So, we have a problem with our dog-putting-out routine. When Nick’s parents bought this house, we all thought, “Hey, cool! Poor Ty (the old dog) has been chained all her life, and how she gets a fenced yard! Boy, will she love this!” Butters (the stupid dog) spent the first year of his life in a fenced yard, so we were excited about the fence for him, too, as he hasn’t taken well to being chained when outside. Fenced yard = awesome! Right?
Not so much.
The old dog turns out to be an escape artist. A really fat, slow, farty escape artist. Anyway, she’s not allowed outside by herself for more than the time it takes to do her business anymore, because if left unattended and without imminent bodily functions to take care of, she somehow worms under the fence and runs away. The stupid dog is either too tall or long (or just dumb) to escape the same way, so he just follows her around the yard, frantically bouncing from one side of her to the other (and occasionally on her) and barks when she finally escapes.
After being assaulted by doggy gastric odors this afternoon, we threw both dogs into the backyard to do their business, and hopefully become less disgusting (ha). Mere minutes later, I braved the cold wind that is currently blowing our nice neat leaf piles back onto the yard, and called for Ty to come inside. Nothing happened. A quick (and shivery) glance around the yard confirmed what fatty’s failure to appear had suggested – the old dog had once again slipped the fence.
“I’m not chasing her,” was met with equally disinterested declarations from around the kitchen table – she’s old, but she knows where she lives, bless her little geriatric heart, and we all knew she’d eventually get bored or hungry and come home. I was just settling into the rocker and trying to come up with something to blog about when I saw Ty through the front window, busy decorating the fire hydrant on the corner. Crap. Now that I knew where she was, I couldn’t very well ignore her, and out the front door we went, calling her name (mostly) and pointing at the house (just in case she thought we were telling her to go next door). Cindy shooed her up the front steps, and all appeared to be ending well, when the stupid dog seized his chance at freedom and zipped between my legs and out the front door, vaulting the old dog, and skittered across the street and into the neighbors’ front yard.
Unfortunately, you can’t let the stupid dog just run around the neighborhood until he gets bored and comes home. For one thing, his attention span is so short, he never gets bored, and he’s really really fast. For another, he doesn’t know where he lives. What, you thought we call him the stupid dog because it’s cute?
After shooing my barefoot, winter cold-riddled husband back into the house (and retrieving the piece of ham he’d had the foresight to snag out of the refrigerator instead of donning footwear), I followed the stupid dog down the block, waving the ham in the air, and yelling such gems as “Here, puppy puppy puppy…” and “Get over here, you fuzzy little waste of space!” Eventually he made the mistake of stopping to pee on a bush, then running up onto an enclosed porch, and I was able to get close enough to make him aware of the (nasty, wet) ham in my hand, and from there it was just a matter of keeping the ham high enough in the air that he couldn’t snap it out of my hand. Did I mention that Butters runs like a drunken sailor? Well, when a piece of (disgusting, greasy) cold ham is floating a measly six feet off the ground, he doesn’t so much run as bounce like some sort of demented, spring-loaded, carnivorous rabbit. It’s a lot of fun.
We made it back to our own front door in one piece, and I gave him the ham (more to get it off of me than to be nice). The best part of returning the stupid dog to the house after he runs away is how he seems to have no idea he’s done something wrong until we’re on the front step. But as that screen door begins to swing open, he suddenly realizes he’s outside without a leash, and his mommy is really pissed. Tail between the legs, ears back, big gold eyes beseeching me to spare his oh-so-miserable life… It’s hard to keep a straight face and just say “Bad dog! No running away!”