I feel like I need to start this post by saying that I love my dog, Cassidy, because she is sweet and beautiful and loyal. I feel like I need to say that first, because I am about to bitch and bitch and bitch about her.
First, there is the barking. She has turned into this animal who barks the second she enters our backyard. She used to just sit out there and look around, but now she stands in the exact center of our yard and barks. She barks at feral cats, she barks at people on the street, she barks at people going about their business inside their nearby houses, and frankly, I think she just barks to remind herself that she’s alive, dammit! She’s alive!
Every time I let her outside, I end up wanting to kill her.* We’re almost at the point where we’re going to have to muzzle her before we let her outside to go to the bathroom. I can only imagine the psychological trauma that will cause, but it’s either that or rip out her vocal cords in a fit of rage, and I think that the humane society would have some words for me if I did that.
Second, there is the escaping. We had to build a long, tall, multi-thousand dollar fence in order to keep her in our yard. Cassidy is a jumper (although, thank God, not a digger—knock on wood), and instead of funneling all of her jumping energy into earning her people fame and fortune on the dog agility circuit, she’s focused on using her mad jumping skillz to remove herself from any yard with a fence that is shorter than six feet tall.
We used to have her tethered to a zip line, which resulted in more than one time when she jumped the fence into another yard, but was still tethered to the line in our yard, creating a situation where Alex or I would have to climb the fence into the other yard and heave her back over.
Now that she has the fence, she only escapes when we are dumb enough to leave a gate open, but when she does, she takes full advantage. She will run full speed up to the park just down the street from our house, which is good because it keeps her off the roads, but is bad, because it gives her lots of space to run around in. We usually only catch her when she stops to harass another dog. A dog escape is always a very stressful thing for us.
Cassidy is a very bad dog.*
We’ve gotten pretty good about keeping her in the yard though, so I was pretty surprised when I was looking out the kitchen window this morning as I made Sam and Jack’s lunches and saw Cassidy trotting down our driveway.
I said some bad words, grabbed my coat, and ran out the door. She saw me coming and took off running down our street, which is plowed all the way down to the pavement. But when she got to the path that leads to the park, she stopped completely short, because that path is just about the opposite of plowed, if there is such a thing. If I may anthropomorphize her for a moment, here is what she was thinking: “WHA—? This white shit is over here too? What the hell?”
And then I grabbed her and marched her home.
But how did she get out? Here’s how: Alex shoveled all the snow off our side porch and path to the driveway, which was awesome of him and much appreciated, but he threw it all into a big pile on both sides of the gate leading into the back yard.
Basically, that dumb dog* just had to step over the gate and run off.
Of course, as soon as I got her back to the house, I had to tweet about the incident. ‘Cause that’s what I do.
have to be shared with friends from kindergarten too.
After I did that, I took steps to make sure that she wouldn’t escape again. This took the form of a post-it note stuck to the back door. Because I would have been way pissed at myself had I come home from dropping my kids off and mindlessly opened the back door only to have to chase her down the street again.
Yeah, I’m aware the dog is out there. I took this photo much later in the day.
Sam astutely noticed that there were no doggy footprints leading to the gate, but after casing the yard, I had to assume that was her point of egress because I couldn’t see any other logical place. So once I had dropped everyone off at school, I headed outside with my shovel.
Incidentally, just because a dog can walk on snow without leaving footprints doesn’t mean that a grown woman won’t repeatedly sink into the snow up to her thighs. Which, in case you’re wondering, makes it very difficult to shovel. Thankfully, I only had to shovel that one area, and did not have to dig a trench around the perimeter of my fence.
Being a super detective, I determined that the snow bridge was indeed her point of exit based on the Cassidy-fur stuck on the fence. (Plus, later in the day, the neighbor told me that she’d watched the whole thing from inside her house.)
I feel a lot of glee when I look at this last photo. Good luck getting out of your prison, you bitch.*
* But I love her.