Last Friday after work, I joined my wife, both boys, and my in-laws at the neighborhood pool. After we finished swimming, we had a nice picnic dinner, including beer. (There are a great many things to admire about my father-in-law.) After we finished eating, we loaded the boys up and headed home.
I’d come directly from work, so we had two separate cars. My wife took Secondborn (who isn’t quite three months old yet), while I took Firstborn (who just turned four). We all live within a single city block, so it was a short drive through a residential neighborhood. As we were making our way back home, I came upon wife’s car. It was stopped at a T-intersection, and parked at a peculiar angle in the street. Creeping up on it, I saw why she had stopped: there were a pair of small dogs running around in the street.
Another car, coming the other way, stopped on the other side of the street. The driver, a woman who might have been a few years older than me, got out. She approached the two dogs, and picked one up. It came easily; it was limping a little, and looked at her as if to say, “Oh, you want to carry me? Great!”
So my wife approached the second dog, and it - perhaps predictably - fled down the sidewalk. An older man - probably not that much older than me, but with white hair combed back in a mullet - got out of the other car, and came over to help.
Well, by that time I had gotten out of my own car. My wife got back into hers and went on her way; she had the baby, and there were three adults (plus, arguably, our four-year-old) to capture the remaining dog. So we moved around, trying to get the dog into a position where one of us could pick him up. The dogs were long-haired dachshunds, small and fuzzy and cute.
The remaining dog was having none of it. He dodged, fled, showed his teeth, and feinted at nipping if anyone got too close. So I collected the first dog, and put him in the back seat with Firstborn. (Firstborn was happy to hold the dog, and the dog was happy to be held.) Then I started the car, and followed them halfway up the block, to where the second dog had now run.
This time, when I got out of the car, I picked up my towel - because, really, you should always know where your towel is. (Also, because I’d seen the second dog snap at the other guy who was trying to pick him up.)
Now, bear in mind that I’m still wearing my swimsuit. I’m not wearing a shirt, and I’m barefoot. But I cut back to where the dog is, and chase along beside him until he’s pretty well sprinting. The problem is, I’m also sprinting, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done this sort of thing. He can keep this up a lot longer than I can.
But, I took my position just behind him and to the left, and I got him going to where he couldn’t change directions easily, and I reached out with the towel, and cast it.
It fell over him, and he skidded to a stop and started whining. I reached down, and scooped up dog and towel together. Then, very cautiously, I pulled the towel back from the dog’s face. That way, he could see, and my hand was on the back of his neck. He kind of glanced around, and then he settled. It was perfect - just exactly as if I knew what I was doing. One quick move with the towel, one captured dog.
So I put him in my back seat (along with Firstborn and the first dog), and drove back to the corner where we’d found them. The second dog had run up to one particular house, but they weren’t answering the doorbell... but their neighbor was just coming out the front door. I accosted him and explained the problem. He wasn’t looking for his dogs; he was just out for an evening constitutional. However, while I was talking to him, the other couple honked behind me. A woman was coming around the corner, and she was looking for some lost dogs.
To make a long story short, she was the puppy-mommy. She reclaimed them, and took them home; and I exchanged thanks and compliments with the other car; and we all went home and lived happily ever after.
(Don't mind me. I'm just going to stand here for a few more minutes, savoring how perfectly that maneuver worked. 'Cause, y'know, damn.)