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This morning began just as most mornings do; I need coffee first thing, so the coffee pot is brewing. The toaster is, well, toasting. When breakfast is over I cleaned the kitchen and took the garbage out.

The morning greeted me with a cool stiff breeze, the cold front has moved past during the night and fall has arrived. Beautiful.

There is just enough breeze blowing to open the kitchen door slightly; it appears just enough to allow Poppy to poke his nose out while I am preoccupied at the curb. Having no intention of hesitating, he pushed the door open enough for his escape.

This happens to be the season of the squirrel. They are everywhere. I think that God created them to torment dogs. God is amused by them. Me? not so much. No matter how much training Poppy has had, he will never be able to overcome the temptation of chasing a squirrel. Never. This morning is the perfect example.

Poppy has decided that we will play his version of “tag”. He will allow me to get just within grabbing distance and off he runs. Right now, he is running from tree to tree, the squirrels are chattering and jumping from one limb to another. I have decided that I’m not playing his game. I turn my back and stomp home.

I sent a text to my family to inform them that Mr. Poppy has made his escape, just in case he would show up at one of their homes. In the mean time I dress to go to coffee, the one and only morning I have gone out this week. I know that I will not be able to go if he doesn’t show up soon. I’m angry but my conscience just won’t allow me to leave.

Just about the time I was going to give up, a text came through from Earlene, “He’s in the park”. Well o.k. I’ll go to the park, knowing full well that he would not come to me because of the angry vibes I was giving off. But, he did go to Earlene, the little fugitive.

If he hadn’t stopped to chase another squirrel he would have gotten away again. With his leash in place we trudge off toward home. He acts sullen and defeated. I know without a doubt that given the opportunity he would be out the door and off to squirrel haven.

I feel badly for him (kind of). God meant for him to run and chase and play and bark at critters. I’m going to continue to do my best to keep him safe and take him for walks, unfortunately for him, on a leash.

This morning has made me think about us, as people. I think we can take a lesson from Poppy. These days we seem to take ourselves so seriously. There is so much sadness and anger in our world. Maybe if we would try to play more and be gleeful and enjoy ourselves, our lives would be better. We need to take our leashes off and bark and play. We need to forgive more and love more.

Poppy loves me unconditionally even though I keep him on a leash; and I love him even though he drives me a little crazy... I think he knows he’s never going to catch a squirrel, but the chase is fun, Betty

“The more I know about people, the more I like my dog.” Mark Twain

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