Last Friday, Five and I went to see Four's concert. Five woke up in a horrible mood, which degenerated into an overwrought rant about how he should be paid to go to school, because it's like a job for him. I gave him by best pep talk, followed by the contrasting "you already get paid in toys and fun" lecture, and when neither of those worked, I gave him a mental health day. There was nothing to be gained from dragging him to school crying, thereby reinforcing how much he hates it. Sometimes, it's better to cut your losses.
The concert was lovely. All the children performed enthusiastically, and there were outstanding vocal and instrumental soloists. As a special treat, we signed Four out of school early and took him home with us. When I opened the front door, I saw blood droplets on the floor. The dogs did not come to greet me. When I looked in my dining room and noticed an overturned bench, I stopped the boys, and said, "Wait. Something is wrong."
My first thought was that the dogs had killed each other. The gate I had been using to contain Cobie in the kitchen had broken, so this was the first time I had left them together unsupervised. My second thought was that the dogs had been beaten by robbers, but a quick glance at my laptops and televisions disproved that theory. I started opening doors, searching for the dogs. Five got very nervous.
When I got to the bathroom, the dogs came out together, with Cobie attached to Leo's neck. I yelled at her to let go, thinking her teeth were sunk in his skin, but when she didn't get down, I realized she was stuck in his collar. I unhooked it, and she broke free. The collar was completely twisted, from either Cobie or Leo struggling. I inspected them for open wounds, but it appeared the blood was from Cobie's mouth. They both ran for the water dish.
Five's anxiety had reached a fever pitch, and he was demanding we call 9-1-1. I assured him that everyone was fine, that the dogs had become tangled, and bumped their way into the bathroom. But truthfully, the whole thing freaked me out. I had to lay down that afternoon, a victim of post-adrenaline crashing. I told the Captain about it later, and he said he wasn't going to yell at me, but Five was right. When the dogs didn't come to the door, and I saw the blood, I really should have left the house and called the police.
I'm used to being in control, and managing the pack. Even though my first thought was correct--there was something wrong--I overruled my intuition. It didn't occur to me that the problem might be something I couldn't solve. But the world doesn't always work that way. There could have been an intruder, and I placed myself and the boys at risk. I learned a lesson, and I'm going to make sure I tell Five his instincts were correct. We don't always have to fix everything on our own.