Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dog Days of Winter

Well, the good news is that I got out of bed on the correct side today. This means that I was in asignificantly less crabby mood. Also, the sun did actually shine today and having just a little brightness on a February day is definitely a bonus.

Of course, even in a good mood, I managed to lose my dogs today for ten minutes and that definitely made the day a little less bright.

How did I lose my dogs, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Since I have the luxury of working six minutes away from my office (unless the traffic lights don’t cooperate), I also have the luxury of being able to run home midday to release the hounds. On a normalday, this is also when I take my lunch. On days when I have a work obligation at lunch, it’s a ten minute break so the pups can go outside and do their doggie business.

Today was a normal day. Since the sun was shining, I expected the pups to spend more time outsidethan they do when it’s grey and cold. Thus, as usual, I made my lunch- a Lean Gourmet frozen entrĂ©e today- and sat down to eat it.

At this point, the pups usually appear to see what I am eating and try to look cute so I give them some.This rarely works. However, I do give them a couple of treats since, well, they’re spoiled.

Today, they didn’t come in. I wasn’t too worried since sometimes, they get distracted by their bunny hunts and stay outside. Yet when they didn’t appear for a while, I got worried. I went to hunt them down.

They weren’t in the back garden. I looked in their normal hiding places- wondering if Rory had managed to bypass the Bunny Security Protocol I’ve used to block up access to the ground underneath the toolshed but I couldn’t see an opening. Nor could I see Rory and Sookie.

I began to get worried. I ran inside to see if they’d crept in when I wasn’t looking. They weren’t there.

I opened the front door, terrified that they’d found a way out and they were in the street.


By this time, I was in full panic mode. I ran outside again, calling them. My tone of voice was more frantic now and I began to feel that nauseated lump in my chest that you only get when you’re really scared.

I called for Sookie and Rory, my imagination going wild. There had a been a coyote in our neighbourhood- had it got the girls? Had someone stolen them? Where were they?
Then, as I turned to go into the house, prepared to walk the neighbourhood to look for them, there they both were, tails wagging, unscathed.

Obviously, I was so relieved that all I could do was scoop them up to make sure they were ok and they were really there. Then after the relief had subsided, the anger kicked in. Where had they been? I KNOW they weren’t in the yard the whole time. I walked the perimeter of the fence, looking for their escape route. They watched me, curiously. I brought them in, shut the back door and finished my lunch.

Then, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax until I knew where they’d been, I let them outsideagain. This time I watched them. Rory made her usual beeline for the toolshed under which the infamous Bunny resides. Sookie followed. I stayed back. Then I noticed Sookie scampering towards one of the gates.

Lo and behold, before I knew it, she’d ducked out of it and was now loose in the front garden. Rory followed. I ran to the gate only to discover that it was unlatched and open just enough that two dachshunds could easily slip out but not enough so you’d notice if you glanced at it.
I got the girls to come back in and quickly fastened the gate shut. The girls were upset. I was relieved.

I’m very glad they’re safe. I’m also very, very glad that they came when I called them. I think this provesI might be a terrible mother because I got so upset about the whole thing. However, the relief at seeing them again was indescribable.

Now that the worry has passed, I’m angry. My gates have been puppy-proofed and haven’t been opened since the summer. The only time I ever use them is when I mow the lawn and have to wheel the mower through. Even when I get the dustbins ready for the rubbish pickup on Wednesday nights, I lift the trash cans over the gate to avoid opening them.

So, my question is how did that gate get opened? It’s a very stiff latch that doesn’t blow open. It hadto have been opened by a human being. It’s one one of those horseshoe shaped ones that wraps horizontally around the vertical post. Thus, it takes some effort to lift it up. My water meter and my electric meter are not behind the gates, they’re on the sides of the house.

Thus, someone opened the gate and didn’t close it. This worries me, I admit. I don’t know who it was. I don’t like the idea of someone on my property, opening my gate never mind the fact that they left it open.

All I can say is that I’m so glad that the puppies got distracted by the sent of bunny in the front gardenand didn’t venture any further than that so that they heard me call and came running. I’ll also say that I plan on a quick stop at Lowe’s tonight to buy some chain and a padlock so that it doesn’t happen again.

It’s probably a little dramatic but I care about my dogs and I don’t want to lose them again.

Even for the ten minutes I did lose them, it was terrifying.

What a relief to have them home!

Happy Thursday!

1 comment:

Emily said...

Any neighbors with kids, maybe chasing a lose ball? At least that would be easier than wondering...