Yesterday, I almost experienced every dog owner’s worst nightmare. It was a typical moment in our front yard ( reminder: our front yard looks like a golf fairway and is the best playground for all the dogs…see photo). Sasha was laying down in the grass, begging for belly rubs, while Arlo and Peanut were running around. Henry was investigating various smells and taking a stroll by himself near the trees. After giving Sasha some love and attention, I looked up to see two dogs continuing to run around and play and Henry still hanging out by the fence line. Only this time, something seemed different. I strained to look harder and suddenly realized he was no longer in the yard but was now on the other side of the fence ready to walk straight into traffic. I absolutely freaked! I was now faced with a serious dilemma. I had to get Henry, but if I raced down the hill to get him, the other two dogs might find the same gateway to the very heavily travelled Seal Beach Blvd and crawl under the fence to join Henry. My flip flops flew off as I screamed to Henry, “STOP….STAY”. I raced back up to the house with the other two pups right on my heels and got them safely inside. I continued to remind Henry to STAY, which he did. He absolutely did not move a muscle…thank goodness! I raced back down the hill to the fence and called him back to me. He happily trotted towards me and slipped right back under the fence and right up into my arms. I held him in a way I had never done before….with such fear of losing him in my heart, I was trembling. His sweet little face looked up at me as if to say, “what’s up with you? And by the way, do you have a treat for that very nice STAY that I did?” Thank goodness I did have him well trained and he listened in a moment that could have immediately ended his life. The landscapers came out immediately and filled in the hole to prevent this from happening again in the future. In the end, all is well. The incident reminded me though how much love one feels for their dog and how important it is to protect them and keep them safe. I know a solid background in training helped to ensure a happy outcome. Training one’s dog never ends…it is a lifestyle we have in our home all the time.