Saturday, September 3, 2022

Dog Gone

There's nothing worse than that pit-of-the-stomach feeling when you realize your dog has escaped. 

We were having a new furnace installed. I hadn't closed the dog door which lets Cully out back. I figured that all of the workers had their own dogs and would understand that the gate needed to be kept closed. But I hadn't really understood their focus on the job at hand and the amount of back-and-forthness there would be to the AC unit out back. 

I pretty quickly realized that Cully wasn't home. She had been popping in and out the dog door all morning checking on the work that was being done and when the dog flap stopped flapping my subconscious prodded me out of my chair to check on her whereabouts. She was nowhere to be found. 

I asked the furnace guys if they had seen her but they hadn't. They immediately started calling for her, but I knew that would be futile. If she didn't come when I called, she wasn't likely to come to relative strangers, no matter how much she liked them. I grabbed her leash and treats and started off up the cul-de-sac. Since the gate that she escaped through was on that side of the house, I guessed that she'd probably just keep going in that direction. I didn't see her in anyone's front yard and the house next door was fenced but none of the houses after that had enclosed yards. 

She hadn't gone far and she wasn't alone. Lionel, her trusty partner in crime was with her in the backyard just beyond the next door neighbor's. They were together sniffing at something in the grass. When I called her name, Cully lifted her head and took off further into the yard in a spastic run, the kind she does when she's got something that she shouldn't have and knows she shouldn't have. The great escape was now a big game. 

I ran into the yard, pulled the treats from my pocket, and waved them in the air to get the scent blowing in her direction. Cully was running circles, mouth open in a big grin, butt tucked. She ran a few more circles then stopped, nose in air. I called her name and held a treat for her to see. She paused for a few seconds to think it over, ran a few more circles, then came at a dead run towards me stopping long enough for a quick snack and for me to grab her collar.

Cully, prancing, was accompanied back to the house by her self-appointed, furry, yellow bodyguard. Exhausted by their big adventure, the friends slept away the afternoon.

We almost made it...


  1. They look so innocent! I'm glad you caught up to the renegades fairly quickly - you're right, that feeling in the pit of the stomach is awful (for cat owners as well as dog owners). I thought one of my cats got out a couple of winters ago. After an hour of trudging through snow, rattling her food dish, I came home and found her lying peacefully in the middle of the kitchen floor. It was an awful hour of worry, though.

  2. Good grief, I anxiously read your account of the great escape expecting a sad outcome! So glad you were able to get the escapees back. Phew!

    It’s always a sickening feeling when we can’t find our fuzzy friends. I built a hobbit tunnel for my desert tortoise. I “lost” Blueberry one day. I didn’t realize until then that she liked to sometimes hang out in it. Now I know to look there.

    Animals, fun and comforting, but also the cause of gray hairs.

  3. It has been a long time since I had a heart-stopping moment of one of our dogs being gone, but it's something I worry about every day. I'm so very glad this had a happy ending - I would have needed a nap afterwards!🥰