of the class and teachers that a dog had come to school this morning.

‘How bizarre’ you may say of such events today, but these things always happen to me.



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  1. What a morning you poor thing! I dont know what I would have done in that situation, lucky it wasn’t run over! Hope your day gets better 🙂

    • It did! An afternoon of eating, drinking and shopping with bear, my mum and cousin, ending in a great little traditional sweet shop!

  2. That is bizarre and stressful. Glad the dog is going to be ok. Hugs xx

    • It was my worst nightmare!!! It’s the kind of thing you dream about – leaving your child by the side of the road and chasing a crazy dog in and out of the traffic!

  3. Maybe you were giving out some kind of gravy vibe?!

    • I must have been, felt like taking him and giving him a better home that’s for sure! Maybe not with us though!

  4. Poor you! I like dogs but I’m wary of ones I don’t know and would hate to be followed!

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