Wilderness-daughter Kathleen and her husband Kevan ... yes, he's a Wilderness too, are the proud owners of a golden retriever named Allie. Of course Allie is a member of the family but like all families, there are times when everyone is not on the same page. Like the day Kevan and Allie had a slight difference of opinion on going for a walk.
Kevan is confined to a wheelchair but still has taken Allie for the occasional short stroll ... possibly, at times, getting a free tow as well.
One day not long ago, Kevan was in the front yard, holding Allie's leash and just relaxing. He had no intention of going anywhere especially on a tour of the neighbourhood. Of course Allie didn't know that and was excited with anticipation of a new adventure and some exercise to go with it.
The family lives in a residential area and on this late-summer day, all was calm and serene on their quiet street ... until fate stepped in. Fate, that is, in the form of a very brave, or stupid cat that decided to test the length and strength of Allie's leash. Of course the length of the leash only means anything if the opposite end is secured. In this case, it was attached to Kevan ... ever so temporarily.
We don't know if Kevan ever saw the cat, the first he knew of a problem was pain of his arm almost being pulled out of its socket and a rapid increase in speed of the wheelchair ... on one wheel! Kevan managed a brilliant balancing act for a relatively, long distance ... about ten feet ... until the wheel hit the grass verge anyway. Very soon indeed, gravity won the battle over the chair and both Kevan and chair flipped onto their sides. That was when Kevan, choosing life and limb over heroics, lost his grip on Allie's leash.
Without even a look back to check on Kevan's welfare, Allie, unhindered by the weight of man and machine, flew across the street and out of sight all the time gaining on the surprised and suddenly, less brave, cat.
Meanwhile, Kathleen, who was inside the house at the time, heard a commotion outside and ran to see what was happening. As she rounded the hedge all she saw was Kevan's chair on its side, one wheel spinning wildly and Kevan on the ground, not moving much at all.
As Kathleen ran up to the site of the pile-up, Kevan said, "I'm alright, go get the dog, he went that way!" Seeing there was nothing she could do for Kevan, without help anyway, Kathleen took off running after Allie, who, by this time had rounded the corner and was out of sight.
Right about here is where a couple of the neighbours got involved. One woman in particular called the 911 Emergency operator, said she saw a woman (Kathleen) standing over a poor man she had obviously thrown to the ground in his wheelchair (Kevan) and then running off to make her getaway! Although she suggested the SWAT team was required to intervene in what was obviously a domestic dispute, the operator dispatched 'only' the Fire Department and an ambulance.
Meanwhile, after running after Allie for a block and a half and finally convincing her she couldn't catch the cat, which at the time was securely perched in the upper limbs of a tree, Kathleen slowly walked back home, trying to catch her breath. She heard the commotion of sirens and heavy equipment but didn't realize what was happening until she turned the corner near her house.
The scene was one of chaos with lights flashing, firemen and Emergency Medical Technicians and bystanders crowded around Kevan who was still lying on the grass verge mumbling something about dogs, cats and nosy neighbours. (The heavily armed police had not arrived yet.)
It took a little while for Kathleen and Kevan to explain what had happened but the rescuers had probably heard stranger stories than theirs. From a detached point of view, it really was funny. Bystanders soon returned to their homes when they discovered no heinous crime had been committed and the SWAT team would probably not be dispatched. In the end, Kathleen had to admit it would have been difficult to get Kevan back in his wheelchair without the help of a few burly EMTs and firemen.
So that was the day Allie strained the family ties without even knowing it. She was just exercising her inbred instinct to chase cats. She was very familiar with the dog-law that required one to chase any cat that runs away! She is still a loved member of the family ... on a tight rein.
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