Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Great Escape

Like a WWII German stalag (prison camp), we have a system of fences and barriers here to keep the dogs in. In one location, the layout of the house and yard creates a series of sally ports with several doors. As long as the doors are all closed, no one can escape. Unfortunately, one of those doors hasn't been shutting securely lately and the dogs tend to leak out. No harm done - just some snacking on cat turds and maybe some illicit piddling.
This morning I looked out back and saw that two doors in our sally port system were open, with the big bad world beckoning beyond the last door. I did a quick head-count: 4 dogs missing. Teddy, Meg and Polly were in the fenced-in yard and the rest were AWOL.
How do you chase 4 dogs at once if they're not moving in a pack? With my luck, they had each chosen a different compass direction and gone on their merry way. I grabbed a leash and a handful of cat kibble and ran out to search for the missing prisoners. Immediately, Jinx and Berry galloped up, both soaking wet (I wonder if they joined our neighbors cows in their pond), and begged to be let back into the yard. I didn't even have to give them kibble. Then I headed out to look for Georgie. He is, after all, the one we paid Good Money for, complete with AKC registration.
As I walked the perimeter of the yard, calling for Georgie, my eye fell on our wildflower garden. It's about one acre, next to the woods at the edge of our property. The flowers and weeds in there must be 3' high. I thought, "Crap, if he's in there, I'll never find him, and I'll be covered with ticks after 2 minutes in there." But suddenly Georgie burst out of the wildflowers onto the mowed part of the lawn, running as fast as a boulder on legs can run. When he saw me, he trotted up to me, let me put the leash on him, and followed me back to the house. He was wet with dew up to his chest and had a big smile on his face.
But no sign of Patch. I figured she had gone out to do the rounds of the neighborhood, check in with her old pals, maybe beg for food from the neighbor who used to feed her spaghetti, and would eventually return, so I stopped worrying about her.
Polly, however, was absolutely frantic. Every 3-4 minutes, she asked to go out and searched the yard for her best friend. The other dogs didn't seem to care one way or the other, but when Patch finally came home (about 6 hours later), the puppies greeted her joyfully.

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