I've posted here about Sammy from time to time over the past few years; just thought I'd come and confess something/warn something.
I moved recently to a new apartment building that has a gate leading off to a park/small field that's completely enclosed except for a path (which eventually leads to a very quiet cul-de-sac). I thought it was wonderful that I would now have somewhere to let Sammy be free. He's previously been very good off the leash, always following me, and even sitting beside me if I don't walk.
Over the past weeks though, he's become braver and braver, venturing further away from me and taking longer to come back to me when I call - so I should have seen it coming. This morning when I called him, he just stood there staring at me and then suddenly got this michievous expression. He looked at me, at the path, and back to me, and then off he went towards the path. Stupidly I actually turned and ran the other direction making silly noises - that usually gets him chasing me excitedly. I was amazed when I turned round and he was gone. Then I heard a car screech from the street and my heart almost jumped out my ears.
When I got to the cul-de-sac, I was so relieved when Sammy came bounding happily to me. A man came running after him. When he saw I was the owner, he started yelling his head off that Sammy was literally 2cm away from the wheel when he managed to stop. I was so shocked and ashamed, I couldn't say anything. I knelt down to put the leash on and Sammy just wagged his tail and jumped in my lap. The man kept yelling for a few minutes while I blinked at him, and then went back to his car.
I feel like a terrible owner. Terribly lucky, but terribly guilty that I didn't look after him better. It's also a wake-up call that no matter how well you think you know your dog's behaviour, it's WAY better to be safe than sorry.
Sammy's still just wagging his tail, looking very pleased about all this excitment, with no idea that he narrowly escaped disaster (I don't think he has any concept that bad things can happen).