Today we are snowed in, and I actually managed to arrange to have the day off, procure a DVD of Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and stop at the grocery store last night for everything we would need for a couple of days including a packet of uncured antibiotic-free bacon (we have a tradition of big family breakfasts on snow days when possible). So I was feeling pretty good about life when I woke up this morning, even though my back is officially Fucked Up, and took a pain pill* then went outside with Hotter and Poppy to sweep off the MFA Minivan and check on the smallstock.
And then I had the second-dumbest idea of my life (and only because I have gotten married in Vegas before) and decided to let Poppy off the leash to play in the snow, since she tends to dislike the cold and Hotter didn't think she'd go far.
Reader, she went EVERYWHERE. She chased the chickens through the fence. She went in Pitbull Neighbor's yard and tried to play with his dogs through their kennel fence. She galloped into the woods after some deer. She ran down the private road to the abandoned trailer homes and gamboled through the thorn-bush thickets. She booked it up to the public road and chased a snowplow. She ran into the yards of neighbors I'd never met before, who I met today, while running through the snow in pajama pants that kept trying to fall down and my old Danskos with plastic bags tied over them. I probably ran a solid two miles after that goddamn dog today, in non-running shoes, in the snow, bulging disc and all, with Hotter plodding along after me laughing his traitorous arse off.
Finally a neighbor came out and offered us a hot dog to use as enticement (since the freeze-dried liver snacks I had weren't doing the trick), and the novelty of that was such that when I threw Poppy a piece and she tasted it she was willing to come closer for more, and I was able to grab her. Hotter took her home while I thanked Hotdog Neighbor (and we bonded over our mutual dislike of Trashcan Neighbor, who has apparently called the C[o]unty on Hotdog Neighbor numerous times for various petty reasons, too). And then I went inside and gave Poppy a bath while I was still feeling mean (she really hates baths), to get all of the road-salt off of her and make sure she hadn't picked up any thorns (which she would have deserved, but would also have ended up costing me vet-bills).
And thus marks the end of the last time I ever let that wretched dog off-leash on purpose, the bitch.
I hope y'all are all staying warm, wherever you are :)
* Of the legally-procured, doctor's-note-available-upon-request variety that I would never take if I had to work, Corporate Overlords, never fear!