Ringo’s Big Adventure
by Dallas Doctor
There’s a fluffy, white ball of fur, I guess it’s a dog, that lives in the house around the corner. Usually it’s nowhere to be seen, but every once in a while, it’ll coming bouncing up to the fence to say hello to Ringo.
Whenever it does, Ringo always wants to stop and play. He and the fur ball generally begin by going nose to nose through the fence. They explore each other’s smells. Eventually Ringo looks around, hoping to find a way inside the fence. Always without success.
But one day the gate was open. The fur ball bounced right out into the street and commenced jumping repeatedly into Ringo’s face. The two dogs spun and played and jumped-around until Ringo’s leash twisted up and wrapped all around Doc. The nice people who lived in the house came running out to apologize, but there was nothing to apologize for.
With great difficulty, Doc tried to simultaneously free himself from the tangled leash and communicate with the neighbor in a strange language at the same time. But Doc succeeded at neither task. As soon as it became clear the dogs meant no harm to each other (they only wanted to play), and as soon as Doc realized the leash was limiting Ringo’s ability to respond to the animated advances of his little friend, and mainly in hopes of taking a moment to untangle the leash, Doc reached down and unhooked Ringo’s lead from his collar.
That was a mistake!
The two dogs (almost like they’d planned it), immediately scampered off down the street as fast as they could go, bounded across an empty field, and disappeared behind an abandoned barn. Doc and his the neighbor looked at each other in amazement for a moment, then quickly took up the pursuit. But the dogs were faster. And they were free. And they knew it..
When Doc called for Ringo to come back, Ringo ignored him. He evidently thought he had better things to do. Ringo seemed to know he was experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. (And he was, because Doc’d already decided never to let Ringo off leash again in the presence of the little white fur ball.)
Now it was Doc’s turn to apologize to the neighbor for making the situation worse. Doc and the neighbor trudged across the field together. As they rounded the back side of the abandoned barn, they spotted the runaways. Doc called to Ringo. The neighbor called to the fur ball. Both dogs looked right at their humans, then turned and romped off in the other direction.
This time they found an alley between a fence and a multi-story apartment building and disappeared again. Doc began to worry he’d never be able to catch up. But the neighbor continued the pursuit unabated, so Doc followed.
The alley opened into a courtyard, but when Doc and the neighbor reached the courtyard, neither dog was anywhere to be seen. Doc wondered if one single moment of stupidity had caused him to lose Ringo forever. That’s when a sudden chorus of barking dogs in the direction of the highway alerted the neighbor to the likelihood that the fugitives had headed that way.
So the search continued, but with renewed urgency. The stakes got higher as the runaways approached the busy highway. Doc’s brain imagined every possible worst-case-scenario — trucks, buses, speeding cars. Doc began to become quite alarmed. He was afraid if he didn’t find Ringo soon, something terrible might happen. But luckily, the neighbor’s hunch about which direction to go proved correct. The two truants were finally spotted in a side-street only half-a-block from the highway.
And luckily, they were distracted by something. The scoundrels were investigating something in the ditch beside the road. They’d discovered a hedgehog. The hedgehog curled up into a spiky ball and kept the bolters occupied long enough to facilitate their eventual capture. Ringo was so focused on the hedgehog, he allowed Doc to walk right up to him and connect the leash to his collar again.
As soon as Ringo was caught, the little dog came quietly along as well. It was evident that neither dog had intended the escape to be permanent. The neighbor gathered the fur ball up in her arms and the whole group began to retrace their steps towards home. Doc tried to apologize again, but the neighbor waved him off as if there was nothing to apologize for.
On the way back to the house, Doc explained in great detail to Ringo that actions have consequences and that Ringo’d forfeited his off-leash privileges for the foreseeable future. Ringo seemed to understand, but gave no indication whatsoever that he was the least bit sorry. In fact, Ringo acted exactly as if the adventure had been easily worth whatever the consequences turned out to be…
Please feel free to share this story in any way you consider appropriate. This is part of a collection of simple short stories called: “Ringo’s Big Adventure” which is NOT to be confused with a similarly titled, but entirely different set of (hopefully) more-literary stories with the working title “Conversations Overheard While Traveling with Ringo” which are ONLY available to the awesome humans who are making these adventures possible. Please visit patreon.com/dockity/overview to learn more… Thank You! Sincerely, dockity.