I was working in the front yard. I decided, since it was an absolutely gorgeous day, that I would let Ray out front with me. This decision was based partly on the fact that he stands at the front door, knocking, if he knows I'm outside doing somethin' without him, and partly on the fact that I would be out front and could keep an eye on him while I worked. Sometimes I hook him to the retractable leash and wind it around the front porch railing and sometimes not. Since Ray had been for a two mile walk AND played with Tucker for an hour and a half in the morning, I thought he was probably too tired to try anything funky.
So Ray came outside, wandered to the middle of the yard, and passed out on the grass. I returned to trimming perennials, watering potted plants, and bagging up plant remnants. I had been working for fifteen minutes or so, when all of a sudden I realized that I had completely forgotten about the dog. I looked at the spot in the yard where Ray had been lying, comatose. NO DOG.
My heart stopped. My breath caught in my throat. I felt the blood draining from my face.
I looked up the cul-de-sac toward William's house and down the street toward certain escape. No Ray.
Panicked, I started toward the front door to get my car keys and grab my cell phone. I had only taken a couple of steps when I saw Ray stretched out on the front porch in the shade. He had gotten a bit hot and had moved out of the sun and out of my line of sight. Relief flooded me. Then guilt.
I'm a bad parent. For fifteen minutes, I forgot my dog. Anything could have happened to him. Thank God he's a lazy, lazy hound.