I've chased my share of dogs around the block. Happily, nothing much has ever occurred on these little jaunts. Just the initial taste of freedom for the dog, followed by the tired pursuit of its owner culminating in the eventual and obligatory return home. I confess I was a a bit envious of the neighbors across the street when I was little. Their dog was hyper obedient. By the time I met Mike, he was getting a little long in the tooth, but the kids who lived with him were full of stories about his daring exploits. Mike was a hunting dog, and we were told that he had run up against most of God's creatures and come away the victor. Mike was a lot like Lassie, if Lassie voted Republican.
Sadly, as all dogs do, Mike went to that big kennel in the sky. He was replaced almost immediately by Ringo. Given the very conservative nature of the family across the street, I can only assume they hoped to reference Johnny Ringo, the gunfighter, and not the funny Beatle. In breed and size, Ringo was a pretty good match for Mike, but Ringo was wiry where Mike was sturdy, and where Mike was calm and stoic, Ringo was - well, Ringo was nuts.
Ringo would not stay in the front yard as his predecessor had once done so naturally. They had a relatively difficult time keeping him in the back yard, even with the aid of a seven foot fence. Ringo wanted out, and when he got out, he flew up and down the street in brown and white streaks, ears and tongue flapping in the breeze. Because of his tendency to run through most any obstacle, it was not uncommon to hear the cry from the top of the street: "Look out! Here comes Ringo!" Upon hearing this, small children would run and hide, while the rest of us would look for a piece of rope or a corner to back him into. One little girl was so terrified of Ringo that her regular response was to climb up the trellis on their front porch and hang from the rain gutter until the danger had passed. I confess there was a few times when we announced Ringo's escape just to watch that particular reaction.
Ringo didn't last as long as Mike. His temperament made him less than an ideal hunting companion. I think he understood his lot, and he finally passed away primarily out of embarrassment. But still, every once in a while when the front gate gets left open just a moment too long, I look for that flurry of paws and ears, and tense for the call: "Ringo's loose!"