Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Do You Keep a Good Dog In?

Is your dog also nicknamed "The Escape Artist?"

For years Joey, our Chocolate Labrador Retriever, would try any means imaginable to escape from our back yard.

In our old home, one solution was keeping the wooden gate padlocked in a locked position all the time.
This would work until our gardeners would come - and forget to relock the padlock, or would sort of close the padlock without the true "click" that signals it was locked. We would get the inevitable phone call: "Hello, do you have a dog? He's up here at the school yard."

Another solution we discovered in our new home was putting child-proof locks on our gates wherever possible.
One time it was the dead of winter, there was 2 feet of snow on the ground in our New England abode. We had Joey outside; surely he wasn't going anywhere. Until the phone call we received 30 minutes later: "Hello, do you have a dog? I'm here in the park..." Joey had found one place in the chain link fence that was not affixed on top; he had born all his weight on the chain link and ridden the siding until it was horizontal with the ground, and then walked out, leaving only some footprints in the snow.

Then there was the usual digging, and my innumerable attempts to discover and to patch up and reinforce any areas where Joey had showed an interested in digging his way out or that seemed vulnerable.
Still the phone calls: "Hello, do you have a dog? I live near the golf course and I have your dog in our home...." On some days the phone call never even came: The police or Animal Control would just show up at our front door and the guilty party would walk out, head to the ground, eyes looking up like full moons.

At this point you're probably thinking you're lucky and have luck on your side. You may even think your dog invulnerable to escaping, or certainly betting hit by a car.

Each time we thought Joey had luck on his side and each time we did the compulsory property inspection. And each time we were thankful that Joey was such a friendly dog and people in our neighborhood were so caring and dog-friendly and could get close to him to get our home phone number off of his dog tag and even bring him in their home until I arrived.

Then there was the early Spring morning when Dad was out of town on business so the two couldn't go running together. And Joey wanted to run.
Does Joey's luck run out?
Stay tuned! Read more from Joey's point of view!

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