The Day Maud and I Went For a Ride In a UPS Truck

I recently completed this painting of our beloved Maud.

“Sweet Maud” is an 11 x 14 acrylic on canvas.

 

It was just an ordinary summer day on Green Hill Farm.  I’d been busy all morning with housework and farm chores when I decided to take a little break to relax.  After a cup of tea, it was time to take Maud and Dash out to the backyard to play. I don’t normally put a leash on them to just walk from the house to the backyard as it’s only a few steps; we save the leashes for longer walks on the farm, where the dogs may decide to chase a rabbit or deer.  Well today, it wasn’t rabbits or deer that would be an issue.

As I walked out of the house with the dogs, our UPS man was leaving, driving out of our driveway toward a busy highway.  For some reason, because she’d never done anything like this in the ten years we’d had her, Maud TOOK OFF….and Dash was close behind her.  Maud and Dash tore across the yard as I stood helplessly screaming for them to come back.  As I watched Maud disappear down the driveway toward the highway, Dash turned and ran toward our kitchen garden, tucking his tail and finally stopping.  I breathlessly grabbed Dash and frantically searched for Maud.

When my eyes finally landed on her, she was crossing four lanes of oncoming traffic, narrowly escaping being hit by a car, all while in hot pursuit of this UPS truck.  Yes, this is the same dog who would hardly pick up all four feet to propel herself forward on a walk.  She could be such a lazy hound dog sometimes. 🙂  But, something about that brown UPS truck and the sound it made going down the driveway got her motor running.  Let me just say—I’ve never seen her move so fast.  If she hadn’t been chasing that UPS truck toward her death, I would’ve thought it was a beautiful thing.  I mean, you should have seen her running with such enthusiasm and gusto, legs outstretched like a cheetah, ears flapping in the wind, and howling all the time.  That’s probably why she couldn’t hear me yelling and screaming behind her like a crazed banshee.  I think everyone else on the farm heard me, though.

At this time, Mom and Dad who were outside gardening, ran toward us with concerned looks on their faces.  I yelled that Maud was heading across the highway as I put Dash securely in the backyard.  Thank goodness my parents were home, because Mom went after Maud until I finished getting Dash to safety.  Anyway, the UPS man finally stopped, once he heard Mom yelling and saw them both running behind his truck. With Dash safe, I grabbed Maud’s leash and ran down the driveway and across the highway to where Mom, the UPS man, and Maud were waiting.

By this point, I was exhausted.  After sprinting around, I was out of breath and the muscles in my legs were burning so much that I thought I was going to fall out, but I couldn’t stop.  I finally reached the unlikely trio across the bridge—yes, there’s a bridge—as if four lanes of busy highway traffic wasn’t enough; Maud also crossed a very high bridge that goes over train tracks, too.

Relieved to finally put my hands on Maud, I felt like crying.  The nice UPS man offered to help walk us back across the bridge and the busy highway; however, by this time, I was just flat out DONE.  I was breathing hard, my legs were shaking, my nerves were totally wrecked, and I needed a strong drink.  “Can you just give us a ride back across the highway?” I asked. “Well….we’re not exactly supposed to let people ride in the truck,” he said.  After giving him a look of, “There’s no way in the world  I’m walking this crazy dog back across this bridge and road,” he apparently took pity on us; he walked over, slid the big, heavy door open, and pushed down the jump seat. “Thank you!!” I gushed.

I climbed up the stairs and hardly had time to say, “Come on, Maud!” when she energetically bounded up beside of me.  I could barely fasten my seatbelt as my hands were still shaking, but Maud was having a blast!  She sat up straight, ears set forward, tail wagging, and ready to go for a ride in this UPS truck that she’d chased with a single-minded determination. This was her reward, and she was having the best time ever!

