There are defining moments in the lives of every married couple, moments which foretell the way the rest of your married lives will play out. For some, it is the moment they say ‘I do’, for others it is the birth of their first, or perhaps even their second, child. For us, it was the morning I awoke to see my husband running half naked down the street, Pomeranian tucked under his arm, football style. Have I gotten ahead of myself? Perhaps a bit. Let me back up and begin at the beginning, as it were.
I’ve mentioned, have I not, that Blue was a bit of a runner. Not that she had anywhere to go exactly, but she certainly wanted to get wherever it was (or was not) in a rather speedy fashion. I suppose it was due to her breed’s extremely long history of being bred to pull sleds for exceedingly long distances for exceedingly long periods of time. And so, when our Bludie made one of her mad escapes, she was simply off and going with no intent to stop. EVER. Little Inky never quite figured out that she wasn’t a sled dog herself. Actually, Pomeranians were bred down from both Siberian Husky’s and Chow Chows, so it stands to reason that they could in fact be hooked up to tiny sleds and do some pretty mean pulling themselves, and viciously. Inky’s four tiny legs were fully capable of shooting out the gate at the same rate as her big sister, but her endurance didn’t quite match up. Our long family walks usually ended with Inky tucked neatly under the arm of either MBP or me, with Bludie dragging her feet in an almost childlike reluctance to go back inside. She’d look up at us with those enormous turquoise eyes, and seemingly plead for ‘five more minutes’.
Our small dream house was built on a bit of a rise, overlooking the green slope of our backyard, then that picturesque creek we recently discussed, and behind that was a public park where children frolicked, and fields full of little tots played organized games of baseball and soccer. Saturday morning was soccer day. Dozens of children, and therefore seemingly hundreds of parents, flocked to the fields on the earliest of frosty mornings each weekend. From the bay window in our breakfast-room we could clearly see the fields, the children, and all those hundreds of parents.
I was not in the habit of rising early enough to actually see these games, but Mr. Big Prize was usually up and busy during that time. I’ve never been one for early mornings, and am quite insistent that any normal person only observes 7:00 once a day. Mr. Big Prize isn’t much better-lazy mornings are something we’ve always enjoyed together, but on Saturdays at this particular period of our marriage, he was usually up and puttering about during the soccer playing hours of the day.
One morning I was lolling about in bed, enjoying the quiet and peace and comfort of my four poster canopy bed. Then, suddenly, the front door CRASHED closed, almost launching me out of the bed. Naturally, I was extraordinarily curious as to what on earth could have caused MBP to create such a noise on my restful Saturday morning. I walked into the living room, calling to MBP, and noticing the absence of both Inky and Blue. I walked from room to room, calling for any one of the three members of my little family. No one was to be found. They were all missing, and it only stood to reason that they must have gone off on an early morning jog together. Right? Sort of. But not really.
I wandered, still bleary eyed, into the kitchen to rustle through the refrigerator in search of something to eat, or drink, or whatever fell into my hand. Then, after said sustenance had been located, I settled into a chair in our breakfast room to watch all those little tots kick that black and white ball around at random. Expecting four year olds to actually play anything actually resembling soccer is just ridiculous, so it’s best just to put them in cute outfits and watch them trip all over one another. But the sight that met my still cloudy eyes was one for the record books, and one that would define my opinion of MBP for the rest of time.
Oh, there were dozens of little tots standing on the field, and hundreds of parents watching what was going on, but it wasn’t soccer that had the crowd enthralled. Instead, it was my Adonis of a husband; wearing nothing but a pair of old denim shorts, running full speed down the length of that soccer field after a Husky, while holding a little black Pomeranian football style under his left arm. It was unreal. I was incredulous. For a split second I was certain that I was still tucked tightly in my bed, and having some sort of ridiculous but hilarious nightmare. This couldn’t possibly be happening. But it was. There he was, Mr. Big Prize, in very nearly all his glory, running smack dab down the center of the soccer field, chasing an undeterred sled dog that was apparently determined to make it back to the icy tundra or die trying.
I stood at the window agog-nose pressed to the glass like a preschooler seeing the Macy’s Christmas window display for the first time-and watched as MBP finally caught that wretched beastie by the collar, and began the long and humiliating drag back home. The three of them had made it all the way across that soccer field, and now they all had to make it back. And, if you can believe it, not a single bystander offered to help. No one offered to help corral the beastie, and once she was caught, no one offered to help him get them home. Of course, none of them knew that he was a very nice man who lived in a very nice home with a very nice wife just around the corner. For all they knew he was simply a half crazed half naked wild man chasing the call of the wild along with his wolf buddy.
But that wasn’t what he was at all. In that moment I realized a number of things about MBP. First, no matter how suave and sleek a man may look 99% of the time, he looks ridiculous running half naked down the street. Second, and far more importantly, that sleek suave man of mine was more than willing to sacrifice anything, even his hard won and highly prized dignity, for the things he loves. I realized in that instant how very lucky I was to have that man of mine, and 11 years since that time, I still revel in that knowledge.
And yes, all three of them made it home safely. Seems Bludie found a hole in the fence, wriggled her way through, and convinced Inky to follow her. MBP had seen them as they sprinted by the front door, and had gone after them instantly, catching Inky fairly quickly but not daring to risk returning her home before pursuing Blue. This was the dog that made it 5 miles down the highway at one point before being picked up by one of our contractors. So, Inky had been toted along, football style, in pursuit of Blue. Many important life lessons were learned that day, and chief among them, always keep a pair of shoes by the front door!