Monday, July 6, 2015

Escape Artist

"If you could help me out, I'd appreciate it."

A buddy of mine had a weekend away planned, and no place to board the dogs, and he asked me if I could go over and feed them twice a day.

I am glad to help. His golden retrievers are delightfully loving creatures, who love nothing better than to play and romp and get ears scratched.  Attached to the end of the message, however, was a warning:

"Just don't leave Reilly alone outside too long.  She is a bit of an escape artist."

Day 1, everything works great.  I feed the dogs, they are glad to see me, I make sure their water is filled, and let them out.  I check on Reilly a few times, just to see where she is.  She is wandering the property a little, scoping the joint.  I see her with nose to the bottom of the gate, sniffing the air of freedom, and call her back. She comes, but with at least one glance backwards to do one last recon view. 

Day 2, everything works great.  I spend a little extra time with the dogs, hanging out and scratching ears.  It is a pleasant morning, and I have the day off from work.  I watch Reilly as she heads to the other side of the house.  There are multiple barriers; stairs and fencing and under-house excluder screens.  She spends a fair amount of time just looking, though.  I call her back to join us in the backyard, and she comes.

But not before giving one more backward glance to scope out the overlap between the security cameras.

Day 3, everything works great.  Late in the afternoon, I go by, and let them out, and everything is fine.  A little later, however, I have an odd thought.  I text my friend: "Is either of the dogs thundershy?"

"She is very much so," came the reply.

The Bo-Hunk.  With Mr. Frog.
I fielded a call twenty minutes later from my friend's wife.  She explained that with the 4th of July fireworks, Reilly would likely be a little stressed out, and that they have some anti-anxiety meds for her, if I wouldn't mind giving it to her.  Sure - I understand the anxiety that can accompany fireworks, and would be glad to help out.

Day 3, part ii: Everything is not so great.  Bo - the big happy lummox, meets me at the door with a toy.  I accept his present, and try to figure out where it came from.  It is a piece of plastic, ripped from the door.  The vinyl insert grill is now a slimy gift.  And the place where it came from has some light blood streaks down the side. Neither dog appears to be in distress, so I just set the chew-toy on the counter.

Doggie gums, apparently, heal pretty quickly. So no harm done.

I let them outside, and then back in. I find the pill pockets and - a couple of text back-and-forths later - I find the meds.  I give her the pills, and open the door for one last pee break before closing up shop.

Reilly heads under the deck.  I follow her, just to see what escape she is contemplating.  She is not there.

I look around the yard.  No Reilly.

I look down the side yard. No Reilly.  I look under the house - no Reilly. Behind the garage.  No Reilly. Down the alleyway, past the stairs, over the fence.  No Reilly.

I go out and enlist Kathe to help.  She looks at the backyard, and asks how she could possibly get out.  The best I can tell, she completely cockroached her way through the wall.  Turned sideways, and slipped through the crack.

No, Reilly!

I am frantic.  This is the beloved dog of my friend, and I lost her.  She escaped, just as the fireworks are starting.  I call my buddy, explain what happened, and ask where she would go. 

An hour or three later, I get texted directions to where I can go and pick up the dog.  Someone has called and told my friend that they have found a very happy escapee.  I arrive.  She hops into the car, circles twice, and is asleep before we can drive the five blocks back to the house. 

And as I lead her up the stairs to the house, I catch her, looking around, casing the joint.... plotting her next escape.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

She is such a turd. And you are such a good friend. Thank you for taking care of the little ingrates.