it’s kinda cool, every time I’ve used our new gate it has automatically closed… until yesterday.
i moved our yard waste bin from the backyard and expected it to close. I sent the boyz out at noon and they came right back in. They wanted to go out at 2:00 and I let them. I checked after ten minutes to make sure they were staying out of mischief. The first thing i saw was the open gate. the next thing I saw was no dogs in the yard.
I go into finder mode or to mention a controlled panic mode. ya see, Mary has said that if i lose jimmy, i’m dead; i think she’s serious. additionally, jimmy is a runner. so, needless to say, i’m more than a little bit freaked at this time. I had a meeting that night, and i knew i couldn’t go if i didn’t find jimmy. my hope is sherlock is following jimmy; they’d be easier to find in a pack.
my hopes are quickly dashed as i see sherlock at his favorite bush at the top of our neighbor’s driveway, with no jimmy to be seen. i coax sherlock home and continue my search on foot, bike, and car in ever windening circles. i ask ask people a lot the way, have you seen a black dog about this tall. no echo back, time and again.
i took sherlock in the car for moral support. he quietly sat in the seat until i said, “where’s jimmy?” for the rest of our trip he sat up looking out the window.
then, the first real break. one of our neighbors, about a block and a half away, was working in the yard. she said i saw him go that way with determination. she tried to catch him but he already to gone by. good, I could narrow my search. periodically i’d check home to see if he was waiting at the door. this time, still no dice.
all to soon, the trail went cold. i felt as if the search could widen back to the whole neighborhood. I centered my search in a eight square block area. at one time, i thought i’d try sitting down where I could see a quarter mile section of the road. i figured that might work better than going in circles. while doing that, i could only see 100 yards in from of me. my frantic search continued.
i decided to check local fence lines, hoping to find him either trying to dig under a fence or now trapped in a back yard. at one point, one of the neighbors we passingly know, asked if i was looking for my dog and I answered yes. he asked if he was a digger or a runner and I answered both. another walker within earshot laughed.
at one time, i thought i heard jimmy bark. it had the right rhythm and tenor. if it was him, he sounded frantic, like he had cornered something. One problem, the bark sounded like it came from inside a house. the search continued. then, two more times in that general area, I heard the rhythm and tenor of seemingly his bark, still coming from a house. the third time, i stopped cold to hopefully triangulate; the barking ceased.
as i walked towards home, i saw jimmy on the end of a leash with a neighbor i knew by sight at the other end. his tail stroke seemed shorter than normal. i thing he knew he was in trouble. my neighbor said the crawl space door had been open and he had been barking under there for a while. at first, my neighbor couldn’t do anything being the only one home with a small baby. when his wife got home. he went and got jimmy. looking back, perhaps jimmy’s capture coincided with the stoping of his bark that i had heard minutes before.
we de-leashed jimmy and I thanked the neighbor profusely. he said when he caught jimmy, he wondered what house in the neighborhood had dauchshund. thankfully he went to our house.
to recap, i let jimmy out at 2:00 and got him back at 5:00. Jimmy has been known to run big and he surely didn’t disappoint, here. my voice has a slight crackle from yelling over a few too many fences. when jimmy got back inside the house, he crashed hard. i’ve seen him crash after two hour walks but this one seemed much harder. at this time, i still hadn’t told Mary about it to keep her out of an apeshit panic. oh, and I caught him just in time to run my errands and make it to my meeting. i had eluded to jimmy’s loooooooooooooooong run in a text to Mary with no further details. she would have to wait until I got home to here what happened.
when i got home jimmy stayed in the shadows, knowing he had done something wrong. i told Mary. she took it pretty well. she did reaffirm my fear for my life if jimmy hadn’t come home. she told me she thought jimmy seemed a little strange when she got home, normally, he has to be pushed back from the door as we walk in. this time, he sat on a nearby area rug, cowering, knowing that he had done something wrong. later, when I got home, he still had that, i’ve done something bad look.
moral: while our new gate may automatically close, it is still worth my life to make sure that it does.