Monday, October 14, 2013

Who Let The Dog Out?

Who let the dog out? And how did I end up outside in my pajamas, again?

Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law drove to town early in the morning to run an errand. While he was gone, he called and asked me to get a battery charger from the basement, take it to the shed outside, and plug it in to charge the battery for his drill.

If you've read my blog within the last few months, you know I dislike meandering outside in my pajamas. However, a battery needed charging, and I wanted to do this favor for him. I grabbed the charger and my keys, and then headed out the front door still wearing my pajamas.

As I walked across the driveway to unlock the shed, our yellow Labrador gallivanted into view in the distance. Who let her out? And how did she get beyond the electric dog fence?

"Willow," I yelled. "Come here."

She paused, looked at me, and then looked back toward the direction she was headed in. As though knowing this might be her only chance of escape for the day, she bolted pass the horses in the neighboring field.

Willow was gone by the time I arrived in the neighbor's backyard. I saw a cream-colored something dash beyond the pine trees on the far side of their property. Willow had crossed the country lane. I wasn't about to traipse over there in my pajamas, so I headed back home with the battery charger still in hand.

From the direction where I had last seen Willow, a dog began yelping. People started screaming. I sprinted to my car, thankful my keys were in my pocket.

A neighbor girl living across that road held a now-muddy Willow by the collar. Their chocolate Lab didn't appreciate another female in its territory and attacked. The girl holding our dog opened my car door so Willow could jump in. I noticed the deep gash a fraction of an inch below her right eye.

Willow and her battle scar.

I couldn't understand how Willow got past the hidden electric fence. Whenever she hears warning sounds from the little box attached to her collar, she doesn’t dare go near that boundary. So I checked the fence's control panel. Someone forgot to turn the darn thing on. Poor pup. I hoped her scuffle with the neighbor’s dog would curtail any future roaming.

No such luck.

This morning, I looked out the kitchen window and saw Willow running in the same direction as before. She ignored my commands to come back.  I grabbed my keys and hopped in the car... wearing pajamas, again. Duh. Guess I haven’t learned my lesson yet either.

Parking in the neighbor’s driveway, I saw the chocolate Lab caged in a pen. Willow pranced playfully around the horses standing nearby. I feared one would kick her in the head.

Once back home, I learned the electric fence had been turned on during her escape. Willow figured out the momentary pain from crossing that invisible line is well worth whatever enticement awaits her on the other side.

A short time later, I heard lions roaring from the animal sanctuary in the distance. Willow wouldn’t stand a chance against one of those felines. Nor with any of the bears that roam free here in Maine.

No telling what she’d do if she encountered a big old moose.