The Road Runner

Some say that it takes a village to raise a child.

Around here, it takes a neighborhood to corral a Border Collie.

We were out shopping last weekend when my cell phone rang:

Hey, it’s Liz. In case you were looking for Maisie, we found her by the river. I’ll bring her back and tie her up outside.”

Um…thanks.” I say. “Actually, I didn’t even know that she was missing.

My neighbors Liz and Sarah frequently retrieve our good-for-nothing dog, while riding around the neighborhood. And lately, Liz has been calling Maisie “The Road Runner” — ¬†ever since she buzzed by Liz’s barn about a month ago.

Liz was puttering around when she heard the unmistakable sound of speed: panting like a steam train and thundering paws. She glanced up to see a split-second of black blur: Maisie going all out. Like a racehorse pounding toward the finish line. Or a cheetah running down his prey.

Or the Road Runner leaving Coyote in the dust.

Maisie’s speed was so supreme, by the time Liz traveled 10 paces to the doorway, the dog was out of sight. And oddly enough, there was no one in pursuit. No rider, no rumbling gator. Maisie was running full tilt for no particular reason…other than she could.

Of course we all know that this isn’t a rare occurrence. And we can piece together what happened next. The Road Runner ripped past the house of Liz and scampered down the drive, leaving a hint of gravel dust in the air. Then she cut left, down through a hay field, streaked under the power lines, along a fallow field, and finally to the worn horse trail that ribbons the river. There, she collapsed in a tongue-lolling heap, and eventually rustled up some deer poop to roll in. Then settled down to wait.

Wait for the grumble and glint of the gator. Or the chatter of riders and the rhythmic music of hooves.