Animals

Runaway

It has been our Summer of Other People’s Dogs. You may remember our visit from Luna, our babysitting for Chloe the husky puppy and our visit from Bugsy, trash can headbanger. One day recently our neighbor, Clueless Lady, dropped by with her dog, Oregano, and asked if he could hang out with my dogs for 20 minutes or so while she took a shower. He ended up in the house with us. And on my travels last week, I developed a close relationship with will smama’s dear Wrigley, who tried to come home with me, and was well-liked by at least one out of two greyhounds while visiting Childhood Friend. So perhaps our experience this morning should come as no surprise.

Pure Luck and I loaded Molly and Sam into the back of the Volvo and headed out for the dog park. As we turned onto Busy Avenue, we noticed a little Corgi taking herself for a walk. I pulled over immediately. Pure Luck got out and she stopped for petting while he looked for a tag. There were no tags to be seen, just a pink collar with a human pejorative/animal descriptor printed over and over, ringing her neck. Contrary to the collar art, she seemed a pleasant little girl. We put her in the car and began knocking on the doors of our neighbors with dogs who live on the block she seemed to be leaving behind on her trek. Molly and Sam gave her a mildly interested sniff. Corgi decided the front seat was a better place to sit and settled in by Pure Luck’s feet. (Don’t worry. I was driving.)

A clergyman friend who lives on that street was home enjoying his last Sunday of vacation and pointed us to a new neighbor who has a Corgi, although he thought this was not the right one. But as it turned out, she was! She had slipped out a broken back door, and the family had been on the hunt for her.

I think they said her name was Attilla, again, just not fitting as far as we could tell.

I have a morbid fear of losing track of our dogs. Molly is so friendly. We sometimes think she would go off with anyone. More than once she has made a break for it, only to go up on the first porch she finds and make herself at home. Sam got out the back gate once, when he was still very young. There was snow on the ground, and we know from the tracks that he went straight to the front door. Now that he is older, he would bark, but that big puppy waited quietly on the steps until we noticed he was gone.

I ran away from home once, when I was 4 or 5. I don’t remember leaving the house, but I do remember where I ended up: on my godmother’s front porch. She lived two doors down from a very busy street, on the other side of which was my church. I think church was my original destination, but I was afraid of that street and tried to hide between my godmother’s storm door and her front door.

Sometimes we run away out of fear; sometimes we run away for a break from the stresses of life; sometimes we run away because we see an opportunity and wonder what we will find around the corner.

I wonder where Little Corgi thought she was going?

6 thoughts on “Runaway”

  1. I came home from running errands one day to find a cute little fella hanging out in the middle of the 4-way stop intersection that our driveway empties into. He was coming up alongside the cars and about frightened me to death before I got my car into the drive and me back out into the intersection to get him out of the street.
    “Andy” was a small, friendly gray terrier with no qualms about walking right into my house. I checked out his tag, which was so old that the phone number had a prefix from before the local split, and the address was about three blocks away. I phoned the number (using the right prefix) but no one answered.
    So I loaded him in the car — had to persuade him that perhaps it was better if I drove — and went to the address on his tag. I was hoping to find a fenced back yard that I could lower him into, since I was pretty sure no one was home.
    When we got there, the garage door was up and the garage empty, and alas no fence in the yard. I rang the doorbell, but no answer.
    There was a doggy bowl in the garage, and the door into the house was closed. I think what may have happened is that Andy stays in the garage during the day, but for some reason he got out before the door lowered or something else tripped the safety and the door raised back up.
    It was obvious from the distance to the opener at the house door that there was no way I could put him in the garage, hit the switch, and make it out before the door lowered. There was also no way I could keep him at my place until his owners came home; I had places to go and my back yard was not small-dog escape-proof. So I did something slightly desperate — I tried the closed door that went from the garage into the house.
    It opened, and Andy trooped right in. I quickly closed it behind him. I offered up a prayer that it was indeed Andy’s house and that he would not soil the floors before his people got home.
    This was a few years back; I have never seen Andy again. Either those people came home to the mystery of how their dog got in the house, or they came home to the even greater mystery of house a previous homeowner’s dog did.

  2. I’ve gotten out three times. Each time I’ve dutifully reported myself by going to the front door. One time nobody was home when it happened (Tuxedo was visiting and dug me out, but thankfully stayed in the fence himself), so I waited on the front step until they pulled up. They were excited to see me, and not in the best way, but they calmed down once they realized Tux hadn’t gone loose. Guest dogs without area codes on their tags can be harder to track down.

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