50 Comments »

  1. What a crazy story! I can’t imagine what got into Maud but I’m glad her guardian angel was watching after her. Maybe she just always wanted to ride in a truck. Wasn’t it nice that she let you come along?!😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Maud! What a very silly thing to do – thank heavens it ended happily and all praise to the nice UPS man for breaking the rules and helping a damsel in distress 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is a delightful story! Yes, I can imagine her running, beautifully, in a way we seldom get to see our domesticated doggies run. I feel the same way when I watch Sadie bolt. It’s majestic! But so dangerous. 99% of the time that we took Sadie out without a leash, she stayed with us. But the 1% proved too dangerous. Each time she’d bolt, she’d get a little more brave and explore even farther from home. Unfortunately, Moo has no faith in drivers and wails to the point of breakdown, that her dog will get hit by a car and die. For me, this was my turning point, and now she is always leashed when we go out. For The Mister, it took a bit longer, and one time carrying her home. Now and again when someone comes in, she’ll try to go out to fetch something in her sight line, scares me to death. Gone are the days of her at my heels while I garden. Makes me sad, but losing her would be worse.
    We don’t live out in the country, obviously. We live where danger is only a few lots away. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Joey. 😊 Maud was so full of herself that day…wide-open and joyful! We would never ever walk her on the farm without a leash . We’d learned that lesson quickly. She would definitely take off if she picked up on a scent. As she became older, she was fine just around the house. There’s such a difference in dogs, though. Our lab mix, Sadie, was never on a leash. A deer could walk right in front of her, and she wouldn’t care. But Maud…not so much. After the UPS truck incident, Maud always had on her leash, even just walking a few steps to the backyard. It just wasn’t worth the stress and risk. It is sad when they can’t run free, but safety has to come first. We’re fortunate to have a decent-sized, fenced backyard for our dog. Dash can do quite a bit of running around, especially this time of year. There seems to be no shortage of rabbits on our farm. 😊🐰

      Liked by 1 person

      • It really is dependent! I have these friends whose retriever loved to hunt, but they had one of those split rails without a gate, and their dog seldom bolted!
        I really miss how we had a dog park in Georgia — we have them here, but they’re far and costly. There, it was right down the street and free. Our fenced in yard isn’t large, which is sad. She can run, but not that beautiful full charge speed.
        I envy those people who have such control over their dogs, they’d never consider leaving their human’s side for a chase of game!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dog parks are nice. I didn’t realize that some of them weren’t free. The closest one around here is about 30-40 minutes away.
        I know what you mean about those “alpha” dog owners. 😉 I’m definitely NOT one of them. You’ll usually find me being dragged down the road or around the farm by one of my sweet, furry friends. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! Yes, Sadie has a Halti and that helps her stop trackin off the path 🙂
        Our nearest dog park is 9 miles away and is $100 a year, January to January. Don’t nobody wanna go to the dog park in winter…

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  4. I don’t know what it is about those darn UPS and FedEx trucks – every one of my dogs has gone absolute bonkers every time one of those trucks comes down the street, and heaven forbid they stop in front of my house! I can just imagine your terror while chasing Maud – she was having the time of her life and giving absolutely no thought to mom. Silly dog.

    PS: I love the way you captured the doggie eyes in that painting – as if she’s saying, “I’m sorry. I love you. Do you still love me?”

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  5. Your portrait of Maud is amazing and so well done. You have definitely captured her personality and soulful eyes. It’s hard to believe this is one of your first paintings! I am so excited about this new-found talent of yours and can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was an enthralling day for Maud indeed! And that’s a beautiful painting Tonya… Captured her eyes perfectly!

    P.S. Are you deliberately not adding paragraphs or is this some formatting issue?

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so kind of you to say, Prajakta. Thank you.
      I think the lack of paragraphs must’ve been a formatting issue. I went back and modified the story. I was in a rush to get it published yesterday evening as we were going out to dinner, and I didn’t notice it. Sorry about that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, wow. Something about that “man in brown” ?? That was a close call, but a sweet memory. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure you miss her so much. We lost a dog who loved to chase tires…of any variety. We had an unfenced yard, and he just got away from us. It was not on a highway, but when you chase wheels at any speed…tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

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