Sunday, September 21, 2008


We discovered today that our dog Lucy can climb the fence -- the nearly 5 foot chain link fence that keeps her safe in our back yard when she's outside. We haven't actually seen her do it, but I think we have enough evidence to safely assume that's what's happening.

She got out one day last week when we had taken Brownie for a walk in the park. Lucy was going to go, but Sass decided to give her a bath just before we left. I wasn't particularly interested in taking a wet dog, since half of the time she's right against my legs. Of course, the other half of the time she's trying to pull me over so that she can attack some innocent squirrel or bird, so I'm not really sure which I prefer.

At any rate, poor lonely Lucinda was left behind. Apparently this was the last straw for her because she was clearly missing out on a trip to the park where there are geese to terrorize.

When we walked around the corner on our way back home from the park, there was Lucy, standing in the road. Sass nearly had a nervous breakdown right there. Thank heavens we were only two houses away from home because I was simultaneously
  • comforting Sass, who was crying so hard that she could barely see to walk home
  • keeping Brownie from pulling me over
  • calming Spyder, who was jumping around and making Sass and the dogs nervous
  • holding Lucy by her collar to keep her from darting off
I'm quite thankful that Lucy came over to us immediately. On the two occasions that she had gotten outside before, she was so busy chasing squirrels and birds that I had to run and catch her, which of course she thought was a fun little game, requiring more chasing.

Whew, I'm tired just remembering.

Brownie has also gotten out twice, but he is easy to get back. Just yell, "Brownie, TREAT!" and he will come a-runnin' as quickly has he can.

We thought that we had discovered how she had gotten out, wiggling through the gate. There is a little bit of a gap between the gate and the post because Sass thinks it's cute to wiggle through. So Spyder and I blocked the gap and we thought we were in the clear. After all, the dogs have been in that yard for four years, and neither of them had ever gotten out that way. Every previous escape had been through the front door when one of us was running out and didn't make sure that the door was properly latched.

Apparently we dusted off our hands a bit too quickly.

Today was a nice day, so I left the dogs outside to play in the back yard while we were out running errands. We were gone about 2.5 hours, and when we were coming down the street, I saw Lucy sitting on top of the picnic table -- outside of the fence -- as pretty as you please.

We pulled in, and she ran over to the car, all happy to see us, as if there was no problem with her being, oh, out in the front yard near the busy street and cars. I suppose I should be happy that she was showing us the love in hanging around in the yard waiting for us. She could have gone all squirrel-happy and disappeared.

Sass took her inside while Spyder and I launched another investigation. He found significant circumstantial evidence that supports the climbing theory -- a scratch on Lucy's tummy, a tuft of hair on the fence, and scratches on the top of the fence. This also explains why Lucy got out and Brownie didn't. He wouldn't have been able to get his big ol' self up there. (Remember the paragraph about treats? He is all about the treats.)

So now the urchins and I have to come up with a way keep her contained now that she's realized freedom is only a climb away. And until we figure it out, Lucy just won't go out unsupervised.

She is going to hate that.



smalltownmom said...

Good detective work!

Vanessa said...

Definitely sounds like she is climbing out of the fence. I'm so glad she is still with you. The fur kids would be deeply missed, I'm sure.

Smiling Shelly said...

Those squirrels must be messing with her when you're not looking. ;)

PEZmama said...

I never want a dog.

Glad she's okay, though.

Renna said...

Is there anything near the area of the fence, such as an a/c unit that she may be jumping on first before clearing the fence?

Our old Chow and Golden Retriever (both now gone on to doggie Heaven) used to get out of our backyard every so often. It always filled us with terror, for we knew if they ran across a nearby field, they could easily reach a nearby busy road. I wish I could remember how we finally got them to stop getting out. :-o